Two Religions, One Wedding Ceremony

SCENARIO

We received this as a question from a young bride-to-be. She and her fiancé are from two different religious backgrounds. Neither of their families want a blended religious ceremony, yet this young couple is paying for their own wedding and cannot afford two ceremonies. They would like to make this a happy occasion for both their families and wonder how they can do it.

What would you do in this situation? We’d love to hear your comments.

CONSIDER THIS

JILL:
Perhaps the parents are worried that a blended ceremony will disrespect the meaning and traditions of their faiths. Possibly by outlining for them how the two religions would be represented, this could change their minds. In today’s world interfaith ceremonies are done in a very respectful and tasteful manner. Do some research and speak to planner who specializes in these types of marriages. With the details on paper the bride, groom and both sets of parents should come together to discuss this style of ceremony.

If that doesn’t work look at having a civil, non-denominational or spiritual marriage. No one can afford two ceremonies and one of those choices may be the only way to keep both families happy. Write your own vows. Keep everything simple but meaningful. Taking religion out of a service no longer means that the event has to be cold or impersonal. Another option is a destination wedding and not necessarily to another country. It could be held in another state or province or a pretty little town that is only a few hours away. Afterwards the reception could be a blend of both family’s traditions and backgrounds.

It is important to remember that the very essence of a marriage is the joining of two people who love one another. If however the couple is feeling somewhat incomplete they can meet with religious person who has guided them each through the years and ask for their blessing on the union.

VICKI:
My first thought is what does the couple wish to do? I certainly understand that family pressure can be a huge issue and that we all wish to please the ones we love. However there comes a time where, no matter how challenging, everyone needs to put their family’s values behind them and live by their own value system.

If the couple wish to make the situation work all around then…in order to make this economical the only suggestion I have is to have the ceremony take place in a hall, etc. and literally have one religious ceremony after the other; without an official pronouncing this couple married until after the second ceremony.

Interfaith And Interracial Dating

QUESTION

I am a widow who lives in a very white, middle class neighborhood. I have met a man who is a different race and faith. I do want to date him but I am worried about what my neighbors will think. Should I just tell him that it is not a good idea?

ANSWER

VICKI:
The fact that you want to date this man tells me that you see him as a man who is worth spending time with and getting to know better. Is it really worth it to you to say no to him because of what others may think? More importantly will you let others decide upon what should or shouldn’t make you happy? Especially if their ideas are bigoted and small-minded.

Your happiness is ultimately based on yourself. What a gift you would be giving to your neighbors and yourself showing them the confident and open-minded woman that you truly are. If dating this man feels right for you then please go for it. Be true to yourself.

JILL:
I can add nothing to Vicki’s advice regarding your situation with this gentleman; what she said is sound and authentic. What I would like you to consider is actually around your lifestyle. I am going to assume that you moved into the neighborhood with your husband and probably had a very enjoyable life there together. When you become a widow or single again sometimes you need to evaluate your lifestyle and see if it is still the right one for you at the present time.

With this assessment you may, for instance, find that a condo in a new neighborhood is a better reflection of your new life.