reader questions: how to incorporate religion into the wedding when one is not religious

Mariah K. from Atlanta, GA writes:

Dear Wedding Therapist:

         My fiance is Jewish and I'm not any religion.  The whole time that we were dating, religion never came up but now that we're planning the wedding, he wants to add a bunch of traditions into the ceremony that I really don't want to do.  What should I do?



Mariah,

Girl, how did religion never come up during your entire relationship?!  Certainly, it MUST have come up at least once!  Sorry, I'm just a little surprised that you two never discussed religion during your relationship.  Ok, now that the shock has worn off...I think incorporating his religious traditions into your ceremony is the least of your worries. 

A lot of times there are "warning signs" that people ignore because they want to get married so badly.  You two need to sit down and really have an open and honest conversation about what part you want religion to play in your lives.  Clearly, when it comes down to important events in his life, it is important that his religion is present.  This doesn't end with your wedding.  Look down the road five years from now when you have children.  How will you raise them?  Seriously, put the planning on hold and have a long talk.  Religion is a deal breaker for most people.  Maybe it isn't for him now but it may be in the future and you want to know what you're walking into with both eyes wide open.

Oh, and once you have the talk and you're both on the same page, you should allow him to throw in some of his religious traditions into the wedding ceremony.  Again, the wedding may be your first compromise religiously but it won't be your last. Good luck!

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