Interfaith and Cross-Cultural Weddings


When two people fall in love, they don’t usually think about the differences in their religions, they focus instead on what they share and what they have in common: values, worldviews, beliefs. However, sometimes, some problems could arise. For instance, there could be some conflicting ideas between the two religions, the two religious backgrounds could have formed irreconcilable differences, or even disagreements about friends, family, or on how to raise children could arise. However, problems exist for every couple, and it was discovered that, although interfaith couples have to face unique challenges, there are also some advantages. There are studies sustaining that couples with different religions are better at communicating in an effective way and coming to an agreement about important issues.

Photo Credits: Allen Tsai

When it comes to the wedding, also some doubts about how to celebrate it could arise, and the couple will have to make some decisions. It can be a painful topic of discussion with the parents and family. The easiest option for some couples is to plan a civil marriage in which differences in religions are not an issue. Otherwise, they can try to incorporate both religious elements in the celebrations. These elements depend from religion to religion and sometimes a conciliation is not possible. For example, if the groom is Jewish and wants to celebrate a Jewish wedding, he will face many obstacles. First, not every rabbi officiates at interfaith ceremonies. The only solution consists in the conversion of the non-Jewish spouse, although it is a very long process.

Photo Credits: Casto Photo and Cinema

Besides the celebration, an interfaith couple also has to face many choices regarding the style of the ceremony and of the wedding reception. Some decide to wear their typical clothes, others incorporate ways of including both religious traditions in the ceremony, like language or specific acts. Some couples also include music and rituals from each culture that will help both parts of the family to feel included, respected, and to have fun.

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