Marriage - Non Bahá’í

As long as both the Bahá’í and the other religious (whatever it may be) ceremony are both performed prior to the consummation of the marriage, we do not mind which ceremony is performed first. It should be left to the individuals concerned to decide among themselves.

Shoghi Effendi, USA-NSA, Developing Distinctive Bahá’í Communities

Under these circumstances [when two ceremonies are held], the Bahá’í can partake of the religious ceremony of his non-Bahá’í partner. The Bahá’í should insist on having the Bahá’í ceremony carried out before or after the non Bahá’í one, on the same day.

Shoghi Effendi, USA-NSA, Developing Distinctive Bahá’í Communities

With reference to your question regarding mixed marriages, that is to say between Bahá’ís and non-Bahá’ís; in all such cases the believer must insist that the Bahá’í ceremony should, as far as he is concerned, be performed in its entirety, but should also give full freedom to the other contracting party to carry out the non- Bahá’í rite or ceremony be it Muslim, Christian or otherwise, provided the latter does not invalidate the Bahá’í marriage act. This is the general principle which your N.S.A. should explain to the friends.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 384

As to the holding of the Bahá’í and civil marriage ceremonies on the same day, as the consummation of the marriage should not take place until both ceremonies have been held, a night should not intervene between the two ceremonies.

Universal House of Justice, USA-NSA, Developing Distinctive Bahá’í Communities

Further, there is no objection for Bahá’ís to attend religious marriage ceremonies of their friends and relatives or take part in festivities usually connected with these events, provided that in doing so they do not contravene Bahá’í Law. For example, if consuming alcoholic beverages is a part of such activities, the Bahá’ís, of course, would be obliged to refrain from partaking of such drinks.

Universal House of Justice, NSA USA: Developing Distinctive Bahá’í Communities

If the parents of a Bahá’í couple are, for example, Christians, there is no objection to their attending church with their parents and their parents' friends and relations, if their parents so wish, in order to pray for the future of the marriage, but such attendance should not involve any form of marriage ceremony or simulated marriage ceremony.

Universal House of Justice, USA-NSA, Developing Distinctive Bahá’í Communities

In all cases of marriage of Bahá’ís to followers of other religions the Bahá’í has two essential obligations as regards the children:

a. He must not educate or assume a vow to educate the children of the marriage in a religion other than his own.

b. He must do whatever he can to provide for the training of the children in the Bahá’í teachings.

Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 388

It is only when a non-Bahá’í partner is involved that a Bahá’í may participate in the religious ceremony of the non-Bahá’í partner.

Universal House of Justice, USA-NSA, Developing Distinctive Bahá’í Communities

The future christening of the ... child should present no problem, for the Bahá’í parent should have no objection to the baptism of his child if the Catholic mother wishes it. Similarly, the use of champagne upon that occasion is a matter which she is free to undertake, but of course the Bahá’ís would not partake of alcoholic beverages.

Universal House of Justice, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 253-254

There are some exclusive religious ceremonies in which Bahá’ís should not participate, in order to safeguard the independence of the Faith. In this regard, the beloved Guardian has given the following advice to an individual believer: “In these days the friends should, as much as possible, demonstrate through their deeds the independence of the Holy Faith of God, and its freedom from the customs, rituals and practices of a discredited and abrogated past.” In observing this principle, the House of Justice advises the Bahá’ís to maintain a balance between their adherence to the Cause and obedience to its laws on the one hand, and their role in society on the other. When an individual becomes a Bahá’í he acquires, as you are aware, a wider loyalty to the Manifestations of God. Having found this new way of life, he should be careful not to isolate himself from his family and his people, and he should show respect for his former religion. The Bahá’ís should, of course, avoid performing any acts which could be considered as implying their membership in another religion or which are contrary to Bahá’í Principles. There is a clear distinction between participating in festive and cultural events, as opposed to performing religious ceremonies and rituals.

Universal House of Justice, 26 May 1982, to a National Spiritual Assembly

When a Bahá’í is marrying a non-Bahá’í, and the religious wedding ceremony of the non-Bahá’í partner is to be held in addition to the Bahá’í ceremony, both ceremonies may, if requested, be held in the place of worship of the other religion provided that:

* Equal respect is accorded to both ceremonies. In other words, the Bahá’í ceremony, which is basically so simple, should not be regarded as a mere formal adjunct to the ceremony of the other religion.

* The two ceremonies are clearly distinct. In other words, they should not be commingled into one combined ceremony.

Universal House of Justice, USA-NSA, Developing Distinctive Bahá’í Communities

When two Bahá’ís are marrying, the wedding ceremony should not be held in the place of worship of another religion, nor should the forms of marriage of other religions be added to the simple Bahá’í ceremony.

Universal House of Justice, USA-NSA, Developing Distinctive Bahá’í Communities