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Tackling Religion- Without Breaking the Bank

August 2, 2010

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So you’ve found the love of your life, and you both are excited to take the next step in committing to your future. However, one major choice still needs to be made about your big day- what will you do about religion?

Some couples may opt for two, completely separate ceremonies to please each family, it often becomes more complicated- and costly- to do so.  Today, there are so many options for couples to choose in order to avoid controversy in this area. Rather than emptying your bank accounts to foot the bill for two ceremonies, try one of these ideas:

Keep your engagement long.

Having a longer engagement allows for the appropriate amount of time to gather information about each religion,  talk to each family separately about what their religion means to them, and tofigure out what elements are most important. A longer engagement also allows you to find the perfect officiant, who will understand both your needs, and your families.

Hold your ceremony in a neutral space, such as the outdoors.

If you and your groom find that you’re differing religions do not matter on your special day, this is the perfect way to keep the focus on yourselves. By picking places outdoors, such as a mountain top, beach, garden or even a barn, you are keeping the focus away from religious preferences, and focusing on the beauty of the moment. The outdoors offers a spiritual element, which will allow families who disprove of your choice to be set at ease. To go one step further, an outdoor wedding allows you to personalize your day by having the officiant (the person who will actually marry you) also be someone non-religious, or even a friend or family member.

Photo Credit: Robert Bellon

Photo Credit: One Love Photo Photo Credit: Saida Online

In the Hudson Valley area of New York lies a treasure trove of beautiful places to hold your wedding. Mount St. Alphonsus in Esopus, New York is a beautiful, castle like building which overlooks the Hudson River. The Mount boasts a large number of mixed religion weddings, held both inside the beautiful castle or outside on the beautiful grounds This spot is the perfect place for photos, and will leave your guests in awe of the hand crafted castle.

Mount St. Alphonsus

Not only does the Mount (as it is commonly referred to) boast an amazing wedding package, but the Old Dutch Church in Kingston is also an amazing place to be married. Beautiful grounds, including the church, museum and a graveyard make this spot beautiful for photos, and allows couples to become a part of it’s over 300 year history! For those of the Christian religion, this could be the place for you. Couples may also use Bethany Hall, located behind the church if so desired, as the reception hall.

There are many beautiful places in the Hudson Valley to get married, so please consult your wedding planner to find the perfect spot for your wedding!

Hold an interfaith wedding.

If you’re still unable to convince either side of the decision to forgo religion for the day, an interfaith wedding may be perfect for you. Combining two different religious traditions sounds hard, but is sure to please both families by incorporating important aspects from both backgrounds into one ceremony. This can be done in many ways, but commonly includes two officiants who represent the individual religions.  Speaking to them early and exhanging their information can help the officiants collaborate and find a way to use specific portions of each ceremony and make them flow together.

There are plenty of books to help couples interested in these weddings find the perfect ceremony, including Interfaith Wedding Ceremonies by Joan C. Hawxhurst, which will help make interfaith weddings easier to understand and perform.

The key to working with religion during your wedding is communication.  Be sure to decide early on what you will do about incorporating both of your faiths. Most importantly- don’t forget your family! While this is your big day, it is also important to your families, and ignoring their concerns or suggestions will not lead to a healthy beginning.

Ask each side early on in your wedding planning, and try to make room for what’s important to them. A happy family will ultimately lead to an amazing night for all to remember. Even if they do not show their approval early on, be sure to show that you are open to their ideas. While you may not be willing to bend the their every whim, showing them you are truly happy will help them accept your decision.

Photo Credit: Carol MacGregor

Don’t forget to keep it fun, and don’t be afraid to be unique!


For more information on Mount St. Alphonsus, visit .

For more information on Old Dutch Church, visit .

One Comment leave one →
  1. Danielle permalink
    August 18, 2010 6:19 pm

    I love the idea of an outside ceremony that has no particular religious preference. This way you can make both families happy with out having two cermonies!!! Another great idea is any of the wineries in the area.

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