Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)

Question: My fiancé no longer practices the religion he grew up with, but we’d still like to respectfully reference it during our ceremony and reception. Our intention is to celebrate where we came from and to honor his family and their faith. Who do I ask about incorporating elements of my fiancé’s family’s religion into our wedding festivities?

Answer: It’s common to include more than one religious tradition into various elements of the wedding and various celebrations leading up to it. First, visit with your fiancé’s parents, if they are still living, or if not, other family members who are still active in their faith tradition. Ask what they think might be borrowed without offending anyone. That last part is important, since it can be a no-no to use certain rituals or symbols out of context. Next, be sure to discuss this with your pastor or officiant, so they can plan to include anything that involves them or at least be aware, lend helpful suggestions, consult with an expert in that religious tradition or inform you if the tradition, ritual or symbol you’ve chosen might be inappropriate in the context of your religious ceremonies and traditions. The inclusion and honoring of various religions can be a beautiful way to illustrate the blending of two families and backgrounds, as well as provide another layer of comfort and familiarity for your fiancé’s family and friends who are part of that tradition. 

Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.