Working With Your Rabbi
If you and your fiancé are from different Jewish backgrounds or your families are of different levels of Jewish identity or observance, be sure to inform your rabbi of this. Your rabbi can do a great deal to smooth over differences and make everyone comfortable. Your rabbi should be able to understand where each of you or each of your families is coming from religiously or culturally and should help each family be heard and feel that their concerns matter.
If you have decided on a very traditional Jewish weding but one family is less observant or knowledgeable, have your rabbi make a special effort to call or meet with the family, hear their concerns, and give them some explanations and teaching. Sometimes less observant or knowledgeable parents feel they do not know what their role should be and the more knowledgeable parents can unintentionally end up playing a more central role in the wedding simply because of their knowledge of the ceremony and its blessings, language, and traditions.
Despite prior lack of knowledge regarding the ceremony and its blessings, language, and traditions, both sets of parents can play a central role in the wedding. Ask your rabbi to meet with the less knowledgeable family and help them carve out a part of the ceremony that will be theirs. For instance, a blessing that the rabbi could put on tape for your parents to memorize and recite under the chuppah will help them feel a part of your ceremony.
No matter what kind of Jewish wedding you are having, if you know that many of your guests will be unfamiliar with your Jewish wedding ceremony, discuss with your rabbi or wedding officiate the importance of explaining the key parts of the ceremony as you do each one. This will help your guests appreciate your particular wedding and gain a deeper understanding of Jewish weddings.