One couple’s interfaith wedding


An interfaith wedding may be daunting to plan, but one couple feels they found a happy medium.

Becky Bartlein, 34, and Carl Petrillo, 32, married Sept. 18, 2016, with 135 people in attendance at the Milwaukee Yacht Club.

It was a religiously liberal Jewish ceremony. “We had the chuppah, Sheva B’rachot, smashed glass; there were a lot of Jewish elements,” Bartlein said.

The chuppah is a four-post, wooden structure the couple stands under and exchanges their vows. “The tallis was my mother’s and the chuppah was built by my dad; it represented family and the home Carl and I would build,” said Bartlein, who kept her maiden name.

The Sheva B’rachot are seven blessings that wish good health on the couple. The breaking of the glass is symbolic of the finality of a union between two people.

Seeking to bridge the gap between tradition, modernity and religion, the couple personalized their ketubah. “We took the time to write the ketubah text ourselves for it to be more meaningful for us instead of using the traditional text. For instance, we included our commitment to open our hearts to those around us in service of repairing the world.”

Rabbi Jill Crimmings of Bet Shalom Congregation, Minnetonka, Minnesota led the ceremony. Bartlein and Crimmings have a personal connection as they met and became friends in high school BBYO.

Guests were made to feel included during the ceremony. “In the program there were explanations of all the symbols, traditions and blessings. The ceremony was in English and Hebrew. Guests said that it was a ‘meaningful, moving wedding.’”

Bartlein and Petrillo veered away from the traditional reception. “[We had a] Sunday morning brunch because we are morning people. It was more ‘us’ than a late night wedding reception,” Bartlein said.

For interfaith couples seeking marriage, Bartlein said to “take the time to choose the words, readings, and blessings carefully so it resonates with both of you.”