ANOTHER FREDERICK BRIDE TO BE Frederick Wedding Planner
04/26/2010: If You’re Not Affiliated, Who Should Marry You?
by Liz Lipke
My father is Jewish and my mother is Catholic. When I was little, I was called a Cashew. Add in the curly, dark brown hair and a dash of utter and complete paleness, mygenetic makeup has allured many. Are you Mediterranean? Spanish? What religion do you practice? What do you believe in?
My first confrontation, and it was a confrontation unfortunately, was with a little boy who asked if I believed in Jesus. Having grown up without going to church or any particular religious institution, I answered honestly and briefly. Three words. “I don’t know.” I didn’t understand then what those three words (four without the contraction) implied or how others could take such an honest statement. The response: “What do you mean!? What ARE you?” I was attacked. I felt guilty. I was ten years old. As if I were on the outside of secret club, the no ‘non-believers’ sign tacked onto wall, I felt as though I did something wrong for not understanding.
Now, fourteen years later, the question isn’t any easier. Not a specific question about religion, per se, but the ongoing discussion between your inner self and the outside world’s perception of you.Being a spiritual person, I believe in being good to others and to yourself, and in an overall, positive energy to help guide us through life. I avoid using specific religious terms or labels that I do not fully understand and do not want to offend others by using them incorrectly. I feel as though there are many of us out there, unsure of what to call ourselves, to ridden ourselves with the fear of using the ‘wrong’ word or pretending to be something we are not.
Now, add a wedding to the mix. Add another value system, beliefs and understanding of life beyond life, and what do you get? The three non-religious C’s: Confusion, Confrontation and Compromise. Luckily for me, I have avoided the second, having experienced that early on in life, and have found my way to the third circumstance.
So, if you’re not affiliated with a specific religion, who should marry you? My fiancé is a Christian, but does not have an affiliation with a particular denomination. We are not getting married in a house of worship, but rather on a grassy hilltop overlooking the Catoctin Mountains.A secular officiant seems practical, but at the same time, we want an intimate ceremony, celebrating our union. I understand that marriage is perceived by many as solely a religious institution, but when a couple has different views on religion, who to pick as an officiant seems overwhelming.Have you been through a similar circumstance? Have you attended weddings with non-traditional ceremonies?