FAQs—Planning an Interfaith Wedding
These are some of the typical areas couples ask about when planning their wedding ceremony. Alexandra Gellman, who is likely to be your first contact when you connect to discuss your ceremony, answers some frequently asked questions. Please feel free to contact us for any topics we may not have covered in the detail you need or specific queries concerning your wedding.
How soon should we book our wedding with you?
We’re often booked quite far in advance. So during this period, as everything starts to get back to normal after the lockdowns, it would be a good idea to pencil in a date and time as soon as you’re ready.
With so many people catching up with plans put on hold, this and next year are looking to be busier than ever. However, we always keep certain windows of time available for services and ceremonies. So do please always check with us, even if you’re planning at the last minute.
Generally, the answer to the question of how soon to start planning your wedding is ASAP—whether you’re looking at months, next year, or the year after before you tie the knot. This is particularly true if you have a specific venue in mind or a certain date. Whether you plan a large guest list or a microwedding, we’re happy to make arrangements to ensure peace of mind.
It’s never too soon to book your ideal wedding date. And, as any wedding planner will tell you—many venues and those who supply wedding services you may need, from caterers to photographers, may be booking well in advance at the moment. This is especially true as things pick up post-Covid lockdown.
Do you perform ceremonies in the GTA/Toronto area only or anywhere in Ontario?
The Rabbi is licensed to perform weddings anywhere in Ontario, and he also is able to officiate at weddings in the US.
Do you perform destination interfaith weddings?
Yes—the Rabbi has officiated at ceremonies in California, Mexico, Savannah (Georgia), and Manhattan. He performs destination weddings for both Jewish and interfaith couples and has also done destination vow renewal ceremonies. For other destination locations, please check with us when reserving your dates.
What about weddings onboard ships/at resorts abroad?
The Rabbi has officiated at religious ceremonies on cruises, as well as destination weddings at resorts in Canada and elsewhere. Arrangements vary depending on the shipping company, and special plans need to be made with the venue or resort, but we will be pleased to discuss this with you.
Are you okay with outdoor and indoor ceremonies?
Yes, there’s no problem with any arrangement you want to make. Whether your ceremony is large or small, live-streamed or on YouTube, and outdoors, in a banquet hall, or vineyard—inside or out, we’re happy to accommodate and work with you to make this a very happy, fulfilling, and wonderful ceremony that lives up to your dreams.
We’ve heard that some couples get married in Canada and then at the destination abroad, too. Is this allowed?
Yes, and this trend may likely continue as travel opens up and weddings are held outside of the country more often. Sometimes it is encouraged, depending on the destination and the regulations in force in that country.
Some couples hold a local ceremony In Canada before or after—either privately or so that friends may attend who can’t travel to the destination.
This can be a wise step to take if you’re not positive of the official requirements at your destination location going forward. It ensures that all the legalities are met for you and that your wedding is safely registered in Ontario/Canada in case of any legal hiccups in your destination country in the future.
Do you officiate other events?
Yes, the Rabbi conducts all rites of passage ceremonies, including vow renewals, commitment ceremonies, namings, memorial services—Jewish or Interfaith. We hope to continue to perform services for you after the wedding—from baby namings to b’nei mitzvahs.
What’s the first step in planning our wedding?
After you contact us and discuss dates, we like to work with you to create the dream ceremony that will meet your requirements. We discuss the details with you. Everything is done to recognize, respect, and reflect your beliefs, history, and family ties, and create a wedding ceremony with the elements you desire and as you desire.
We work with you creatively so that your ceremony reflects who you both are and your exact wishes and presents a unified ceremony with elements, vows, and the approach that will live up to expectations and make wonderful memories for you and your loved ones.
Do you work with families to iron out requirements/arrangements?
Yes, we’re very happy to sit down with all sides of the family (and generations!) to work things out. This can be of particular help when it comes to agreeing on elements of the wedding ceremony for an interfaith couple, where strong opinions/family members may cause little hiccups. Especially in interfaith services, this may require compromise and accommodation.
We are both experienced counselors and are able to work with family members of all ages (and personalities!) to provide guidance and create a wedding ceremony that suits you both and your loved ones.
Should we contact you directly or a wedding planner?
If you’re using a wedding planner, it’s a good idea to contact us both at about the same time so that everyone can get the dates that are best for you scheduled if available/agreed. On many occasions, we are contacted by wedding planners who put couples in touch with us.
Regardless, we will always be available for conversations about the ceremony and the procedures so that you know what to expect and are able to ensure that the ceremony will be a memory to remember with joy and pleasure. We are pleased to work with you creatively and to help determine the elements you wish to incorporate to make sure that all your needs (and wishes!) are met.
Please contact Alexandra for more information.