Creating your special wedding ceremony can be fun and exciting. The process provides you as a couple with a unique opportunity to express your love in words that speak to your own hearts and souls. As your Rabbi, your ceremony will not be a cookie-cutter approach. Your ceremony will be just that… “your ceremony”. It will be written and developed around your wishes and desires. It will be special to you.
When you announced your engagement, you were full of excitement and joy. Now, as you begin planning for your wedding day, you may feel a great deal of stress. This is normal. Working closely together we can alleviate the stress surrounding the ceremony itself. I cannot choose the color of your napkins, but I can preside over a service that will provide wonderful memories for a lifetime.
If you are an interfaith couple, in addition to the normal wedding preparations you must ask yourself questions that same-faith couples do not, such as:
What does my faith mean to me?
How comfortable or uncomfortable am I with my partner’s faith and traditions?
If we chose to have children, how will we raise them?
How will our parents respond to our marriage and to our religious choices?
If we choose one faith for the children, will the partner whose religion was not chosen feel left out?
How will we celebrate the holidays in our home?
I, as your rabbi, cannot provide you with answers to those questions. But, with counseling and open and honest discussion we can arrive at what is right for you.
I highly recommend reading Celebrating Interfaith Marriages, by Rabbi Devon A. Lerner.
Remember that the wedding day can be emotional and stressful for your parents as well. Interfaith ceremonies usually present the question; will the ceremony be balanced, representing both sides equally? As your Rabbi, I take great pains to never offend but always to respect and welcome. Long before your ceremony, you will have a draft of the service to share with all involved. Anything can be added or changed to make all feel included.
While I will not co-officiate at a ceremony, the participation of a special minister or priest for a reading or a few chosen words, can add much to the wedding service.