What Can We Leave Out of Our Interfaith Ceremony?

Ceremony & Vows, Etiquette

If you and your fiancé come from different religious traditions, an interfaith ceremony may be the perfect way to combine your family cultures into something new and beautiful. While there are some traditions that you know your wedding will definitely incorporate (say, the Jewish breaking of the glass, Christian reading of 1 Corinthians 13 or Hindu Mendhi ceremony), you can't incorporate it all, so what should you leave out? Our experts have a few tips for what you should skip when planning an interfaith ceremony.

Combining cultures can be a challenge, but it's also an opportunity to start creating a culture for your new family. You'll want to honor your own traditions, but also be respectful of your future spouse and their family.

Begin by eliminating any readings or traditions that might contradict the beliefs of your fiancé. This might mean forgoing Communion if you're Catholic but your groom is Jewish, or the b'deken if you're Jewish and your groom is Hindu. Spend some time explaining the meaning and importance of different marriage rituals to one another to both highlight moments you'll want to include and also pinpoint the ones that might cause conflict.

You'll want to avoid any readings in a language that most guests won't understand. If particular readings, like the Jewish Seven Blessings, are important to you, opt instead to have them translated and shared in English.

See more: 5 Things to Look for In a Wedding Officiant

For the sake of time, keep an eye out for traditions that are similar between your two faiths. Hindu weddings feature seven steps that the couple takes together, each representing a vow, and some Jewish weddings have the bride walk seven circles around her groom before approaching the chuppah, representing the seven blessings and seven days of creation. Think about ways you might be able to combine a tradition like this to represent both of your faiths.

If you think figuring out what to omit might leave you wanting more, pick the traditions you definitely want to include, and then supplement your ceremony with secular ones, allowing you to customize your ceremony as much as you'd like.

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