Planning an Interfaith Wedding Ceremony: How One Bride Did It

Real Weddings
Interfaith wedding ceremony

Photo: Getty Images

What do real brides have to say about the wedding planning experience? Well, it's not all happy tears at the bridal boutique and indulgent cake tastings. Guest blogger Jamie Shupak, TV host, food blogger, and NY1's traffic reporter, will share how she's modernizing her mother's wedding dress, planning an interfaith wedding, picking the perfect flower crown, and so much more.

The cantor has chosen her music. The ketubah's been ordered. The kiddish cup's been dusted off. The band leader has decided when to play the hora. We are ready for our Jewish wedding...me and my non-Jewish fiancé.

Planning an interfaith wedding could be tricky, I'm sure. But I happen to be very lucky that my husband-to-be is the most open-minded, easy-going person I have ever met. Also, while he was raised in the United Methodist Church, went to Sunday school, and was confirmed, he doesn't describe himself as religious, and he didn't bring any religious traditions (except a Christmas tree!) with him into our home and family.

Had he, our wedding and life together would be much different.

Since I'm the one with strong religious ties, with parents who are very involved in our synagogue, traditions that go with every holiday, and the desire to raise our children Jewish...we are going to have a (more or less) traditional Jewish wedding.

I believe the wedding sets the tone for the marriage in many ways, so my main concern has been making sure that Brian and his family are comfortable with every step of the ceremony. To ensure that's the case, we discussed each detail with the Cantor who will be officiating. We decided that any time she reads something in Hebrew, she will also translate it in English. We will be standing under a chuppah, drinking from a kiddish cup, and Brian will break a glass at the end of the ceremony—all traditionally Jewish—so she will explain their significance to our guests. Inclusion is key and I'm hoping we do a good job of it.

The party will also have some traditional Jewish elements—the hora, the chair hoisting, and the blessings over wine and bread—but again, I'm lucky enough that Brian and his family recognize all of these as celebratory.

My best advice in planning your interfaith ceremony is communication. Make sure everyone understands what the other family wants and why—and be willing to compromise. Remember though, this is supposed to be fun! So raise your glass to a peaceful, beautiful interfaith ceremony. L'chaim!

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