Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Translation Services

Wedding planner classes cover a ton of content from things you would fully anticipate to the totally unexpected. With specialized weddings like destination weddings, there are even more usual things to consider. One thing that is often overlooked is potential issues with language barriers! There are hundreds of languages worldwide and the possible need for a translator or other language services should be on your radar.

So, keep reading, because we’re going to talk about why translation is an important topic in wedding planner classes and what you can do to plan a multilingual wedding!

Challenges during the planning stages

As a destination wedding planner or even a local planner, you might run into language-related issues at various stages in the planning process. The following are some of the specific challenges that you could face that a wedding planner class will prepare you for!

working with vendors event planner

Working with vendors

When you’re planning an event in another country, not being able to meet vendors face-to-face is a challenge enough! But working with one who doesn’t speak your language can feel impossible. It’s important to be patient and consider all your options! Your wedding planning classes will go over the many services that can help you out. So you can focus on actual event details instead of worrying about communication.

Finding a reliable translator

Speaking of language barriers, finding a translator who can work with you for the entire planning process and still be in your budget can be a real uphill battle. The free services aren’t reliable, and the reliable translators are costly!

If your clients can afford it, the best option is, of course, to hire a professional translator. If your clients aren’t willing to adjust their budget to have a translator, you can (occasionally) use Google Translate. But, these services aren’t always reliable especially if you’re in a delicate negation.

Another option is to reach out to the venue or resort staff in the destination where the wedding will be held. They may have an employee who can do some translations or help you work with vendors. However, you’ll likely still have to pay them for their time!

Conflict with clients

It happens! Sometimes clients just won’t budge on certain things. Maybe the bride really doesn’t want to give up any of her 3-foot fresh flower centerpieces in order to make room in the budget for translating services But, no fear! As a trained professional, you’ll be able to handle this.

Other than those unwilling to adjust their budget, some clients may have different ideas of what they want in a multilingual ceremony! Maybe the bride’s family primarily speaks English, but the groom has extended family who only speaks Italian. It can be tough for them to reach a consensus about how to “split” the ceremony. We’re not saying you should try to sway them one way or another. But, as a professional, it is your job to inform them of how translations will work with their budget and guide them towards a realistic solution.

having a multilingual bilingual wedding ceremony

Tips for a multilingual ceremony

Let’s say your clients have agreed upon having a partially or completely bilingual service. They’ve made room in their budget to ensure all guests can feel included and they’re ready to get started with the planning. But where do you start? Let’s run through some tips on multilingual ceremonies.

Get readings translated

First, get all your texts (menus, programs, everything!) translated and printed in both languages. This way, when guests arrive, they will be able to pick up the readings in their preferred language. Have your clients split the guest list so you can (approximately) get the right amount of each program or menu printed! However, it is always good to have extras in both languages just in case.

Another important text to get translated is invitations. It’s so much more welcoming when guests receive their invite in their spoken language. Just imagine how stressful it would be if your best friend invited you to their wedding with an invitation in Mandarin when you only know English! You might not even realize you’re being invited to a wedding.

Hire a bilingual officiant

For some clients, hiring a bilingual officiant might not cross their mind right away. So suggest it when talking about your budget. Make sure this is decided early on in the planning process, because finding a bilingual officiant (especially for a destination wedding) can be a long, expensive process!

That being said, having an officiant who (even if not bilingual) can say parts of the service in both languages will make everyone feel more included.

splitting the wedding ceremony to be bilingual

Split the ceremony

You might already be thinking this: having a ceremony with every sentence said in each language is going to drag on! That’s why you can suggest to your clients that they split the service. Maybe the officiant does the service in one language, but the vows are in the other language. Get creative with it when splitting it up! Splitting can also be great for multicultural ceremonies. You can carry out different cultural traditions throughout different parts of the ceremony. This might not work for very tradition clients (they might even want to entirely separate ceremonies on different days), but it is growing in popularity!

Create a list of “buzzwords”

This is another great option, even if you’re splitting the ceremony. In each language, write out some “buzzwords” and translations. For example, “Cheers,” “I Do,” “Congratulations,” and so on. Just simple words or phrases that come up at weddings – again, be creative! This way guests will understand when key moments are happening and they can have some fun learning a few new phrases in another language. This can help guests feel like they are a part of the whole ceremony and help bring new family additions closer together.

Though multilingual ceremonies can seem daunting, it can be very touching for the guests and your clients! And as the event planner, watching people connect across language or cultural barriers can be quite moving. When you’re aware of how to do a bilingual wedding, it definitely gives you a step up from the competition. You can even consider suggesting it to clients who might not have thought of it!

Have some other ways to incorporate language into a wedding? Leave comments below!

Looking for some tips on planning a destination wedding in the winter? Check out this article.

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