Below are five instructions on how to plan an Interfaith wedding between the bride and groom:
- Sit down with your fiance and discuss one another's values. Identify what is most meaningful to each of you about your wedding ceremony and your religions, then start to find ways to compromise.
- Do your research. Talk to other couples, look to the many resources available in your community, set up a meeting with religious authorities.
- Mull over the possibility of asking both your respective clergy members to officiate at the wedding. Or, as an alternative, you might even consider having two separate ceremonies.
- Choose a neutral setting in which to hold the ceremony and reception, such as a hotel ballroom or country club.
- Keep a good perspective. Remember, each couple's wedding day is unique to them - this is a way to further personalize your ceremony.
What I find is helpful when planning an Interfaith wedding, is that the couple incorporate both faiths in the ceremony and reception. This will make the families happy and give the other family and/or friends the opportunity to learn and participate in unfamiliar traditions. It is important to find an officiant (or two) who believes in your union and who you feel comfortable with. Another suggestion is to perhaps have two ceremonies. Recently, I watched an episode of one of the wedding shows (I watch so many) and the couple had two ceremonies. The bride was Christian and the groom was Indian. The first ceremony was a traditional Indian ceremony (the location of the first ceremony was a destination wedding on an island) and the second ceremony was a small gathering of friends and family where the couple lived in a Christian church. This pleased both parents and was acceptable.
Ethnic Food: At the reception, you can do a buffet, including different food stations that reflect your background (for example, a sushi station and a Jamaican grill) or if you prefer sit down, you can split the courses between two types of cuisine.
Music: You can incorporate songs that compliment your religion or culture and if one of you is Jewish, you've just got to do the horah!
Decor: Get inspired to decorate to play up your cultural theme...this is the part I so love.
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Sources: The Knot (spring/summer 2009 issue), theknot.com, EHow.com
Photo Credit: The Knot (Geoff White Photography, Redwood City, CA)