Wedding Industry Mixing It Up

Intercultural weddings are on the rise in Canada and is taking advantage.

If you're marrying a Brazilian woman, choose your neckwear carefully. During traditional Brazilian wedding receptions, the groom's friends cut chunks off his tie and sell them to the guests. The proceeds are meant to help the couple with their wedding expenses. You'd know this if you checked out, a Canadian bridal planning site specializing in multicultural weddings.

Intercultural weddings are on the rise in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, in one-third of marriages in 2002, the bride, the groom, or both were born outside the country. Payal Mirchandani, the CEO of, started the company nearly three years ago, when she saw the need for a wedding resource that caters to all sorts of different cultures. Amy Hopkins, Wedding Guru's manager of business development and events, says almost every wedding they do is multicultural. So far, they've done Chinese-Indian, Canadian-Chinese, and Indian-Indian weddings, to name a few, and they have a Swiss-Chinese wedding coming up in November. They haven't experienced any major cultural faux-pas yet, though at an Indian-Sikh wedding they organized, a man who was unaware he was doing anything wrong walked right through a sacred temple area with his shoes on–against tradition–and caused an uproar. “People were ready to punch him,” says Hopkins, ” and the priest was freaking out.”

The company offers two types of services: free resources and wedding tools online, and a wedding planning division for which they charge anywhere from $500 into the thousands, depending on the client's needs. For people looking to get married outside of Canada, Wedding Guru has partnered with companies in Grand Cayman and India to offer all-inclusive weddings. With resources like these, there's no excuse for offending the traditionalists in your family. Or, for that matter, for losing your favourite tie.