Archive for October 5th, 2009

Worrying TOO Much Over Your Mixed Wedding

Monday, October 5th, 2009

When the bride and groom are of different faiths, you should bring a measure of sensitivity to the proceedings, so that neither side is offended.

To that end, couples can profitably spend some time thinking about what might give offense and how to avoid it.

A lot of this comes down to what not to do. Mormons shun caffeine, so you might want to avoid coffee and colas. The traditional “Here Comes The Bride” and recessional music at Protestant weddings both have Anti-Semitic connections, and ought to be avoided at ceremonies where one side of the family is Jewish. And at any wedding where only one side of the family is Christian, you might want to substitute “in Your name we pray.”

However – you can go so far overboard in tip-toeing around potential sensitivities that you rob your wedding and reception of all its individual flavor. And nowhere is this more true than in obsessive worrying about the cultural and folk traditions at receptions.

At Greek receptions, when the “Zorba” music starts, everybody dances. Shouts of “Opa!” fill the room, and the entire evening morphs into a scene from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” And I for one – your Heartland-White Bread-Methobapterian – wouldn’t have it any other way.

Similarly, Jewish receptions feature their own traditional circle dance, the Hora. Repeatedly, I’ve had to urge Jewish brides not to omit this wonderful element of the evening. In the first place, I’ve never known anyone who was offended by it. Secondly, it’s just a dance – not a call to conversion. And finally, all the Jewish guests would be disappointed (if not offended) by its absence.

So by all means, do be sensitive to the fact that there are differing – and deeply held – beliefs among those you care for enough to invite to your wedding. Consult with your cleric or a wedding professional who is experienced in the potential problems you may face. Make a good faith effort to address their concerns.

But then – chill out! It’s your wedding. It should reflect your personality, and who you are. And you are the sum of all those cultural, ethnic, and religious ingredients that have made you unique. They are what give you your spice. If you remove all the spice from any dish, it becomes hopelessly bland.

And you don’t want a bland wedding, do you?