Category: Interfaith

Priya & Peyton at the Oaks at Salem

 

Photo by JMF Photography

“My husband and I can’t express enough how wonderful Katherine is. She is one of the nicest and sweetest people you will ever meet. She made everything so easy and simple for us. She helped us create an incredibly meaningful, customized ceremony that helped reflect both of our backgrounds… Hindu and Christian, while also focusing on us and our love for one another. Katherine was a pleasure to work with from the moment we met her. Throughout the entire process, Katherine was responsive, attentive and offered feedback on all the questions we had.

Katherine was so engaging and all of my guests felt so comfortable in her presence. She helped guide our ceremony with perfect ease and confidence. Katherine is one of those people who will have an incredibly calming effect on you and any worries or concerns you may have she will quickly take care of. Every time I started to feel overwhelmed or anxious, I could just look at Katherine and she helped make me feel relaxed again.

All the big and small details that come with getting married were made so easy with Katherine’s help and guidance. Katherine did a great job of reminding us about everything throughout the process and even emailed us after our wedding to help with the next steps of changing my name, etc.

The ceremony was exactly what we imagined and everyone in attendance said it was the most unique, heartfelt wedding they have ever been to. We obviously couldn’t have done this without Katherine and we are so lucky to have met her. She helped make one of the most important days of our lives so very special. We will never forget how much she cared in making our day so memorable. We can’t thank her enough and know that you won’t find another officiant as sweet, caring and helpful has Katherine.”

 

Adam & Marina’s Interfaith Backyard Ceremony

Adam and Marina were married at a private residence in North Raleigh on March 26th. The home was of a family friend, and the owner told me it wasn’t the first wedding to take place there! The couple they bought the home from had actually held their daughter’s wedding on the same deck. As you can see, it is the perfect set up for an intimate ceremony overlooking the pond.

When I arrived for a short rehearsal on the Thursday before the wedding, the home owner and Adam’s mother were busy planting pots of white flowers for occasion. I thought that was a lovely touch!

Photos by Maya Anna Photography

The weather had been calling for rain all day, and the sky was looking a little iffy just before ceremony start time. We hurried and got everyone in the seats as it was just starting to drizzle when we walked out onto the deck! Fortunately, the drizzle stopped and held off for the rest of the ceremony just as our radiant bride arrived.

Photo (right) by Maya Anna Photography

Adam’s family is Jewish and Marina’s is Christian, so this was an Interfaith ceremony. We included a wine ceremony and used the goblet from Adam’s Barmitzvah. That was a very sweet addition thought of by Adam’s mother, Carol.

Photos by Maya Anna Photography

And of course a breaking of the glass was also included! This is one of my most favorite wedding traditions. There are many explanations out there as to the symbolism of the breaking of the glass. The one I use most often in ceremonies is that just as the glass has been fundamentally changed and cannot go back to how it was, so have the lives of the couple.

Photos by Maya Anna Photography

Thank you, Marina and Adam, for letting me share in your special day! Best wishes!

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Interfaith Ceremony at NC Wesleyan College

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On Saturday, April 5th, I officiated my second Jewish-Christian interfaith wedding ceremony. It took place in the quaint Leon Russell Chapel on NC Wesleyan College’s campus on an absolutely perfect spring day! The couple chose lavender and a pastel green as their colors which was just lovely for the season.

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I love interfaith ceremonies, because they are so rich with tradition and culture from each of the couple’s backgrounds. Amber and Ari chose the “Completely Custom” package and I’m so glad they did! They had such an amazing story of how they met, and sharing it during their ceremony hardly left a dry eye in the chapel. The custom package also allowed them to include all of the traditions they wanted, including a chuppah, wine ceremony, unity candle, and breaking the glass. It also included a special remembrance for both the bride and groom’s father, both of whom passed away from lung cancer.

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The chuppah was lovingly made by Amber and her mother. They used PVC pipe to keep it lightweight and easy to move since it was relocated to the reception for pictures following the ceremony. I thought that was pretty smart! During the ceremony, I gave guests the following explanation of the chuppah:

“In front of us is a beautiful chuppah. The chuppah represents the home. Its four poles symbolize the four pillars upon which a strong marriage is built: family, friendship, love and respect. A shelter that is open on all sides we see as an invitation and a sign of welcome to those we love. The chuppah’s delicate structure reminds those beneath it, that the only thing real about a home is the people in it, who love and who choose to be together as a family.”

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During the ceremony, the couple participated in a unity candle ceremony, which is commonly included in Christian wedding ceremonies. There are several ways to do the unity candle, and Amber and Ari chose to leave the original taper flames burning after their unity candle in the middle was lit. For this, I gave the following explanation during the ceremony:

“Although you are now entering into a marriage relationship, you do not, however, lose your personal identity. Rather, you will use your special individuality to create and strengthen the relationship of marriage. Therefore all three candles remain glowing. The individual candles represent all that makes each of you the wonderful and unique person the other admires and respects. The Unity candle in the center symbolizes the union of your lives, families, and friends, as well as your shining commitment to each other, and to a lasting and loving marriage.”

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Following the unity candle was the ring exchange, then the wine ceremony. The wine ceremony is traditionally included in Jewish wedding ceremonies. There are also several ways the wine ceremony can be done – I like to give my couples lots of options! Amber and Ari chose the single goblet that they shared from. I love the closing wording for the wine ceremony done with the single goblet: “As you have shared the wine from this goblet, so may you share your lives. May you find life’s joys heightened, its bitterness sweetened, and all of life enriched by God’s blessings upon you.”

The ceremony was concluded with the traditional Jewish breaking of the glass, which I also explained for guests: “The traditional breaking of the glass which marks the end of the ceremony, is a reminder of both the strength and the fragility of the spiritual bond that is marriage. It is a reminder to appreciate all that we have now, to embrace change, and to always hold the important things in life above all else. As the glass is broken, I invite everyone to shout “Mazel Tov,” which means “congratulations and good luck.”

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There was one hiccup in the ceremony, and that was right before the vows when one of the groomsmen passed out. It was warm in the chapel and the bride suspected he was not well hydrated. After a brief pause to tend to him and call EMS, the ceremony continued. I have to say the bridal party took what could have been a stressful situation and turned it around when they gave bubbles to the paramedics so that they could participate in the fanfare when the couple left the chapel! I know the photographer got some great shots of that!

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