Mixing It Up: Interfaith Marriage
There is no easy answer for those who choose to marry out of their culture or faith. Understanding that it may be difficult for parents and loved ones to accept and keeping the lines of communication open (if possible) is important. Learn as much as you can about the religion or culture you are entering. Not only will it help you understand where the parents are coming from, it will also help you understand your partner better.
Planning an inter-faith wedding? Consider these tips: Go for counseling. There's a lot you need to work out as a couple when you've come from such different backgrounds: how you feel about customs, religion, and how you want to raise your family. Working these differences out before you make things official will create less tension within your marriage, and will give you a good foundation from which to work when you decide how to plan your marriage. It also helps when you can present a united, thought-out front to both sets of parents.
Find the right celebrant. Not everyone is thrilled about joining two religions together. Find someone who really understands where you're coming from and has suggestions about marrying you that you can relate to, and which are inspiring.
Prepare, prepare, prepare. An inter-faith wedding can take more forethought than a regular one because there are no foregone conclusions about how everything will take place. Leave yourself enough time to really work this one through; don't have a short engagement if you can help it.
Don't leave out the other family. If you marry out of the religion in which you were raised, you are at least partially rejecting the values your family gave you. Don't make them feel even further rejected by having a wedding that doesn't recognize your roots at all. Try to incorporate rituals that are extremely meaningful to them, and that will also explain where you came from to your groom, his family, and your guests.
Keep the theme going. The interfaith wedding doesn't stop at the ceremony. It can continue through the dancing, choice of music, and menu options. Try and incorporate both aspects of each culture as cohesively as possible. Weddings are often about combining the traditional with the modern; so don't be afraid to mix things up.
*Some names have been changed.
This article was first published at Art of Loving -- a website that offers articles on love, relationships, singles, couples, family, sex, intimacy, personal growth, self development, and more -- and is reprinted with permission.