- 10 years ago
- Wedding: June 2010
Any brides out there planning a Jewish-Catholic wedding? I’m curious about how this is working out for you.
This is my story.
I grew up Catholic and though I am not practicing, I want to include rituals familiar to my family for tradition’s sake. My family members are quite religious. They know I am not, and have been okay with that for the past 10 years. My FH comes from a secular Jewish family who celebrate religious holidays at home but are not affiliated with any temple or other religious organization.
When we announced the wedding, my parents asked about church. I told them that I wanted a ceremony that reflected both of us and our families. His parents also asked about the ceremony. I mentioned that church or a chapel was a possibility, and this did not go over well at all! His grandparents said that they would not come to the church ceremony. His mother pleaded with me to find a secular venue.
(side note: It really saddens me when brides marrying into a Jewish family complain about how inflexible the Jewish side is. I feel understanding a bit about Jewish history helps with understanding why people react the way they do when church comes up.)
They were also a little miffed that my mother went and booked the venue for a Saturday as it sure makes finding a rabbi impossible. We have plenty of time to change the date, but Saturday is logistically important to me. If not a Saturday, then a Sunday on a long weekend suits me fine. I want people to be able to have fun at the reception and not worry about work the next day.
I told my mother about all this, and she seems to think that NOT including a church ceremony will 1. offend my parents and grandparents and 2. make it nearly impossible to have the wedding convalidated by the Archbishop as I grew up in an extremely conservative Archdiocese.
She thinks the only acceptable solution is to have two ceremonies. This doesn’t sit too well with me. I don’t like to think of my wedding as two ceremonies in two places with different crowds at each. I know that multi-day multi-ceremony weddings are the norm in some cultures, but at least that also comes with etiquette and expectations. I don’t want to find out which of my relatives will only come to the Catholic one and not the Jewish one. I don’t want to have a ceremony that doesn’t include his parents and grandparents. It’s a celebration of unity, after all.
I feel like a secular ceremony on neutral turf incorporating the more universal and inclusive readings and rituals from both faiths (and possibly two receptive officiants) is the way to go. I feel every bridal resource on the internet is backing me up on this one.
The only thing that is eating away at me is my mother suggesting the secular ceremony is not a compromise, because it suits his secular family more than it suits our religious family. I don’t think she is right, but I don’t think she is wrong, either.