Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Interfaith Weddings

By our Guest Bogger, Uma Campbell 

You have finally met your Prince Charming and he has finally asked you to marry him. You are both elated and can’t wait to share your news and start the planning process, until you remember one thing – you are from different faiths.

Of course, you both knew that you celebrated different religions when you first started dating, and it was never a big deal to you. However, now that you are getting married, this difference of faith raise some problems. Your difference of faith doesn’t change how much you love one another, but it may have an effect on the way your wedding plays out; especially if you are planning on having a religious ceremonies. You see, different faiths tend to have different traditions when it comes to marriage, and these differences may cause a stir.

Take a deep breath and rest easy knowing that it is possible to successfully have an interfaith wedding and marriage. Here’s a statistic that will help you feel better about your situation: Back in the 1950s, only 20 percent of married couples within the US were of different faiths. Today, that statistic has risen to 45 percent. That rise in numbers says something, and it says something good.

But, that statistic aside, you still wonder how you and your fiancé are going to successfully meld your religions. After all, you are a real couple, not a number. With some careful planning, understanding and compassion from both sides, an interfaith wedding – and marriage – can be done. Here are some things to consider that will help you in your endeavor.

Talk About Your Faiths

The best way to start is by having a conversation about your faiths. If you are both very committed to your religion, you probably already know this about one another; but if you aren’t, it may not be clear how important traditions are. For example, if one of you celebrates your faith, but the other one doesn’t – and it’s not a big deal – you might consider leaning more toward the faith of the person who honors his or her religion.

A Family Affair
Typically, religion is about more than just you and your fiancé; it is about your families, as well. If you are marrying someone of a different faith, both of your families may have reservations. Your parents and grandparents may be concerned about whether or not you share the same morals and how you are going to carry on your traditions, for example. Hear your family’s concerns and try to accommodate them; however, remember that at the end of the day, you aren’t getting married for your family, you are getting married for the two of you. Your happiness is what matters the most.

Honoring Your Faiths
Once you know how important faith is to one another, start figuring out a way to honor each one. For example, try to incorporate traditions from each religion into your wedding ceremony and reception, and into your married lives together. For instance, a Catholic and Jewish couple may have both a Priest and a Rabi perform the ceremony and may celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.

An interfaith wedding can be a delicate situation, but with openness, honesty, care, and compassion, you can successfully make a union between people of different faiths work.

Uma Campbell is a freelance writer from Southern California. She loves writing about weddings and believes that anyone planning an interfaith wedding can make it successful. She contributes beauty and health content to the Bellezza Spa blog, where you can read more of her work.

No comments: