Chelsea Clinton's Interfaith Marriage Challenge: Kids, Holidays, Soul-Searching

The obstacles Chelsea and husband Marc Mezvinsky can expect to face.

ByABC News
August 2, 2010, 3:08 PM

Aug. 2, 2010— -- Now that they have officially said "I do," Chelsea Clinton and husband Marc Mezvinsky have joined the growing ranks of interfaith marriages.

Mezvinsky, 32, is Jewish, while Clinton, 30, was raised Methodist, like her mother Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Their Saturday ceremony, which was co-officiated by Rabbi James Ponet, a Jewish chaplain at Yale, and the Rev. William Shillady, a Methodist minister from New York City, was a nod to both their faiths.

It featured many Jewish traditions: the couple married under a chuppah or canopy; the groom wore a yarmulke or skull cap and tallis or prayer shawl; friends and family recited the Seven Blessings typically read at traditional Jewish weddings.

"To me that's an indication that the groom identifies Jewishly," Edmund Case, the head of InterfaithFamily.com told ABCNews.com. "It's also apparent that Chelsea must have been fine with it or it wouldn't have happened. Also, given the prominence of her famiy, they must have been accepting of it."

There were concessions to Clinton's faith, as well. Besides the inclusion of a Methodist minister, the ceremony took place before sunset, the official end of the Jewish sabbath.

According to recent surveys, one in three U.S. couples are in religiously mixed marriages and half of all Jews marry outside their faith. Experts say there are issues that can arise for many interfaith couples.

"I always tell people to extend their thoughts into the future," Rev. Susanna Macomb, an ordained interfaith minister and author of "Joining Hands and Hearts, Interfaith, Intercultural Wedding Celebrations, A Practical Guide for Couples," told ABCNews.com.

Before she marries an interfaith couple, Macomb gives each partner a questionnaire to help them consider what their future household will look like -- how they will raise their children, what holidays they will celebrate -- and create a blueprint for their lives together.