JEWISH WEDDING 101
Getting married either stresses you out or sends you into a flurry of excitement. No need to stress. All of your energy should be on you, your spouse-to-be, and the special day you’ll spend with your favorite family and friends. To soothe your concerns and get ideas, you scour the Internet for tips and ideas, but what about Jewish weddings? Most blogs and web sites don’t mention the beautiful Jewish traditions or offer nuggets of advice for certain aspects of your day. Ah ha! The Wedding Yentas comes to your rescue. While www.TheWeddingYentas.com provides a daily waterfall of information, photos, and ideas, the The Wedding Yentas wants to share some Jewish Wedding 101 with you right here!
There are many traditions that are up for interpretation depending on your Jewish affiliation and officiant. However, on your special day, it’s up to you how you want to embrace them. Basic traditions include: the bedeken, which is the veiling of the bride when, typically, all the ladies gather to offer the bride good wishes before the groom enters the room to check to make sure it is indeed his beloved under the veil, stemming from the story of Jacob and Rachel; standing under a chuppah (the wedding canopy open on four sides) to symbolize the first home the couple shares together; signing a ketubah (the Jewish marriage contract); exchanging rings (traditionally, only the groom gives the bride a ring, but modern couples tend to both give and receive rings) that must be solid gold with no adornments to symbolize eternal love that never breaks; and a yichud, which is time spent alone together after the ceremony that, in ancient times, was the period of consummation, but now, couples enjoy this time to greet each other as husband and wife.
Perhaps, though, the most exciting tradition that everyone can enjoy, especially the groom, is the breaking of the glass. This event comes at the end of the ceremony and all guests shout out a spirited “Mazel tov!” after the groom has stomped on a glass (it can be a light bulb for a solid crunch) inside a bag. This custom has several different interpretations; some rabbis say it’s to commemorate the temple in Jerusalem and others say it’s a reminder that love is fragile and should be treated with care. Whatever the reason, it’s a tradition that both guests and wedding VIPs look forward to!
SPECIAL WEDDING YENTAS INSIGHT
White wine. It’s good for the soul. And your dress. You’ll be taking sips of kosher vino under the chuppah, but who says it has to be red? There are plenty of delicious white wines that are still kosher and will leave your dress spotless if you’re not the neatest sipper. Whether it’s the nerves, the cool breeze, or your heels, you might find yourself a little shaky during the ceremony and you don’t want to risk dripping red wine on your pristine, white (and expensive) gown.
When it comes to your ketubah, you’ll want to ink it in … forever. Did you know that there is a right and wrong pen to use on your traditional Jewish marriage document? Typically, yourketubah is a work of art that you proudly hang on a wall in your new married home. Avoid pens that feather or bleed. You also want to be certain that your ink won’t fade over time, even if your ketubah soaks up sunlight and UV light so be sure to use archival pigment ink. Waterproof pens are also a good idea because someone in your family will be crying tears of joy (we have our money down on a mom).
Avoid the chair scare. After your ceremony, it’s time to party and that means a big fat Horah will take over the dance floor as your guests circle around you. And no wedding Horah is complete without honoring the bride and groom with a chair lift. But what if you’re afraid of heights? What if you’re not much of a mover and a shaker on solid ground, let alone 5 feet up in the air? An arm chair will be your new best friend! Make sure your coordinator or venue manager sets aside two arm chairs for you and your new spouse so that you have something to grab onto while the beefiest men of the group bounce you around. Don’t be scared! It’s such a fun experience and the photos are priceless!
Your photographer should be your best investment. It’s the source of your memories and proof of your awesome day. Your kids will love to see the pictures. This is not the vendor for which to cut corners!
There are no rights and wrongs when it comes to your special day. Choose elements that will reflect you both as a couple. Don’t worry about what people think you should do; only concern yourself with matters that are important to you. If you’re both obsessed with your dog, find a way to incorporate Buster in your special day. You can’t please everyone.
Things might go wrong. The universe isn’t perfect on your wedding day. Your hairdresser could run late or your bouquet may not be what you expected. You know what? You still get to marry your most favorite person in the world. Weddings are beautiful no matter what. Keep your eye on the prize and don’t sweat the small stuff. It’ll ruin your makeup.
ABOUT Alison & TWY:
The Wedding Yentas posts fresh, daily blogs covering everything from Real Jewish Weddings, explanations of traditions, DIY ideas, the latest wedding trends, and giveaways! You can also find a growing Vendor Directory filled with elite wedding professionals in the US who can help make your day absolutely perfect! Alison Friedman owns and operates The Wedding Yentas and is a wannabe Carrie Bradshaw of all things wedding! Alison began planning her wedding at the age of 5 with the help of her Barbie and Ken dolls. Alison is a proud Wildcat alumni from The University of Arizona and lives in the suburbs of Los Angeles with her husband, 5-week-old daughter, Madelyn, and their little pooch, Princeton.