The bride was Hispanic/Catholic from the Central Valley of California and the groom was from French-speaking Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) of West Africa and was Muslim; however the couple met and married in Seoul, Korea. That made an interesting challenge to honor and meld all of their cultural traditions and craft a ceremony renewal that was totally customized for them. I touched on items about love and marriage from passages found in the Bible and Qur'an (which required research).
The couple were actually married in 2008, but as none of their family or friends were there at that time, they were treating this ceremony as if it was their "real" wedding. I was told at the start of the ceremony (when the bride walked up) that the groom's brother was going to say an Islamic prayer somewhere in the middle and so I incorporated that on the spot. You have to be able to think on your feet when presiding a wedding. The groom seemed surprised and pleased when I quoted 2 lines from the Qur'an in French!
To honor the bride's culture, they included the Lazo (lasso) ceremony in which a double cord was placed over their shoulders to signify that they are joined. There was no rehearsal (not recommended, by the way) so I had to give the padrino & madrina their instructions just minutes before the start.
The couple reaffirmed their marriage and walked back down the aisle in the sand to the live music of a mariachi band - so festive!
Felicidades & Felicitation to C. & A.!!