Rev. Ann: Long gone are the days when marriage partners were found in the same tribe, clan, village...or even nation. As our world got smaller due to technological advances in communication and travel, our pool of potential spouses increased dramatically. Consequently, I serve many couples with concerns similar to yours. The religions and the cultures may vary, but not the desire to honor them within the context of a wedding ceremony.
This is one of the few circumstances where I would unreservedly recommend a high quality independent officiant rather than use an amateur. If you both have clergy willing to work together, that can be a great choice. If you don't, I encourage you to take the time to select someone who either understands both of your cultures or is willing to do the research necessary to learn. Blending religious and cultural elements into a ceremony may not be rocket science, but it does require care and skill to construct meaningfully. So yes, it is entirely possible and can be quite beautiful!
Kathryn in South Carolina: How much time should we allow for pictures between our ceremony and our reception?
Rev. Ann: Kathryn's question is one I receive regularly from the couples I serve and frequently encounter at on-line wedding planning forums. The quick answer is there is no single answer. The time you should allot for portraits after a wedding ceremony completely depends upon your unique circumstances.
How many people are in the wedding party? How many familiar members need to be organized for group portraits? Will you be taking pictures where the ceremony took place or do you need to build in the time to move to a more picturesque location? Will you be taking some of your portraits before the ceremony or doing all portrait taking afterwards?
Photographers also work at different paces, with some moving at a faster clip while others can border on tediously slow. Neither pace necessarily indicative of the quality of their work. My advice when it comes to this question is quite simple. Why are you asking me (or your mom, or your friends, or an on-line community of strangers) ?! Write an email or pick up the phone and ask the the only person able to give you a realistic answer. ~ your photographer.
Photo Attribute: image courtesy of Luv Luv Photography