There are different wedding templates for different religions, but what if you and your partner don't share the same faith? If you want to throw a celebration that honors each of your backgrounds, these tips will help you integrate both of your belief systems into your event, so you'll both feel represented and heard before, during, and after the ceremony.
Find the Right Officiant
Some couples opt to have two officiants—one to represent each faith. Just be sure that both are okay with sharing the limelight on the big day. If they've worked on blended ceremonies before, even better.
Find a Balance
Make sure you both feel that your traditions are being represented enough. Some couples decide to host two separate weddings—that way, both people feel that their customs have been honored fully. Otherwise, you can choose your favorite rituals and combine them into one affair.
Include Both Families
Keep them informed and let them know how you're planning to include their respective religions. Listen to their input, but in the end, the specifics are up to you and your partner.
Give your invitees some information so they know what to expect of your event. This might mean explaining traditions they're unfamiliar with on your wedding website, or providing a rundown of the proceedings in a program.
Make It Personal
Since you're already straying from convention, add a few personal readings or rituals to the ceremony that symbolize the coming together of two faiths. Instead of keeping things completely separate, use this as an opportunity to find similarities in your beliefs.
Read, research, and ask your partner about their religion. Find out as much as you can about their beliefs and encourage them to do the same. This will give you both a better understanding of your respective backgrounds. Make it a point to share as much as possible with each other, and show a genuine interest in your partner's beliefs.
Get Premarital Counseling
While many couples who share the same spiritual beliefs seek premarital counseling from clergy, it may be a smarter idea for you and your partner to seek counseling from a non-biased counselor. This way, you'll both feel equally supported in the sessions. Many non-denominational premarital counselors exist. Do a bit of research to find one that specializes in intercultural marriages.
Above all, be kind—not only to your partner and family members, but also to yourself. Wedding planning can be hectic and when you throw a touchy subject like religion into the mix things can get a little hairy. So just remind yourself that you're all doing the best you can and the main goal is to celebrate your love and commitment to your partner.
Take Your Time
When planning a wedding there is never a need for rushing things. If you're planning to spend the rest of your life with this person, you've got all the time in the world. Allow yourself enough time to work through anything that comes up and to really plan a ceremony that represents the joining of two cultures, backgrounds, and faiths.