(Closed) Jewish Catholic Wedding Ceremony or two ceremonies??

posted 5 years ago in Interfaith
Post # 3
2497 posts
Buzzing bee

@jbsman88:  I think it’s unfair that she is demanding to be married in a Catholic Church given that (1) she is not particularly religious and (2) you are of a different faith. I think you both should compromise by getting married at a non-religious location and incorporate elements of each religion into the ceremony. Personally, it would be a dealbreaker if my partner tried to push his faith on me.

Post # 4
180 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

It’s a tough one. I’m Catholic and my fiance is Jewish so in some regard I understand what situation you are in. Mr tiptoes has had his bar mitzvah, went to Israel, observes Yom Kippur, passover and hannukah but wouldn’t consider himself religious. Eats pork, doesn’t observe sabbath and quite clearly has no problem marrying me. I went to church every week, am confirmed and observe christmas and easter by going to church yet am not religious either. Both of us consider it more of a cultural thing as opposed to a religious identity.


When we talked about marriage – though both of us knew we wouldn’t end up in a church /synagogue) it was hard initially to let go of those feelings and dreams we had unconsciously had. MrT had imagined a synagogue/rabbi would marry him and I had imagined a church wedding. My parents in particular struggled with the idea of us not involving a priest (but we asked him and he wouldn’t even say a blessing) and his family have struggled with us deciding to get married on a saturday – though it was more of a ‘what will people say’ type reaction.


i guess what im trying to say is that i believe it is wrong to insist on something that will clearly make one party unhappy (getting married in church) especially when this isn’t something that is part of a strong religious identity being practised. However, I too iimagined my ‘big day’ in our church and had thought about it a great deal as a younger girl. we have ended up choosing to get married in a field and have asked a friend to conduct the ceremony. we are incorporating both religions into the ceremony by having a chuppah but also saying vows and having prayers from both faiths. Oh an an interfaith ketubah. Our wedding won’t be legally recognised here in the uk as it will be outside and is interfaith so we are both having to find a middle ground and compromise and having a registrar ‘marry us’ first in the morning. More of a paperwork thing and so we don’t have 2 anniversaries.


there will be a middle ground. Try to get underneath where she is coming from but don’t do something you’re uncomfortable with – it doesn’t bode will for children if they are your future and and other future decisions you may make!


Post # 5
1478 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC

I dont think you should go either of the relligious routes and keep looking for some middle ground. Its the only fair thing. Dont let her push the church on you, you will resent her for it

Post # 6
9954 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

TO @jbsman88: … first and foremost, I see that you are NEW to WBee… so a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”

As to your situation…

Yikes !!  It sure is a complicated / sticky one.

I don’t know much about the Jewish Religion… but I do know that the Catholic one has TONS of rules when it comes to its sacraments (and Marriage is one of those sacraments)

I’m guessing that if your Fiance is a non-practicing “small c” Catholic, she isn’t familiar with all the ins and outs of her own religion in this regard.

I think she’s in for a surprise, shock as to exactly what she’ll be allowed to do and not do… and you no doubt will find the “alternatives / or lack of them” far too resticting for your history with the Jewish faith.

My best advice is to do something truly alternative…

Be it an outside free-flowing Wedding like Misstiptoes:  is doing…

OR look to a Church that will welcome you both for this occasion and do a “blended” ceremony that is all that you want

I’m not that familiar with the 100s of denominations that exist in the USA… BUT here in Canada the United Church of Canada (a blending of what was once Methodist & Presbyterian Churches) is probably the most welcoming Christian denomination… and they would be certainly open to performing such a ceremony (they were the first Church here to marry Divorce Catholics… and Gays, etc)

I certainly hope you both find a workable solution… because even if religion is a personal element of each your lives, the truth it that when it comes to a Wedding… and a blending of families it does tend to be a subject that can bring up many feelings, and pain (even anger) for some folks.

Lets hope that doesn’t happen for you guys.

(( HUGS ))

Hope this helps,


Post # 7
1 posts

You need to find out if she is marry you or a fantasy. I am catholic my dh jewish we did get the church blessing of the marriage we had my priest and his rabbi as guests but used a joe shmoe for the service. We had both the rabbi and priest look over the ceremony stuff and everyone was happy. Well except my mil but oof thats a totally different topic. Unfortunatly this is only the first religious stumbling block hash this out quick cause holidays and kids are close to following. 

Post # 8
1465 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@jbsman88:  I totally agree with what everyone above is saying. Please read it! 

I am Jewish. My cousin recently got married in a Unitarian Universalist church. The bride and groom were more agnostic, so they made their choice. It was absolutely beautiful, an incredible church. There was also Hebrew in the stained glass windows so I felt at home. It felt like a welcoming, interfaith sort of place. This may be a bizarre suggestion for you two, but could a neutral yet religious ground. 

There’s a UU church in Philly!


May seem like a crazy idea, but just think about it, check the place out, I think they’d be able to accomodate both traditions and please both of you. Or you could even bring in your own officiant too. 

Also it may be helpful to contact the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia: http://www.interfaithcenterpa.org/ THey may have suggestions on places to get married! Mazel tov!

Post # 9
559 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@jbsman88:  This one calls for some mediation, I think.  Interfaith marriages are really, really difficult, and this is one of the trickier aspects of them.  I don’t think you should go ahead and do it in her parish church — you won’t be comfortable, your family won’t be comfortable, and you will resent it.  I would call a counsellor or a trusted friend to hear out both sides and help you both come to a fair decision where no-one feels pushed into a corner or denied a meaningful wedding experience.


There are a lot of rules in the Catholic Church regarding weddings.  Number one is that Catholics must be married in a Catholic Church for the wedding to be religiously valid, which might be why she’s pushing for that venue.  She needs to be in touch with her parish priest in order to figure out the details of how getting your marriage recognised will work, and get some of the logistics down before you make a decision.


Personally, I’m a more-or-less observant Jew (no pork/shellfish, observe holidays, go to shul/observe Shabbat with some regularity), and my Fiance is a recovering Evangelical Christian.  The one thing that was never on the table for us was a church wedding.  A neutral venue is far more fair to both parties involved, and I find Christian churches fairly uncomfortable spaces for me as a Jew.  I’m lucky, my Fiance is considering converting.  But talking about how our religious choices would work together and how we could support each other spiritually has been a big part of our relationship from jump.  I’d recommend those conversations.  Start talking about what getting married means for you spiritually, and what you hope to get out of it.  Talk about observance of holidays and your Jewish identity.  Don’t hide these things now.  They’re part of who you are, and if you hold back, she might not understand your feelings.  In a similar vein, you need to understand why a Catholic wedding is so important to her and how that identity works for her.  The more you talk about these things, the easier it will be to find a compromise.  And if you can’t get that ball rolling, pre-marital counselling again is my suggestion.  There aer a lot of minefields here in interfaith relationships.  Sometimes, you need someone to help lead your both through in one piece.


Good luck!

Post # 10
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

@jbsman88:  The Catholic Church does not allow for two ceremonies.  Some people fix the situation by having a convalidation as their second ceremony, but technically these are or people who have fallen away from the faith and are trying to return.

The issue is that Canon Law treats being Catholic as if it were being a citizen of a country.  Legally, we are prohibited from exchanging valid matrimonial consent outside of the Church’s laws.  We need permission to marry non-Catholics and dispensations to marry non-Christians.  The Catholic has to agree to remove any obsticles from raising the children Catholic and the non-Catholic party has to be made aware of this agreement.

Interfaith marriages, though, can be done, but its done on the Church’s terms.  If she doesn’t get married according to the laws, with the permissions she needs, technically speaking, other Catholics are then forbidden from attending her wedding.  We can get permission to attend if we explain not attending will cause rifts in our family.  Also there are plenty of Catholics who ignore this rule and most Catholics only have a vague understanding of the rule.  In the meantime, she would be somewhat bared from the sacraments.  If she decided to take up her faith again, she’d still need to resolve the situation through a convalidation.


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