With most of our important vendors out of the way, Chris and I started thinking about the actual ceremony and reception. It was at this point that the differences with our religious backgrounds became a sort of issue for us. Chris’s family is devout Catholic. My family, on the other hand, is hard-core Pentecostal; my parents are pastors, my uncles are pastors, most of my cousins are super devoted to the faith. We knew we weren’t going to have a church wedding, but then, who would officiate? How could I be respectful both to Chris’s family and their beliefs, but also honor my family’s faith—which I had grown up with also? And since my family would definitely not take kindly to dancing and drinking during the reception, how would we handle it?
We decided that my dad would officiate. Who better than an ordained minister in our own family to be the one to join Chris and I together? But instead of making it a very evangelical ceremony, I asked Dad to keep it short, simple and to the point. This way, Chris’s family and our friends wouldn’t feel like they were at an imposed Pentecostal service. Since the reception to follow would include dancing and drinking (even though we kept the drinks to just beer, wine and sangria), I made my family feel a bit more included in the ceremony by doing a special prayer with my two uncles who are also pastors. Early on at the reception, I had my dad stand up and instead of toasting, he lead a prayer for our union and blessed the food and the festivities. Then the party began!
Even though it was hard to see my family sitting while we all danced and partied away, both Chris and I felt satisfied that we had made an effort to honor my family’s beliefs, while keeping both sides happy. And I’m glad to say everyone had an amazing time!