August 9, 2022

Incorporating Faith Traditions into a Wedding

“Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Cor 16:14

We love it when our couples incorporate their personal customs and traditions into their wedding celebrations. From cultural traditions to faith traditions, these moments make a wedding ceremony deeply personal and meaningful. 

Recently, our bride Natalie and her husband Joey filled their wedding day with faith and worship, and we were here for it. So, we thought we’d do a little deep dive into ways to incorporate faith and religious traditions into a wedding. For Natalie & Joey, their wedding was full of prayer and worship music. But, there are so many other ways to integrate your faith into your wedding. Read on for some of our favorite ideas. 

Music 

Perhaps the most obvious way to incorporate worship and faith traditions into a wedding is through music. Growing up, many weddings I attended featured solely religious music. The bride would walk down the aisle to a traditional hymn and at some point in the ceremony, a soloist would sing a faith-based special (usually during the unity ceremony). However, today, there are many different ways to incorporate worshipful music into your ceremony, beyond just the traditional (which is of course, still lovely). 

  • Include a time of corporate worship into the ceremony like Natalie & Joey 
  • Ask your guests to sing a hymn over you (consider providing them the music or lyrics in the wedding program)
  • If the bride or groom is musically inclined, they can offer up a song as part of the ceremony (consider recording the song prior to the wedding) 
  • Some faith-based traditions include chanting as part of the ritual already 
  • Utilize the lyrics of one of your favorite religious songs in your ceremony or vows as poetry 

For a list of some of the best Christian songs to incorporate into your wedding, click here. 

Readings 

 

One great way to incorporate your faith into your wedding ceremony is to include scripture or faith-based readings. You can opt for the more congregational and responsive style readings of the Catholic and Episcopalian ceremonies, or for a personal reading led by a loved one. 

You can either pick the passage yourself or ask the reader to pick a special passage to read over you. 

Rituals 

Lots of our traditional wedding rituals have their basis in faith traditions. From the unity candle (see more on unity ceremonies later), to the wedding dress itself, these elements of a wedding are already representative of the Christian faith. However, there are some more obvious ways to incorporate religious rituals into your wedding: 

If you’re uncomfortable with the overtly religious tone of some of these rituals, one bride suggests changing the language so that the ceremony can still be incorporated but appear more secular. 

Vows

The vows are a great place to incorporate your beliefs and faith traditions. One article suggests focusing the vows on God rather than your partner. 

Other ideas: 

  • Incorporate scripture directly into the vows 
  • Write your vows as a prayer for your partner 
  • Include another passage from your faith’s text (i.e. non-scriptural writing) into your vows 

Prayer 

We loved the prayerful feel of Natalie & Joey’s wedding day. Here are some ideas to incorporate prayer into your wedding day: 

  • In lieu of a first look, have a blind first prayer with your partner
  • Family prayer circle during the ceremony 
  • Have faith mentors open the ceremony with a prayer 
  • Share a moment of generational prayer with your parents, grandparents, and other family members prior to walking down the aisle 
  • Ask your wedding guests to pray over you 

If traditional prayer is uncomfortable for you, also consider a moment of silence or a non-religious prayer. One suggestion found online is, “Let’s bow our heads and reflect on the power of love that has brought us here today”. 

Unity Ceremony 

The traditional unity ceremony is already steeped in faith traditions. However, you can take this a step further by substituting the traditional unity ceremony for a foot washing ceremony. For other unity ceremony ideas, be sure to read our Unity Ceremonies blog. 

Details 

Recently celebrity Sophia Bush was married in a custom-made wedding gown to represent values and places that were meaningful to her. She selected a fabric with a floral design that represented her wedding state. This same concept can be applied to integrating your faith traditions into your wedding. 

Other ideas:  

  • Like Natalie & Joey, use a cross in lieu of an arbor
  • Add scripture tied into your bouquet ribbon
  • Carry a family Bible or passage of scripture in a scroll in lieu of a bouquet 
  • Include prayer cards as placards at the reception
  • Stitch scripture into the hem of your wedding dress
  • Engrave scripture or a passage into your rings
  • Incorporate a faith principle into another aspect of the wedding such as having the guests sign a Bible in lieu of a guest book

If you’re looking for more ideas, consider these call to worship ideas to provide to your minister or officiant. 

 

 

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