It’s a beautiful thing when love can transcend cultural divisions, but it’s no secret that it can make planning a wedding more difficult. When two people who follow (or were simply raised in) different religions decide to put that aside and get married, it’s important that the ceremony is true to both belief systems. Putting together an interfaith wedding can be difficult to navigate, so we have put together some tips to help you through it.
Photo by Michael Segal Photography; Planning & Design by Tessa Lyn Events
- Find common ground. Some faiths, such as the Abrahamic religions stemming from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, may have their differences, but also a shared history. There may be some readings that apply to both faiths represented in the ceremony, which can be a nice way to tie you two together – in addition to tying the knot, of course!
- Consult your families. This can be a touchy subject, especially if either set of parents is not thrilled about the wedding not being fully in service of their religion. Assuming the peace can be kept, find out the priority of each side in order to have your best chance at keeping everyone happy.
- Focus on cultural aspects. If neither you nor your future spouse are particularly religious anyway, incorporating cultural traditions can help to feel like your honoring your different heritages, rather than blending diametrically opposed religious beliefs.
- Choose your officiant(s) carefully. “My wife is Jewish, I grew up Catholic, so we got married by a friend,” quips comedian John Mulaney in his special “New in Town.” It’s a common strategy with couples of differing faiths, especially for the aforementioned people for whom religion is not a part of their daily life. Other options include dual officiants – such as a rabbi and a pastor – although you’ll have to make sure they are both okay with performing such a ceremony. There are even officiants who specialize in presiding over vow exchanges of interfaith couples.
- Include a detailed program. Due to your different backgrounds, your respective families will likely not know of the traditions of the other side. A ceremony program that explains various customs will help keep your guests comfortable and informed.
- Be true to yourselves. As with any wedding, the most important thing is that it feels right for you and your beloved.