Interfaith Weddings

Upset about ceremony disagreement

I am a former Catholic from an atheist family and FI is Jewish. In his words, he's "not that religious" though his family is conservative. He doesn't participate in the planning of our wedding much, but is very supportive of my ideas. We're preparing to speak to an officiant who describes herself as a Secular Humanist Rabbi.

So, this means we started talking specifics about the ceremony. I casually mentioned my chuppah ideas, and FI was shocked. He said we can't have a chuppah because I'm not Jewish. He said that his family would probably be offended if we incorporated any Jewish traditions.

So I asked him what he thought we should do. He has no ideas other than writing our own vows. Our officiant is supposed to help us write our ceremony, but now I'm feeling very insecure about the whole thing.

Cake! - June 2013
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Re: Upset about ceremony disagreement

  • That's tough.

    Be aware that all you need for your ceremony, legally, is the vows. (at least in California, but theknot has inspired me to research many states' family codes, and I've never seen anything about ceremony wording) Also, I think my he-who-suggests-researches-and-plans rule applies. Since he's suggested the one thing you need, researching and planning other details falls on you, with input from him.

    As for in-laws, you'll have to feel out how many battles you'll be fighting and how many are worth it. Mine are the opposite - insisting on more Jewish traditions than we'd like, despite the fact we're both converts, no longer Jewish. We're doing the ones we can do and preserve the Anglican-ness of our wedding, and leaving out the others, and it's a hill I'm more than ready to die on. We discussed the form of our ceremony even before we got engaged; I'm super-serious about it.

    So, how much do you want a chuppah? Are they going to insist on pork at the reception, even though you plain don't like it? What about Jewish traditions than Gentiles now use, like wedding rings and veils and white dresses?
  • hzbconhzbcon member
    First Comment
    I am a practicing Catholic marrying my FI who is Jewish.  He is not "very religious" either.  We found a Rabbi who was willing to come into the Catholic Church to co-officiate the ceremony per the Priest's request.  Sounds to me like you are speaking with a more traditional/conservative family/congregation.  We are allowed to have a chuppah in the ceremony only if the priest allows it.  See if you can find a more reformed Rabbi who is willing to step out the "norm" of practices.  Sometimes Messianic Rabbi's are a bit more reformed as well. 

    Good luck! :)
  • I'm a little shocked at this one...usually the Jewish partner is delighted at the fact the other partner wants to incorporate. My fiancee is Jewish and I am Christian and we actually just talked to our Rabbi this weekend. There are a number of elements of a Jewish wedding that are more cultural rather than religious so you may try that approach? Our Rabbi told us this regarding interfaith marriages, "It gives everyone a chance to learn something about Judiasm, its an opportunity to grow".
  • RM1982RM1982 member
    10 Comments 5 Love Its
    That's surprising. My Jewish friend married her non-Jewish husband in a full Jewish ceremony, chuppah and all. So much of Judaism is cultural as well as religious (or even more so than religious), that even those who don't believe in God will often still keep many Jewish practices!
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