Weddings

Tips for Planning an Interfaith Wedding

close in picture of bride and groom's hands forming hearts

Choosing an interfaith wedding ceremony makes wedding planning more difficult. A long engagement may make any additional planning easier. This gives you plenty of time to discuss what’s important and find just the right officiant(s).

Learn About Each Other’s Religions

Start by learning more about each other’s religions. Know what’s involved in the traditional wedding ceremony of each religion. This is important even if neither of you plans to convert. You may even want to take a religious education class.

Discuss the Most Important Wedding Traditions for You

Discuss which parts of each person’s religious wedding ceremony are most important. Try to include them in the final interfaith wedding ceremony you plan. Giving your parents input could limit any worries they have.

Try to Find Overlapping or Similar Traditions or Customs

There are many similar elements or customs in various religions. Look for these to make planning a more seamless interfaith wedding that will please everyone involved easier.

Choose the Right Interfaith Wedding Officiant(s)

This is one of the more difficult parts of interfaith weddings. Some religions have rules making it difficult to hold a ceremony combining two different religions. If one person is less religious, hold a ceremony based on their religion. However, if you ask around, you can sometimes find an officiant from each religious tradition willing to work together. Tell potential officiants about your plans to include both religions or use two officiants. Don’t make promises you aren’t sure you’ll be able to keep. If all else fails, some couples hold two separate ceremonies, one for each religion.

Find an Appropriate Ceremony Venue

When combining two religious traditions for an interfaith ceremony, choose a neutral venue instead of a religious setting. However, this isn’t always possible, as certain religions only allow weddings in a church.

Combine Traditions at the Reception as Well

Some wedding traditions take place more at the reception than at the wedding ceremony itself. This can make it easier to include them. Perhaps hold a ceremony for one religion but include wedding traditions of the other at the reception if an interfaith ceremony isn’t possible. When the wedding is intercultural and interfaith, some couples wear the outfit of one culture at the wedding. They change to a wedding outfit from the other culture for the reception.

Include Elements That Make the Wedding Personal to You

If you combine various religious and cultural elements to make everyone happy, it may result in a less personal event for the couple. Fix that by choosing readings, music, and other elements with personal meaning to you.

Don’t Forget to Keep Guests Informed

It’s possible that your ceremony will contain elements that some guests may not be familiar with. Inform guests about the different traditions ahead of time so they’ll know what to expect. At the very least, explain the different traditions being observed in the wedding program or on your wedding website.