Jewish Weddings

Interfaith wedding ceremony

My fiance is Jewish, and even though I am not yet converted, and will not be for the wedding, I still would like to have as many Jewish wedding traditions as possible for the wedding.  As I am not yet converted, the Jewish faith is what I follow and practice.  He is from Israel and will have several family attending the wedding as well.   Since we cannot be married by his rabbi, does any one have suggestions for who can marry us?  Also,  any suggestions for ceremony ideas for location and traditions?  Thank you all in advance for your suggestions!

Re: Interfaith wedding ceremony

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    You want a Jewish ceremony in Ohio?

    Here's the Ohio statute on who may officiate:

    3101.08 Who may solemnize marriages.

    An ordained or licensed minister of any religious society or congregation within this state who is licensed to solemnize marriages, a judge of a county court in accordance with section 1907.18 of the Revised Code, a judge of a municipal court in accordance with section 1901.14 of the Revised Code, a probate judge in accordance with section 2101.27 of the Revised Code, the mayor of a municipal corporation in any county in which such municipal corporation wholly or partly lies, the superintendent of the state school for the deaf, or any religious society in conformity with the rules of its church, may join together as husband and wife any persons who are not prohibited by law from being joined in marriage.

    Effective Date: 04-11-1991

    Later sections show every minister of religion must obtain a license from Ohio. That's going to be any reputable rabbi. Start calling synagogues and explaining your situation and go from there.

    There's a bunch of debate on theknot on the "traditional" location for Jewish weddings (besides under a chuppah). Some say outside. Some say in a synagogue. Some say there's no tradition. Your rabbi may have an opinion.

    As for traditions, theknot likes the book, "The New Jewish Wedding." My future husband and I found it worth checking out of a library and skimming, and it answered one specific question, but nothing we could really use to plan. You're going to be better off finding a rabbi and following his guidance.

    I also like the wedding website on
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    2dBride2dBride member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited July 2012
    Interfaith Family has a service to provide rabbis and cantors to officiate interfaith marriages that you may want to look at.  Or you could check with your local Reform or Reconstructionist synagogue; at least some of their rabbis and cantors will officiate at interfaith ceremonies.  Or you could look at nonreligious officiants, who may still be willing to incorporate Jewish traditions into the ceremony.

    As for location, some Reform or Reconstructionist synagogues will allow interfaith ceremonies to be held there.  However, it is actually more traditional to have an outdoor ceremony, with nothing but the chuppah between you and the stars.  And if you prefer some other location, that's fine, too.  Many couples these days simply have the ceremony at the reception location, which tends both to save money and to be a convenience for guests.

    Regarding traditions, here is a (relatively Orthodox) guide to Jewish wedding traditions.  Obviously, your ceremony won't be Orthodox.  But the guide may be helpful in giving you some idea of what traditions are out there, so that you can select those that are meaningful to incorporate into your ceremony.
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    edited July 2012
    I highly recommend the book "The New Jewish Wedding" by Anita Diamant.  It is really informative about traditions and rituals, and it has a chapter about interfaith weddings.  I read it before we met with our officiant, and it was tremendously helpful.  It was also useful for thinking through the logistics of the ceremony.

    Like PP said, check with Reform, Reconstructionist, and unaffiliated rabbis and cantors in your area.  Can your FI's rabbi give you any suggestions for a colleague that would perform the ceremony?  Are you studying for your conversion with a different rabbi?  S/he would be another resource to ask.  

    And you can get married wherever you want.  I don't think I've ever been to a Jewish wedding in a synagogue, although we may have one coming up this fall.  
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