by Chris Morton
Between 40 to 50 percent of all married couples have mixed faith marriages. What do you do when you are going to marry someone that comes from a different religious background? How are you going to plan your wedding around the traditions inherent in both religions? If you have made it past the struggle of putting away your religious differences to get married, the next step is getting over the obstacles in planning your interfaith or interchurch wedding.
While you may be able to forge your relationship around the differences of religion, planning your wedding can make those differences even more apparent. It is important to keep your focus when you are planning an interfaith wedding, because the stresses can add up. Here are some ways to cope with the issues of faith when planning your wedding.
1.Don't ignore the differences: Even in interchurch weddings, where people of different denominations marry, there can be stress and strain regarding differences in faith. This means that you need to have a serious discussion about your faith background and what parts of your faith you want to incorporate into your wedding and your marriage.
2.Brainstorm a Compromise: Remember, your wedding day will most likely include members of both your families, which may mean people of different faiths and beliefs all being present. While a civil ceremony may be one options, try to see if you can find a way to incorporate elements of both religions in your wedding ceremony and reception.
3.Pre-Marital Counseling: Many churches require engaged couples to go through pre-marital counseling prior to the wedding. This counseling can be a great benefit to interfaith couples, because it will allow them to discuss options for the wedding and shed light on how religion will be handled throughout the marriage.
4.Know What You Want: Before the engaged couple can discuss what they want for their wedding ceremony, each member of the couple needs to know what he or she wants. It may be a good idea for each of you to have a good talk with yourself before coming together to discuss how you want to handle the interfaith wedding.
5.Keep Up the Communication: While planning the wedding may bring you a lot of stress for one day of your marriage, it is important to keep up the communication about your faith even after the wedding day. The more open you are about your spiritual goals and desires, the easier it will be for you each to understand and accept one another.
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