Organizing your wedding can be exciting, but also stressful—there’s so much to prepare, organize, and remember. When a couple is of two different faiths, it can be challenging to represent each equally in the ceremony. Sometimes, a couple will opt to have two officiants, one for each religion.
But often, it is easier to have one officiant to represent both. We asked Westchester-based interfaith minister Gary Deinstadt to explain the benefits of having an interfaith minister and to help walk us through the process.
Q: What are the benefits of choosing an interfaith minister over two officiants—a rabbi and a priest, for instance?
A: I find that most people want to include God in some way, but they shy away from the practices and/or rituals of the faiths they were born into or grew up in. Also, many people want to get married at a particular venue or a garden outdoors, while some clergy will only marry couples inside a church. A lot of people want to create a ceremony that includes the things that are important to them, which I think is paramount. It really is about them and their new life together.
Q: What are some components of an interfaith wedding?
A: I’ll incorporate various traditions from both faiths. For instance, if the bride is Christian and the groom is Jewish, I might suggest the Unity Candle, which is a Christian practice, and then have the breaking of the glass, which is common at a Jewish wedding.
Q: What is the most interesting interfaith combination you’ve officiated?
A: Hindu and Christian. There are so many wonderful wedding practices within the Hindu faith. It was challenging for me to incorporate both faiths. We had the exchange of garlands and the Unity Candle. We then prayed to Lord Ganesha and the Universal Father. All went really well and it was a joy to do.
Q: What is the average price for an interfaith ceremony and how long does a ceremony usually last?
A: The price averages between $550 and $600. The ceremony tends to last around 20 minutes. It depends on what the couple would like to include in their ceremony.
Reverend Deinstadt performs weddings in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, Connecticut, New York City, as well as all five boroughs. For more information, please visit http://rev.garydeinstadt.com/.