*Stephanie, Mission Controller & Dan, Astronaut Trainer*
Last year, Stephanie submitted a post to us about her struggle searching for someone to perform a Catholic-Jewish interfaith wedding, and the challenges that come with planning an interfaith wedding when both partners are practicing in their religion. Today she follows up with a grad post that answers that letter. And it’s a damn good one. In other news, can we take a moment to acknowledge that Stephanie works as a mission controller and her husband is an astronaut trainer? Space! We have the most badass readers. That is all.
That wedding you want? You will have it.
That’s not to say it will be easy, of course. You had some difficulties, and they will not be the last. (There’s the time Dan will come home from work to find you sobbing on the couch, because the last rabbi in Houston has just told you she won’t be able to officiate.) But there will be good parts of your planning journey too.
You’ll meet another deacon, and this one will be wonderful and helpful, and when the day comes, he’ll stand under the chuppah and bless your marriage. Then, in a late-night internet search with only three months to go, you’ll find a rabbi to officiate.
You will wonder if you have too many traditions, like too many cooks in the kitchen. You will pour over the Jewish wedding ceremony and the Catholic wedding ceremony, and take a red pen to them both. You will choose what stays and what goes and, in the end, you will have what you were wishing for: a way to honor both traditions, to create the perfect blend.
Of your plans for a first look your best friend will say, “But you can’t see the groom before the wedding. It’s tradition.” And you’ll laugh and remind her that in the Jewish tradition the groom must see the bride before the wedding, to make sure it’s the right person. The best part of having so many traditions is that one will always back you up.
You’ll choose the Jewish processional, parents escorting their children to the altar, to represent the joining of two families. (Bonus: your dad can walk you down the aisle, but it doesn’t make you think of the patriarchy.) You’ll choose a reading from the Torah, and one from the Gospel. One quotes the other; to you they say, “What we have in common is more important than what divides us.”
You’ll say the Catholic vows, simple and true: “I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.” You’ll sign a ketubah (that fancy acid-free pen you bought does not write at all—luckily the deacon brought a spare!). As you kiss under the chuppah, made from prayer shawls from your father and grandfathers, the glow of a fading Shabbat sunset will be at your back.
At the reception you’ll dance the hora. Jews and non-Jews alike will lift you high in a chair and dance circles around you. And nobody will ever ask why you didn’t break a glass.
The Info—Photographer: Photography by Janine / Location: Houston, Texas / Venue: Agave Estates / Rabbi: David Gruber / Ketubah: Modern Ketubah / Stephanie’s Dress: Essence of Australia / Dan and Groomsmen’s Suits: Jos. A. Bank / Flowers and Chuppah: Floral Events