#168 Two Religions. One Ceremony


November 6th, 2019

1 hr 9 mins 16 secs

Your Hosts

About this Episode

Rupal and Brian met on Tinder, had their first date at the Movies in the Park, and clicked right away. After three years, they decided to tie the knot in a beautiful, fusion wedding. Rupal was born in India, Brian in Baltimore, and they both live in St Louis now. They share their experience having a fusion wedding, Indian/Hindu and American/Christian (Lutheran).

Big Takeaways

  • Did you consult your parents?
    • Yes, there were some pretty open ended questions from our parents about what kind of wedding we were thinking of and we both were adamant from the start that we wanted to truly combine our cultures in our own, unique ceremony rather than have 2 separate ones (it just felt natural/right to do this). For the most part, our parents were supportive, my parents just wanted to ensure that we still had the opportunity to share our Indian culture with our guests and to incorporate some of the pre-wedding Indian events (sangeet).
  • What two cultures/religions are you mashing up?
    • Indian/Hindu and American/Christian (Lutheran)
  • What were the factors that went into that decision, rather than having the 2-day wedding that you were accustomed to seeing or reading about?
    • So Rupal was really drawn to the multi-day affair, partly because it’s in her blood (Indian weddings can last up to a week!), partly because it’s an excuse to party longer, but mostly because we knew that most of our guests would be travelling long distances to come to our wedding and we wanted to maximize time spent with all of them and didn’t want to feel rushed. HOWEVER, the idea of having multiple wedding ceremonies seemed exhausting and that idea just didn’t feel natural to us. If our wedding is a symbol of our commitment to each other and us becoming a family, why would we want to keep our cultures separate? Plus with a multi-day ceremony, when would we celebrate our anniversary? Which ceremony would be the “real” one (i.e. when the marriage certificate is signed)? All these logistical questions led us to the solution that one wedding ceremony that encompasses both of our cultures was the way to go. We also loved what this symbolized -- a coming together of not only Brian and Rupal, but also our families, faiths, and traditions, through a ceremony that was uniquely ours.
  • What were the elements from a Hindu wedding that you were considering?
    • What made it into the day: garland exchange, parent involvement, septapadi, flower send off after ceremony
    • What did not make it into the day: sanskrit chants from hindu weddings, prayers from christian weddings -- we didn’t want either religion to feel over represented and Brian and I are not so religious as we are spiritual. There were references to “god” but nothing concrete that would align with one religion over another.
  • For the Christian-Lutheran side?
    • Pastor David, general flow of the ceremony was very western/Christian, readings

Links we referenced

“We had talked about, briefly, what if we did two ceremonies? And that didn’t last too long. We knew pretty early on that we didn’t want to do that, because we wanted it to just be a melting pot of ourselves and our cultures.” - Rupal

“Not long after we got engaged, I mentioned to Rupal that I wanted my pastor to officiate… He was so excited for every Hindu thing we wanted to put in to the ceremony. He was just open-minded to it all.” - Brian

“It was important to me that both my parents walk me down the aisle.” - Rupal

“Assuming that the other couples out there have supporting families… assuming you don’t have any issues with people that don’t see the world that way, all the fusion stuff, once we made the decisions, it flowed really well.” - Brian

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