Australia is an ideal country for hosting an interfaith wedding. You’ll enjoy many wonderful options for venues and vendors — plus the country’s laws and culture are extremely hospitable to interfaith wedding ceremonies. If you’re thinking of traveling to Australia for your interfaith wedding, we invite you to consider these 3 tips for planning the experience:
1. Invite Members of Both Families to Participate in Making the Wedding Plans
Even under the best of circumstances, family members can sometimes experience feelings of alienation or disappointment surrounding various aspects of a wedding. This is particularly true when the marrying couple does not share a common religious faith or cultural background.
To minimise these sorts of disappointments, it is beneficial to have members of both families participate in the planning process. Taking suggestions from both sets of parents and grandparents, in particular, will help to ensure that nothing of critical importance is overlooked as the plans are being made.
2. Don’t Wait to Seek Out an Officiant
It can be challenging to find a religious official who will agree to preside over the initiation of an interfaith marriage. Even if you can find one who will agree to do so, it may not be the wisest solution to entrust your ceremony to a religious leader from a single faith. This could lead to feelings of alienation if you or your beloved have very religious family members of the other faith who will attend the wedding.
In Australia, you have the advantage of being able to hire a celebrant to officiate at your ceremony. Because there are growing numbers of non-religious, interfaith and same-sex marriages taking place in the country, celebrancy is trending up in Australia.
A celebrant is an individual who has completed government-authorised training to perform civil marriage ceremonies in Australia. A celebrant is going to be your likeliest candidate for an officiant who will agree to perform an interfaith wedding ceremony in exactly the manner you want it.
Start your search for a celebrant as early as possible so you can be sure of finding a good one who is willing to perform an interfaith ceremony. The best celebrants are booked far in advance. You will need to plan ahead to ensure the celebrant you want to hire is available on your anticipated wedding date.
3. Create a Balanced Wedding Ceremony
In Australia, your options for holding a civil wedding ceremony are virtually unlimited. You can customise your ceremony exactly as you please. This means there are many different ways you could design the ceremony to incorporate two diverse sets of important religious and cultural traditions. Drawing on the traditions of two different faiths is one possible approach to hosting an interfaith wedding.
If you decide to do it this way, commit to making the ceremony as balanced as possible. You want to avoid having significantly more time allocated to honouring the traditions of one faith at the expense of the other.
Another option would be to have a religiously neutral ceremony that doesn’t incorporate such traditions at all.
Either way, consider hosting the ceremony in a neutral space that doesn’t have any obvious ties to either religion.
Heaps of emotional energy gets invested in planning and executing a wedding. Heeding the above 3 tips can help to minimise squabbles during the planning phase, and also to ensure that the emotional energy expended at your wedding will be the positive kind.