Interfaith Weddings

Greek Orthodox/Jewish Wedding

Hi everyone,

I'm Jewish, and I'm marrying a Greek Orthodox guy.  We've discussed various ways of including both of our faiths, and have found a few rabbis that are willing to officiate or co-officiate our wedding.  At first, we were talking about just trying to incorporate some Greek elements into the wedding without having an actual priest, but finding out that the priest runs the entire ceremony, we were unsure of what we could do.  We've also been told Orthodox priests are usually unwilling to co-officiate anyway (though we haven't decided officially whether to have one even if we could find one willing).

We're going to talk more w/ the rabbis we have found, but were interested in hearing if anyone else had experience and what they decided to do.

Re: Greek Orthodox/Jewish Wedding

  • edited December 2011
    Even though I can't answer your question about wedding officiants, I can offer you Greek and Jewish music along with Big Band / Ballroom and 50s Acoustic Rock music. Our band, Jutta & the Hi-Dukes (tm), brings together a unique repertoire mix because the same musicians perform in the Jewish community as the Ensemble M'chaiya (tm), in the Greek community as Terran's Greek Band (tm), and for the General Public as Razzemetazz (tm). A really fun part of what we do is lead dances in both of those ethnic traditions so that everyone can participate. If you would like to know more, please call me at 847 864 1022 or e-mail me at modalmusic at Do a search on any of those band names if you would like to know more about the specific acts or listen to sample music. And even though we are based in Chicagoland, we do travel all the time (usually as a trio), as far as east as Denmark, as far west as California, as far north as Canada, as far south as  West Virginia.
    So, I look forward to hearing from you folks! - Terran
  • edited December 2011
    If you haven't settled on an officiant, I'd be more than happy to chat.
    [email protected]
  • edited December 2011
    thats so funny, i had no idea there would be more than two of us out there trying to find the same thing! I am greek orthodox and my fiancee is russian jewish.  It's very refreshing to hear that you two are going through some of the same dilemmas.  The way we are going to do our wedding ceremony is have the traditional chuppa/alter and do a candle lighting and the breaking of the glass just to statisfy both sides.  We are also looking into rabbis as well and also interfaith officiants because like you said Greek Orthodox priests are not that willing to do interfaith marriages.  Let me know how everything is working out with you
  • edited December 2011
    hello kathy!

    yes, always nice to know you are not alone!!  we're still in the really early stages of planning things so we don't know exactly what's going to go into the ceremony... we have some ideas of some different traditions we might like.  we are definitely having a rabbi at ours, we've talked to several who were all fantastic (humanistic or reform) and willing to officiate alone or with someone else.  we haven't really settled the issue because having a priest is really important to his mom, but when it comes down to it, the two of us will make the decision and well, hope everyone will be happy with it.  i'm confident everyone will be happy when we get married since both of our families get along well. :)

    let me know how things are going with you as well!
  • edited December 2011

    Oh of course, you and your fiance make the decisions, but I know exactly what you are going through with trying to please everyone.  Most likely me and my fiance will get a rabbi only because a priest doesnt want to perform the marriage, theyre so difficult lol. We went to see this rabbi over the weekend but he was horrible, he offended my fiance a numorous amount of times and was talking with his mouth full.  A complete weirdo.  But we will def as well keep both traditions somehow because I value both and respect both.  I will def let you know how everything is going.  Our wedding is so far away its next august 21st, how about ur wedding?

  • edited December 2011
    I'm marrying a Greek Orthodox man and it'll be very hard for you to find a priest who will marry you. They will only marry baptized Christians. Good luck with your Rabbi search!
  • edited December 2011
    kathy - exactly!  but yeah we decided to go with a rabbi as opposed to a non-religious officiant.  that is really too bad about the rabbi!  you'll find someone though.  as i said all three we talked to were great and they are local to where we are having the wedding (chicago).  my fiance and i live in boston though and were in chicago over the weekend looking at venues.  i think we're going to go with july 17 '11, so we have a ways to go too.

    and abby - yeah, that is pretty much what we've found.  we were originally only going to have a rabbi anyway, my fiance is OK with that, and to be honest my mom wasn't crazy about having a priest there (though i think she got over it).  so we opened the idea for his mom to look but i doubt it will happen.  and my mom was like, it'll probably be easier having only one person trying to guide you lol!
  • edited December 2011
    Hi ladies,

    I'm having the same problem here! I'm Serbian Orthodox and my FI is Russian Jewish (and also Italian Catholic). I really want to get married in the Orthodox Church, but the priests are pretty unwilling to work with any other religion, let alone co-officiate. FI would like to have Jewish traditions as well, so we will most likely have to do those at the reception. Our wedding is 11-5-11, but we are going to meet with the priest to see what our options are.  What a pain! I really dont want to get married anywhere but the church I've gone to for 25 years.
  • edited December 2011
    glad to see more of us out there!

    we are having a meeting with our rabbi in a couple weeks, where we will probably get a better idea of what exactly we'll be doing.  our rabbi is actually russian, so he is very familiar with orthodox christian traditions.  i think we are both pretty happy with how it's going, it was really important to me to have a rabbi there, and he just wanted to have the greek culture represented.  i understand wanting to get married in your church - i originally wanted to do the same thing and get married in the synagogue i grew up going to, but they refused, and none of the rabbis would even perform the ceremony even in a neutral location.  so we just decided to have the ceremony and reception together, as it is much easier to "do what you want" in the ceremony if you don't have it in a religious place.  my cousin also married a non-jew (and in a church) and the only jewish thing in the ceremony really was the breaking of the glass.  i think it was a little strange for us on his side of the family at first (though not to say the wedding didn't turn out great and everything!), which also ultimately made me realize getting married in a synagogue would maybe have made his family feel uncomfortable too.

    but i'll report back to you guys in a couple weeks if we come up with some good ideas. :)
  • edited December 2011
    I am catholic and my Finace is Greek Orthodox. We are having the service outside. Have you guys found anyone who has Greek experience or can perform the ceremony? It does not have to be a Greek priest. All we need is a Greek officiant that coould implement the greek traditions for the ceremony.
  • edited December 2011

    My significant other and I are talking seriously about marriage.  It is difficult because I am Jewish and he was raised in a traditional catholic home (I'm american and he is from Mexico).  He is set on getting married in a church or synagague (as long as it is "in front of god" and not like at a country club or outdoor facility.

    I worry where and who we will be able to have marry us, for we want to incorporate both cultural traditions.  It is challenging.

  • edited December 2011
    I'm marrying a Greek Orthodox man and I was brought up with a jewish father and christian mother. We are getting married by a friend (not in a church etc) and want to incorporate a couple of each traditions. Is it offensive to take traditions from religious ceremonies such as stefana, crossing the rings and walking circles around with the stefana on?
  • I am also Catholic and my fiance is Greek Orthodox and we are also looking to have the ceremony outside. We will be going a Greek wedding. Any info you get would be great!

  • Hi- I am greek orthodox and my fiance is jewish. he doesn't care to have a rabbi involved, or any jewish ceremony, but i would like some of the greek orthodox ceremony. seems like others are in similar situations - any advice on finding a reformed GO preist that can help?
  • Hi all,

    I live in Philadelphia and am Christian Orthodox. My fiance is not a religious person and was never baptized, so, of course, we cannot get married in my Orthodox church b/c the priest will not marry us!
    We are having our ceremony at our reception venue and converting the room...
    Looking for a wedding officiant who can perform a non denominational ceremony, but who can incorporate the Orthodox traditions (crowns, walking around the alter 3 x's, etc.). Does anyone in the tri state area (NY, NJ, PA) have any recommendations on officiants who could do this???


  • Hello, What did anyone end up doing about this? I am Greek Orthodox and my fiance was raised in a non-denominational church. The Greeks are being so stubborn that I think we are going to get married outside of the church. (To my family's dismay). I wish I could incorporate some of the Greek traditions and am looking for someone to officiate that in Chicago. Any tips would be appreciated!
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards