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TAYLORVILLE — Celebrating family histories and traditions is a major component of weddings. During a wedding, two families come together and begin to merge their unique takes on life.
When couples tying the knot come from the same cultural or religious backgrounds, fitting the pieces together may be relatively easy. However, when a wedding must incorporate two different religions — each with its specific traditions and requirements — a couple may not know where to start. These tips may help the process along.
It is important to open a dialogue with all involved parties at the onset to be able to craft a ceremony and subsequent celebration that aligns with the faiths of the couple and their families. This dialogue shares what everyone expects. Ask everyone to rank the rituals they would like to be included by order of importance, and then use this as a guide when planning the ceremony.
Certain houses of worship may be strict in regard to what they allow during interfaith ceremonies. Conservative congregations may even frown upon marrying outside of one’s religion. That may spark an entirely new conversation about converting so couples can be married in the eyes of the church, temple or mosque. More reformed places may be open to blending certain traditions from both faiths. Couples often lean toward having one officiant from each faith at the ceremony to incorporate key rites into the wedding.
Interfaith couples may opt to have the ceremony at a neutral location so they do not appear to be paying favor to one faith over another. Determine if religious officiants can oversee the ceremony outside of a place of worship and still have the marriage recognized by the tenets of that faith.
In instances when it may seem like there are too many obstacles to having faith-guided ceremonies for interfaith weddings, wedding planners may suggest some creative solutions, including working with a secular officiant. Traditions such as lighting a unity candle or blending two different sands together to signify the blending of two faiths and families can be part of the ceremony, suggests the lifestyle company Sheerluxe.
Give others tasks
Couples may be unfamiliar with each other’s religious traditions. Sharing faith-specific wedding planning tasks can help couples and their families become more familiar with these customs.
Interfaith weddings require extra planning and finesse, but millions of couples get married in such ceremonies every year.