How to Plan your Mixed-Faith Ceremony

Jul 26, 2022
Civil celebrant at mixed-faith wedding

Planning a mixed-faith ceremony is rarely entirely straightforward. Like any big occasion, putting it together needs compromise, clarity and patience.

I’m going to talk about mixed-faith weddings (which I specialise in!), but most of what I say will apply to other mixed-faith ceremonies too, such as Vow Renewals.


Considerable thought may need to go in to the planning of the ceremony. What are your reasons for including religion at all? What importance do you want to give to your own religion? Are you prepared to accept it, if the religious contributions from each side are unequal? Are you including religious elements because you think it’s expected of you, or because parents are pressurising you?

So, as long as (pardon the awful pun!) you’re singing from the same hymn sheet, you can move on. But only do so, if you’re sure you’re in full agreement. There’s hardly a worse catalyst for major disputes later than if one of you feels their opinions have been bulldozed at such an important time.

The Ceremony

During the planning stage, you will have to decide whether you want an officiant for both religious aspects or simply one. Either way, you will have to discuss at length what to put in and, possibly, what to leave out. You will also have to consider whether the groom – or guests – wear a skull cap, for example, if it’s a (mostly) Jewish wedding.

An example of what might go into the service could include rituals. One popular ritual (actually, Jewish, but sometimes appropriated by non-Jewish grooms!) is smashing a glass underfoot. You may want to drink from a Loving Cup, or together light a Unity candle. You might want to eat (starting at opposite ends) a loaf baked by the bride’s mother.

It’s up to you (with the celebrant’s guidance) what you put into the ceremony. You can have it “top-heavy” towards one religion, if you want. You can even make it pretty traditional, if you choose. Or the ceremony can contain a passing nod to religion, but be mostly spiritual.

I have helped a lot of couples through issues such as these, so please feel free to chat to me.

photo: Philippa Gedge