A few weeks ago, we posted Julie Olschwanger and Alex Bernhard’s wedding for our real wedding of the week. Julie is Jewish and Alex is not, which got us thinking: What does it take to plan a multicultural wedding? We took a dive into the archives and chatted with a few of our past brides. We told you their stories, but now we are going more in depth and asking them for advice for your own wedding day.
We already shared tips from Saumya Tayi and Rachel Chinich, and today we circle back to get three final tips from Julie herself.
Find the Right Officiant
“I am personally such a people pleaser and wanted to love the first rabbi we met with, but we didn’t feel that connection. You will forever remember who married you and the words that were said in the first moments as husband and wife,” Julie says. “Just like finding the right dress or venue, don’t be afraid to interview multiple officiants, get recommendations, and say ‘no’ to the ones that you just aren’t feeling.”
Customize Your Ceremony
“It took a little more time and effort, but going step by step through each ritual and tradition that mattered to us created a ceremony that was designed to our wants and needs. It also allowed us to understand each other’s culture and religion,” Julie says. “One of my favorite touches was that I got married in my great grandma’s silver band because in the Jewish faith you do ‘not marry for riches or wealth.’”
Communication or Counseling with Officiant
“We did some very therapeutic ‘counseling’ with our officiant, and more than anything it helped him get to know us both as individuals and as a couple,” Julie says. “It made the ceremony so much more special knowing that he knew us. We got to hear him incorporate personalized stories and sweet quotes we had answered in questionnaires to him. It made the ceremony so incredibly special and unique from any other general wedding ceremony. He knew our story and how much we adore each other, so it made it feel like a friend was marrying us.”