Share your wedding day memories at Near Neighbours’ multi-cultural celebration

Published Thursday 1 November 2018 at 12:39

Save the date! Near Neighbours has issued an open invitation to their wedding event of the year – a colourful, multi-cultural celebration of wedding traditions.

The event – To Have and To Hold – will take place in Blackburn Cathedral on Tuesday 13 November, between 10am and 2.30pm.

Anyone from across Lancashire is welcome at this fun drop-in event to hear about wedding traditions from Lancashire’s diverse communities, and to share their own ‘big day’ stories.

To Have and To Hold guests are encouraged to bring along items from their own weddings – clothing or other interesting artefacts – as well as copies of any photographs they are willing to share.

Event organiser Lynne Mitchell of Near Neighbours, an organisation that seeks to bring people together to make new friendships across different faiths and cultures, hopes it will give people a place to share stories of their own weddings and memories of celebrations they have shared with loved ones.

Lynne said:

Near Neighbours is all about bringing people together and breaking down any barriers between our communities to help us better understand one another. The perfect way to do that is getting together to talk about our shared experiences. Most of us have memories of weddings we can share, and they are a wonderful conversation starter. I’ll be bringing along my daughter-in-law’s wedding dress and talking out my day to remember as the mother of the groom!

At the event, there will be an exhibition of wedding artefacts from different traditions. There will also be displays of traditional and modern wedding attire from Blackburn’s Wedding Belles bridal shop and Asian wedding fashion retailer Poshaak.

Guests can get a taste – literally! – of weddings across a variety of cultures with a spread of food traditionally enjoyed at celebrations.

A Mendhi artist will be demonstrating the traditional henna designs Asian brides usually wear on their hands and arms.

Guests can gather under a Chuppah, the fabric canopy that Jewish brides and grooms make their vows beneath, which symbolises the married couple’s new home.

They can also hands-on making floral buttonholes, all to a soundtrack of traditional wedding music and songs.

Lively pop-up theatre performers will play the roles of future brides and grooms, learning about the various ways to celebrate their marriage, taking inspiration from a number of cultures.

Near Neighbours’ event has been timed to coincide with Interfaith Week, an annual event focussed on interfaith understanding and cooperation that aims to highlight the good work already being done in communities up and down the UK.

Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said:

This event looks set to be a really enjoyable way to bring together people from Lancashire to talk about something we enjoy across all communities – wedding celebrations.

When we staged our Making of a South Asian Wedding event as part of the National Festival of Making, there was a lot of interest in learning about different traditions – the food, the clothing, the make-up, and so on. This Near Neighbours event provides an opportunity for local people to learn from one another by sharing stories and memories of weddings from our diverse communities.

Anyone from Lancashire is welcome to attend Near Neighbour’s To Have and To Hold event on Tuesday 13 November – just drop in at Blackburn Cathedral between 10am and 2.30pm.

More information in advance of the event is available via Eventbrite.

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