Planning the perfect inter-faith wedding

Written by    Last updated: October 10, 2006

With almost 50 per cent of South Asian marriages being inter‐faith, couples are finding unique ways to adapt the traditional wedding format to combine different cultures and customs…

Mixed marriages can mean having to manage even more of a balancing act than usual. Follow the Confetti East guide to a stress‐free happy union…

Some of the options for you to consider:

  • Registry: By far the easiest option as it avoids the whole faith issue altogether. However, do discuss this thoroughly as you don’t want to regret missing out on the whole spiritual aspect of weddings.
  • Single Ceremony: If one of you feels more strongly about a religious ceremony than the other, you could agree to have just one religious ceremony. Take into account the feelings of the parents as well on this one.
  • Dual ceremonies: It is possible to hold two ceremonies, which can be held either on the same day, the next day or a week apart. It can be expensive, but often the best way of bridging the gap between the two religions and avoiding offence to either family.
  • Civil: Since 1995 you no longer need to be married at a Registry Office – you can choose to get married in hotels, castles, stately homes, basically anywhere that holds a wedding licence and provided that the ceremony is conducted by a qualified registrar. By law, a civil ceremony cannot contain any religious references, but you can compose a unique, personalised ceremony and choose your own readings, poetry and music that is meaningful to you as a couple.
  • Blessing: You can choose to have a religious blessing after the civil or registry ceremony, though not all religions offer a blessing after the ceremony has taken place, so make sure you check beforehand.
  • Abroad: Get married in an exotic location, a fabulous lake palace in Rajasthan, a beach wedding in Goa or in Sri Lanka. It might seem a bit like running away but you get to have the wedding and honeymoon all in one!

PlanningHere are some top tips to help you have a perfect inter‐faith wedding:

Compromise is key

Whether you have one main ceremony, two separate ceremonies, or avoid the stress and stick with a simple registry wedding, it is important to remember that compromise is key to wedding day bliss.

Open discussion

Before you start booking a venue or sending off invitations, make sure that close family members are part of discussions and everyone is in agreement. Smooth out any cracks and disagreements at this early stage to avoid complications later.

Extra allowance

Ensure that your budget is set before you start planning the main event. If you’re having two ceremonies, the extra cost will need to be included in your overall budget.

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