Interfaith Weddings

Post-Conversion, Honoring Family in Ceremony

Hi Knotties! I am struggling with some issues with customs in my ceremony and would love some input.
I grew up Protestant, but--with my family's full support--I chose to convert to Judaism. Next year I am marrying a Conservative Jewish man (who has some Orthodox Jews in his family as well). Of course we plan on having Jewish tradition in our ceremony, but I am struggling with the fact that our family's customs and traditions are very different and therefore this is still sort of an interfaith wedding. Of course it's not just about our union, but our families coming together as well.
My family has begun expressing (albeit delicately and reluctantly and usually only after a drink) the desire to see something in the ceremony that represents our family. I don't resent this at all; I care deeply about embracing a Jewish ceremony, but also honoring the culture, customs and traditions that I grew up with and my friends and family embrace/identify with. My family and friends are already dealing with a great deal of Hebrew prayers, a glatt kosher reception, and a lot of other very foreign things, and I am still dealing with proving myself committed to Judaism for the more reluctant members of my fiance's family.
How can I incorporate some familiar Christian--or, more likely, secular--ceremony traditions without alienating my new family, my rabbi, and my fiance? I am not even sure how I should approach them about the issue. Has anyone else dealt with this?
Thanks gals!

Re: Post-Conversion, Honoring Family in Ceremony

  • While I am not converting (my fiancé is reform) we are working together to create a ceremony that honors his religion and mine (Presbyterian). While much of our ceremony will be Jewish, after the reading of our ketubah we do plan on saying traditional vows. Would that be something you could speak with your rabbi about? We're also considering having family read the seven blessings. Perhaps his family could read them in Hebrew and your family read the English translation? While it's still a Jewish tradition it's still a nice way to incorporate everyone's family. You could also consider incorporating a reading, even if it's something secular that you and your fiancé find meaningful. Best of luck with your wedding plans!
  • @Simky906 I love this idea. Thank you. Reading the seven blessings, or a passage we select from the Torah, or even a different piece of literature that is meaningful to both families would be a great way to bring us all together in one ceremony. I would really enjoy his family reading in Hebrew and my family reading in English so that our guests can understand and so that everyone is involved. It feels like an appropriate yin-yang sort of gesture, representing our relationship and where we each come from.
    I actually spoke to my Rabbi about this today. He said, "You can celebrate National Pizza-Maker's Day by enjoying a pizza; you don't have to make it yourself." He's a really awesome funny guy. But I think what he was saying is that I don't have to be Presbyterian to honor and celebrate my parents' traditions. But by inviting them to translate a Jewish passage or blessing (or, as you said, even a more secular reading that is also delivered in Hebrew), I am inviting them to participate in our Jewish ceremony in a meaningful and personal way. This seems like the perfect compromise, assuming both of our families are on board and feel the same way. Thanks again!
  • You're welcome; I'm glad I was helpful!
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards