Despite the pandemic, we were married on May 30, 2020 on our original wedding date. Reverend Julia and Cantor Manovich stood masked beside us as we stood under our wedding chuppah. Although we postponed our wedding celebrations, we were ready to be married after 6 years of long-distance dating! Our parents and siblings joined us for our intimate wedding day and our guests were invited to join us for a vow renewal ceremony that we will host next summer. Having a smaller wedding with only our parents and siblings was truly an intimate occasion but it also had moments that felt more organic than planned. We had a round of heartfelt speeches that were unscheduled and although the celebration after the ceremony lacked a dance floor, we had more time to spend to slow down and enjoy the experience with our closest family.
Planning our interfaith wedding ceremony was a fun experience, but it sometimes was challenging to find a balance between the two faiths. Reverend Julia represented Trevor’s traditions and Canton Manovich represented Shir’s traditions on our wedding day. Before seeking out our officiants, we read many articles and books to prepare us for the wedding experience. Early in our relationship, we had read Being Both and knew that the IFFP community existed. We even tried to visit IFFP on summer but instead found ourselves mistakenly in a Spanish church service. The congregation we accidently stumbled upon welcomed us with open hands, but we quickly realized that it was not IFFP. A couple years later, once the wedding planning began, we made another attempt to seek out the IFFP community. This time we were successful. We soon asked Reverend Julia to serve as our wedding officiant with the intention of also including a Jewish clergy member in our ceremony. Shir’s longtime family friend, a Cantor, kindly agreed to work with Reverend Julia to perform an interfaith ceremony.
We met individually with each of our officiants to discuss elements from our respective traditions that we hoped to include in our ceremony. Later, together with both of our officiants we met over zoom to discuss how we could weave together our traditions into one meaningful ceremony. We definitely found it challenging to include the traditions that were meaningful to us without making our ceremony unbearably long to our cherished guests!
Trevor attended a Christian college, Messiah College, and has many friends and family members who have never participated in a Jewish ceremony. Similarly, a large portion of Shir’s family lives in Israel and has never participated in a Christian wedding. Therefore, we knew we wanted to take the opportunity to teach both sides of the aisle about both of our religions by explaining the meaning behind the rituals we were including. To do so, we decided to include descriptions of the traditions on our wedding website so that guests could learn more and have a better idea of what to expect during our ceremony and wedding celebrations. You can check our website at TrevorAndShir.appycouple.com! Here you can see what rituals we selected to include in our wedding ceremony. As we researched more about our traditions for the webpage, we not only learned a great deal about one another’s religion, but we also learned a great deal about our own religions. It opened discussions between the two of us about aspects of religion that we felt were important or especially resonated with our religious identities.