Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tips for Planning Your Interfaith Wedding

It can be complicated to plan an interfaith ceremony. Most likely, you'll face three huge challenges: finding an officiant, bringing together two sets of traditions without offending your families too much and creating a ceremony that reflects both your commitment and common values. And with two different religions, these issues can be way more complex than usual. Here are some tips to help you "prevent a religious roadblock":

  1. Have a long engagement. Take a year or longer to find and work on the issues that are likely to come up during your marriage. You should examine the issue of religion very closely -- its role in your wedding, marriage and future family. And you need to discuss the religious practices you want to continue observing, particularly when you have children. You don't have to set anything in stone, but it's important to be open about what you expect for the future.
  2. Collect information. Take classes/courses in each other's religions. Although you may not plan to practice either religion at home, studying will give you a better understanding of each other's beliefs and assumptions.
  3. Get counseling. Speak with a clergy from each of your religions, and if possible, someone with training in family counseling, to assist you in discussing the issues you face. Or, you could contact a family planning organization or therapist for objective pre-marital counseling.
  4. Be patient with your parents. If people are having a difficult time dealing with the religious differences, try to understand that they are "mourning for their own unfulfilled expectations." Just give them some time to get used to the idea, and try not to get defensive.

For four more tips, check out Interfaith Weddings: 8 Planning Tips

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