What if you and your partner come from impossibly different cultural and religious backgrounds? Today more and more people are meeting from different parts of the world, and choosing to marry across racial, religious and cultural divides that just ten years ago would have been unthinkable.
You have two choices in the matter, depending on how religious the two of you are:
One: you involve both religions / cultures and have two wedding officiants, or even two weddings (these seem to be popular, particularly amongst Indian cross cultural couples in the UK).
Two: you can make the wedding ceremony as spiritually neutral as possible so that everyone feels involved and no-one feels slighted or affronted.
Here is a basic outline of each that you can follow.
Ceremony involving two different faiths:
- Learn from those who have done it before – chat to or communicate with friends or acquaintances who have done something similar; they will have plenty of advice for you
- Involve both families if you can, learn as much as you can about one another’s religious or faith traditions
- Look for a neutral venue and get around the ‘in which church shall we hold the ceremony?’ question
- Involve the services of two officiants (one from either faith) who are willing to share the wedding ceremony
- Opt for a non-religious ceremony – this depends on how important the religious aspects of either ceremony are to you, but giving religiosity a wide berth by holding a civil wedding outdoors, for instance – where the bride and groom write their own vows – might eleviate any possible tension
Spiritually neutral ceremony:
- Decide on whether or not you want to include any religious elements or not
- By losing any formal doctrine to the ceremony, you are both now able to be spontaneous and come up with some heartfelt passages of love
- Include music, readings and poetry (or the ceremony can end up feeling rather impersonal and short)
- Make sure that you include a section where you and your partner outline your intentions for the marriage, declare your love for one another and express your vows, commitments and promises to one another
- Involve family and friends in the ceremony, allow them the chance to express their love to you, and to one another
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Happy Wedding Planning!