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Break the Rules

Rules Are Meant to be Broken
There are many rules and traditions that couples can choose to follow….or not. You can break the rules and it could end up being the best thing you did. Here are a few traditions that you can tweek to your liking.
1) It’s Bad Luck to See Each Other Before the Ceremony
Some couples think a“first look”photo captures that moment of pure excitement and happiness. Instead of the big reveal happening at the end of the altar, you can surprise each other in a special moment between the two of you. It’s nice to have your photographer there to capture that moment forever.
2) Unity Candles are so Blah
Some churches only allow unity candles, but there are alternatives to this“two become one”symbol. You can choose to have a sand ceremony where the two of you pour different colored sands into one vase. Other options are the same concept with spices or vinegar and oil. Keep it creative!
3) Your Wedding Dress should be White
In Indian weddings, brides wear red! Understandably, that’s a pretty bold color if you aren’t practicing in that culture. However, choosing a non-white or ivory color such as blush, champagne, coffee, or nude is all the rage right now. Consider these shades for your big day, they might compliment your skin tone even moreso!
4) Pictures Belong After the Ceremony
If you are choosing to do a first look photo, consider having all your pictures done prior to the ceremony. That way you will look fresh and stunning still! Sure, you might need a little touch up prior to the ceremony/reception, but at least your photos will be flawless. Also, this helps with timing of the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. Your guests will thank you that there aren’t three hours between events and is one smooth transition to the next.
Sometimes it benefits you to break the rules.  Consider these alternatives when planning out your ceremony / reception day structure.

Muslim Wedding

Muslim Wedding Traditions
Muslim couples plan weddings which reflect their unique cultural backgrounds. Muslim marriages throughout North America often reflect the diversity of the Muslim population. In the United States, only about 19 percent of Muslims are African American or Anglo American. The rest are immigrants or people with family ties to the Arabworld, South Asia, Iran, sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, and other regions in the world.
If you are celebrating a traditional Muslim wedding, chances are you will want to incorporate the following into your big day. This includes the marriage contract, a divine injunction, and the marriage banquet to seal the deal.
Al-Nikah: the Islamic Marriage Ceremony
Marriage is a solemn and sacred social contract between the bride and groom. Both parties mutually agree and enter into this contract. In this contract, any terms and conditions seen fit by both the bride and groom are made apart. The contract is written and signed by the bride and the groom and their two respective witnesses. This written marriage contract is then announced publicly.
Mahr
Following the contract signing, the marriage-gift (Mahr) is presented as a divine injunction. The giving of mahr to the bride by the groom is an essential part of the contract. Mahr is a token commitment of the husband’s responsibility and may be paid in cash, property or movable objects to the bride herself.
The Marriage Banquet (Walima)
After the consummation of the marriage, the groom holds a banquet called a walima. The relatives, neighbors, and
friends are invited in order to make them aware of the marriage. Both rich and poor of the family and community are
invited to the marriage feasts. It is not unheard of to have hundreds of people at a Muslim wedding.
Muslim weddings are viewed as social events that are not to be missed! Family, friends, and acquaintances are invited to celebrate the newlywed’s new life together as man and wife.

Interfaith Weddings

Interfaith Weddings: Tips and Recommendations
We’re a melting pot of different ethnicities, cultures, races, etc. and it only seems fitting to intertwine these
traditions be included in your wedding day. Interfaith weddings are a wonderful way to bring together not only yourselves but your cultures and religion too.  Whether it’s a prayer or dance, these small details can enhance your guests experience and hold powerful meaning for the two of you.

 

While the obvious differences in an interfaith marriage should be discussed way before your wedding day(how to raise the children, what do Mom and Dad think), in the engagement period you need to go over any conflicts the two of you have.
DO
– Have family members from each side read a blessing or prayer from their religious tradition.
– Provide translations of any rituals performed in other languages.
– Conduct a“unity”ritual from both faiths, such as the sharing of a cup of wine (Judaism), lighting a unity candle (Christianity), wearing crowns (Greek Orthodox) or hand fasting (Celtic).
– Illustrate each family’s support by having both sets of parents walk their children down the aisle.
– Determine who will officiate the wedding: Some interfaith couples opt for two clergy members, one from each person’s faith, to perform the ceremony. Others look for interfaith officiants who haveperformed interfaith weddings in the past.
DON’T
– Step on toes: respect each family’s strong ties to their own religious traditions and tactfully and carefully explain how rituals from both heritages will be included.
– Forget your guests: describe the different religious rituals in your program and provide translations.
– Try to do too much: you can’t replicate the entire wedding ceremonies for each tradition; your guests will be bored or confused and your ceremony will lose some of its intensity. Careful editing of the ceremony elements is pertinent to a good ceremony.
Creating an interfaith wedding that is meaningful,memorable and perfectly you starts focusing on personalizing the ceremony to reflect the needs, beliefs, and values of you as a couple and your families.