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A couple's religious faith or lack thereof often dictates how the duo plans their wedding, from the ceremony to the vows. However, nondenominational ceremonies are becoming more prevalent amongst couples who want to celebrate their love without any spiritual components. But what is the best course of action when a bride's (or groom's) parents are pushing for a religious union despite her desire for a nonsectarian ceremony? Our etiquette experts weigh in on how to host a nondenominational wedding with some traditional aspects to please mom and dad.
There are a myriad of ways to lend traditional, religious elements to a nondenominational ceremony without overshadowing the union itself. First, consider utilizing traditional vows during your nuptials, or blending in a blessing from your parents' religion. The marriage vows of many religions possess common themes irrespective of their denominations, including friendship, commitment, mutual support, and respect. By melding your own beliefs with those of your family through the wording of your ceremony, you can stay true to your convictions while humoring your parents.
If you wish to keep your vows free from religious undertones, you may consider indulging your parents by including a symbolic gesture into your ceremony that directly pertains to their religion. For example, if your parents are Jewish, you can punctuate your "I do's" with a traditional breaking on the glass, design your ceremony space with a chuppah, or sign the ketubah.
Finally, your reception can pose a wonderful opportunity to embrace your family's religion without saturating your big day in divine elements. Couples who hope to include Christian customs in their reception might encourage loved ones to join in the blessing of the covenant, while those looking to honor the Jewish faith might celebrate with a conventional dance such as the Krenzl or the Horah.