Organizing a wedding is seldom easy. Even for those who have walked down the aisle more than once, planning a wedding is a time-consuming experience.

As if the more minute details weren’t enough, for couples of different faiths the ceremony must even be planned as well. Whereas couples of the same faith won’t have to do too much planning with respect to the wedding ceremony itself, interfaith couples often must spend significant time reconciling each faith so that both are represented in a respectful way. While it can be challenging to do, the following tips should help interfaith couples plan the wedding of their dreams.

• Examine your beliefs: Think about the things that mean the most to you, and about those areas where you’re open to compromise. If particular aspects of your faith’s standard wedding ceremony are especially important or meaningful to you, be sure to have those included in the ceremony.

• Discuss the ceremony with both partners’ respective families: While some couples might want to steer clear of involving their families in the decision-making process of their wedding, inviting close family members to share their opinions could be beneficial. Be prepared for such discussions to get emotional, particularly if parents or grandparents take part. The contributions of family members could help you gain a better perspective of both your faith and that of your partner. Be sure, however, to politely make it known that while you value the opinions of family members, ultimately all the decisions rest with you and your partner.

• Respect each other as well: Involving both families and respecting those families can be an important step in planning an interfaith marriage. But it’s especially important for each partner to respect the other’s faith and beliefs as well. Even if neither of you are spiritual or regularly attend services, that doesn’t mean your faiths aren’t important to you. Recognize that and be respectful of each other.

• Openly communicate each step of the way: While certain details of the wedding might not require lots of communication, planning an interfaith ceremony does not fall under that umbrella. Make sure both partners are involved every step of the way, and openly discuss each aspect of the decision making process.

• Determine who will officiate the wedding: Some interfaith couples opt for two clergy members, one from each person’s faith, to perform the ceremony. Others look for interfaith officiants who have performed interfaith weddings in the past. If one partner was especially attached to their childhood clergy member, invite them to perform or at least attend the ceremony.

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