Non-Denominational or Mixed Religion Weddings
Couples of mixed religions or who come from families that do not have a strong religious background may choose to have either a non-denominational wedding or a wedding that blends two separate religions. This can be tricky however because many religions may not honor or recognize a wedding unless it is performed according to their own unique guidelines. For this reason it is very important to check with potential officiants and church leaders to ensure that your wedding plans will result in a union that is recognized by both churches. This is significant because you would not want to invest time and money on a marriage that will wind up not being recognized by the church and possibly not even recognized by the government. Whether a couple decides to have a non-denominational wedding, incorporate aspects of both religion into a ceremony that will not be recognized by either faith or participate in two separate religious ceremonies, it is important to remember that their love for each other and their love of their faith are equally important.
If both the bride and the groom have very strong faith backgrounds and wish to have their wedding recognized by their respective churches, they may have to take a few extra steps to ensure that their union is recognized by their churches. Sometimes the only way to do this is to have a wedding ceremony in both churches. This may seem like an unnecessary step but one of the defining criteria of having your marriage recognized by your faith, for many religions, is to have your wedding ceremony in the church. It is simply not possible to do this unless the couple takes the extra steps of having two wedding ceremonies to ensure that they will be both be accepted as a married couple into their faiths.
Another alternative to participating in two separate ceremonies in order to have the union recognized by both churches is to have a non-denominational wedding that is only recognized by the government. Couples may choose this option if they do not have the time or money that would be required to have two separate wedding ceremonies. A couple may choose a compromise that results in neither church recognizing the union. The theory behind this type of choice is that the couple decides that their love for each other is strong enough to survive and that they do not need to have the approval of their churches in order to have a successful and lasting marriage.
Still another alternative is to have a non-denominational wedding ceremony at a location in a natural setting. At this type of ceremony the couple has no restrictions and can choose to incorporate either religion into the ceremony in any way that they see fit. They may do this by using traditional prayers and religious songs during the ceremony. While this type of ceremony will not be recognized by the church is does offer the couple the opportunity to incorporate some of the religious traditions of both of their faiths into a beautiful ceremony that successfully blends two religions.
A final alternative is to incorporate one faith fully into the wedding ceremony and incorporate the other faith fully into the wedding reception. This option results in the marriage being recognized by one of the religions but does not allow the other family to feel neglected because their faith is well represented in the traditional activities of the wedding reception. This option is only feasible if the member of the couple who will not have their church recognize the union, is completely accepting and understand of this fact. This is important because the resentment and jealousy that could result from this could be very detrimental to the couple.
Inter-faith couples are on the rise. Years ago it was unheard of to marry someone outside of your faith but this is no longer true and many couples today are inter-faith couples. It is difficult but not impossible to integrate the two faiths in a way that is satisfactory to all of those involved. While the faiths can be blended to create a beautiful wedding, the problem is that many churches will not accept this blended wedding as a union. Sometimes the couple decides that their happiness together is more important than having the church recognize the union so they opt for a non-denominational wedding that is completely devoid of any religious traditions.