I’ve mentioned this a couple of times now but in case you haven’t read this before, Matt and I had two wedding ceremonies. We had a catholic ceremony in the church I was a member in for a majority of my life (until we moved) and we had our kinda of sort of Jewish ceremony on the beach in St. Lucia.
When we got together I was very much involved in my church. I went to mass every Sunday, I volunteered as a Confirmation catechist and helped out with the peer ministry – what we called the Discipleship Team. Matt did not have a temple he regularly visited and was not part of any sort of religious group or activities. He does celebrate major holidays and made it a point early on to address that this was important to him. Celebrating religious holidays for both of us were not optional and in deciding to be together we learned to blend our cultures and religions together. Sometimes this was not easy, like when Lent and Passover overlapped and I decided to give up something like wine.
Planning a wedding to us was not so much about whose religion was more important but about us coming together as one family. Matt knew right away that he wanted a beach wedding. The only way to have changed his mine was if his mother was still alive and wanted a different type of ceremony. The only problem with that is the Catholic church does not recognize beach weddings. Not without special permission which is usually only given in life threatening conditions. So, having a beach wedding would mean giving up one of my sacraments. I’m not one of those women who dreamed about their wedding day in excruciating details. I only knew that I wanted to get married in the church. Ok that’s a lie, not just any church; I wanted to get married in St. Patrick’s Cathedral! I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone that but yeah, that’s the only detail I ever thought about for my wedding.
We had a decision to make. What kind of wedding can we realistically have and afford? For those who are wondering, it can be up to a thousand dollars just for the church and the musician for the day of your wedding. This is just the basic of basic ceremonies. Plus add in precana (pre-marriage counseling) and the rest of the cost of dresses and flowers etc. With a lot of help from our family we were able to afford both wedding ceremonies. Together we decided that the catholic ceremony would be for us. Nothing crazy fancy, he wore a suit he already owned and I had the privilege of wearing my mothers wedding dress. The ceremony was something sacred and private that we can hold on to years from now. A ceremony devoted to God. You know that saying “Your marriage is for you but your wedding is for them.” That is what our beach ceremony was. Complete with the breaking of the glass and the hora. It was a time to truly celebrate and enjoy each other.
Simply put, we had two ceremonies because we love and respect the things that make us different. I would never do anything to change my husband’s views on God or his religion and he gives me that same respect. We never put ourselves above eachother. We’ve both have been open to learning each others faith and celebrating it. It made sense to start our marriage on that path and continue to follow it in the years to come.
All we do we share with love. And “He who does not know love, does not know God. For God is Love.” 1 John 4:8