Dealing With Conflicting Religions: Interfaith, Nondenominational and Secular Weddings
Your weddings is one of the most beautiful and cherished events in your life. It’s no secret that there are many details involved in the planning of your wedding – everything from the color of the bridesmaid’s dresses to the party favors – which makes it all so challenging for the bride and groom. Even after getting past the wedding style, where it will be held, who will be in the wedding party, what menu to serve, what dress to wear, and which decorations to use, there is often a large problem that still remains.
Differing Spiritual Beliefs
More and more couples are facing the challenge of having an interfaith wedding. The differing spiritual beliefs usually involves the couple as well as the respective families. For example, the parents of the bride may be Jewish while the parents of the groom may be Catholic. Or one partner may be Hindu and another is agnostic. The diversity is endless, and the varying combinations can create obvious friction in the wedding planning between the families.
Many couples finding themselves in this situation are choosing to leave religion out of their wedding completely and are putting more focus on a broad spiritual experience. The brides and grooms are writing their own vows and getting married in non-denominational churches or chapels instead of Catholic Churches or Mosques, or they are skipping the formal religious venues completely. Couples are still able to use many wedding rituals and symbolic traditions without offending families of different religions. This can definitely ease tension and leave more time for planning the reception and honeymoon, while leaving behind an unnecessary stress.
Beautiful, unique experiences are a result of this evolution in wedding ceremonies. Instead of the traditional religious ceremony, a non-denominational, interfaith, or secular wedding will usually involve one or more of the following:
- Non-traditional venues, including barns, beaches, mountaintops, or back yards
- Vows written by the couple
- Special unity ceremonies
- Children being involved in the vows
- Themed ceremonies
- Creation of completely new traditions
Interfaith weddings don’t have to be a major sticking point in your wedding planning. A spiritual wedding focuses on the sacredness of the lifelong commitment and union of the couple, regardless of the backgrounds and belief systems of each family. Of course, some couples choose to incorporate at least one token tradition of each family’s faith, so that everyone’s feelings are taken into account. What’s important is to realize that your ceremony can be tailored to handle this particular challenge, so that the wedding is absolutely perfect for everyone!
As your officiant, I will be happy to discuss the many ways you might choose to handle your interfaith wedding ceremony. Just get in touch!