So you’re engaged, NOW what!!?!!
A couple came to me last week clueless about what to do about their ceremony. She had grown up in a rich church tradition. He had not. They no idea where to begin when thinking about their ceremony.
Are you mystified about how to have a non-denominational, interfaith or multicultural wedding ceremony that will honor your distinct and different faiths or religious perspectives? Have no fear! You can have a ceremony that will respect and delight you both.
Jessica and Michael fell in love over e-mail correspondences at work. When they decided to get married, they didn’t know what to do. She was Catholic. He was Jewish. They didn’t want to offend anyone from their families or communities. Plus, she had visions of a ceremony that she’d had since she was young, and he was accustomed to traditions from his background. When they began to talk about their ceremony, they were concerned that someone would be offended, or, even worse, that their ceremony wouldn’t be as touching and meaningful for each other as they’d hope it would be.
Once we got beyond their fears, we began to talk about what they would want to bring from each of their traditions to their ceremony. For Jessica it was the ‘Unity Candle’. For Michael it was the ‘Breaking of the Glass’. Including one ritual from each of their traditions made Jessica & Michael feel very comfortable with their ceremony. It was that easy.
Once we unraveled the problem and sufficiently respected their traditions that’s when the fun began! We started by talking about what Jess and Mike had in common. They both had a deep regard for their parents, and they both loved sports! In fact, Jessica was from Pittsburgh, a staunch Steeler’s fan, and Mike was from Cleveland, growing up devoted to the Browns. Their was a delightful rivalry between them. When I proposed an option to honor the families by presenting their mothers with flowers, their eyes lit up!
Picture this…on their wedding day, after Mike and Jessica processed up the aisle in their beautiful garb, Unity candles ablaze having been lit by their mothers. Jessica and Mike walked to an alter table where there were elegant bouquets of flowers and gift boxes adorned with ribbons. They proceeded to walk over to Mike’s mother and father, and handed Tracey, Mike’s mother, the bouquet of flowers, while handing Joel, Mike’s father the gift box. They did the same thing with Jessica’s mother and father, handing the flowers to Pat and the gift box to Al.
The laughter started between the parents, and then, like a wave, filled the entire room when Mike’s dad, an ardent Browns’ fan, opened the box to see a Pittsburgh Steeler’s jersey, and Jen’s dad, the dedicated Steeler’s fan, received a Browns’ jersey. It was a hilarious unifying experience that had us all in stitches. Amidst the laughter, the deeper meaning was beautifully implied. The ceremony was concluded by the breaking of the glass and the united words the crowd cheering, “Mazel Tov!”, which means, “Congratulations!”, “Best of Luck!!”
Your ceremony can embrace who you are and be very personal for you both. It can make you laugh with delight, and bring you to tears of joy.
The first step is for you and your fiance to get clear about what you want to bring from each of your traditions, backgrounds or philosophies. The next step is to choose to include elements that personify the two of you. With your distinct personalities brought into your ceremony, your wedding will be a day you will cherish for a lifetime.