More than 29 million people tuned in to watch the Royal nuptials in all its glory. And what a glorious wedding it was. Prince Harry was handsome in his snappy military attire. Meghan was a stunning bride in her simple yet elegant gown. They were beaming as they took their vows. Most people expected to see the pomp and circumstance that Royal weddings are known for. What they didn’t expect was what came next.
When a couple marries they bring both of their cultures, families and experiences together. Some couples just hope for the best. Smart couples honor and embrace it! Harry and Meghan took the “two become one” sentiment to a whole new level. They broke from the standard British Royal wedding template. Instead, they quite literally and intentionally brought two very different worlds together in a stunningly beautiful event.
The traditional venue and ceremony honored Harry’s position as a Royal. He and Prince William wore traditional British military uniforms. Leaving an open seat, Harry chose to honor his mother, Princess Diana, whose presence was decidedly felt in that chapel. Meghan chose to wear the Queen Mary tiara. Her embroidered veil honored the 53 countries of the Commonwealth.
As an American, multi-ethnic woman, Meghan brought a blend of religious and cultural traditions to the ceremony. The American bishop left the guests rejoicing and celebrating love. The gospel choir had guests tapping their feet and bobbing their heads. It was quite a change from the traditional choir also present.
The most poignant moment came when Prince Charles spontaneously offered his arm to escort Meghan’s mom who attended alone. In that moment, the families were clearly one.
Harry and Meghan, by intentionally embracing each other’s culture, got it exactly right. They honored what each brings to the marriage and each other’s family.
One of the things couples struggle with is how to bring families together. For couples with diverse cultural practices or beliefs, that can be especially challenging. People can have really strong opinions about which traditions should be honored and which can be left behind. That doesn’t always sit well with family or with spouses. The pressure can be overwhelming on a new couple.
Like Harry and Meghan, smart couples look at this issue and make decisions as a couple. When the couple sets the expectations and embrace each other’s world, families are more likely to follow suit. Be like Harry and Meghan.
The good news is that neither spouse has to give up who they are and what’s important to them. The bad news is that it’s sometimes hard to find middle ground. The truth is, it’s hard to be objective.
If you and your partner are struggling with how to blend your diverse families, help is out there. Reach out to a marriage counselor who can help you sort through the complexities and find what works for you as a couple.