Getting Married? How to Find an Interfaith Officiant
By RabbiGloria on December 31, 2012
You have made the big decision - you are getting married! You come from different backgrounds or perhaps different countries. Your family has accepted/made peace with the decision/ empowered you both/ or is very troubled. Pick the option that fits you or add your own.
Now the search begins. As you may or may not know most synagogue rabbis will not marry an interfaith couple in the synagogue itself. Reform rabbis can at their discretion perform the ceremony in an outside venue. Ministers generally will have an easier time than Catholic priests who often have to get permission to preside outside of the church. These are generalizations and of course there are many New York City officiants that don't fit into these categories If you know friends or family who have had such a wedding you should of course ask for recommendations. This is the single best way of knowing who you will work with since the couple is happy with him or her. If you don't know anyone from a personal referral on to the internet.
So now armed with your iphone, ipad, laptop, etc. you start searching the net for interfaith officiants. It is important to check out their sites carefully, finding out how long they have been officiating, where they were ordained and of course what their philosophy on marriage and ceremonies is. Hopefully you can see pictures of them in action and testimonials. If any of this resonates with you both you should email or call the person and have a conversation on the phone. That will tell you a lot about the person and also whether you are comfortable with what they say. Are they willing to do a service that is creative and personal to you? Are they comfortable to work with a co-officiant if your fiance wants the other religion represented as well.
Next step is meeting the person. You should have an emotional connection with the officiant. After all it is your wedding and you want someone who relates to both of you and listens to you. Listen to your heart. There are many people out there so you can interview a few but go with your gut feeling. Make sure you have a contract that itemizes date, time, fee and is signed by both parties. That way your date is reserved during a busy summer wedding season. You should try and meet together a few times to fashion the service and be comfortable that it is respectful to both faiths.
Try and give yourself as much time before the wedding to do this search. The ceremony should be the core of your special day and you want to employ the best person for you. All this takes time and some effort on your part but is well worth the time. I have officiated at interfaith weddings the last three years and have helped to make the day magical to many couples. Happy hunting.
The picture below is of an interfaith wedding I performed in the beautiful island of Bermuda.
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