Modern Jewish Wedding Traditions III

Here is the final set of jewish wedding details from Amy & Andy’s wedding:

Yichud (private moment between the Bride and Groom)
Immediately after the ceremony, Andy and I stole away for a few moments alone together. Our caterer put together a “moment platter” so we could enjoy all the hors d’oeuvres that were served at the cocktail hour while we were inside, and of course, some bubbly. I highly recommend taking the time to do this, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Mezinka (celebratory dance for parents who marry their last child)
Andy is the last of his siblings to be married (his older brother is married to the lovely Lara of Southern Weddings), so we honored his parents with a mezinka. We had wreaths made for their heads and everyone danced around them to special music.
Birkat Hamazon (grace after meals)
During the reception, those who wanted to participate stepped away from the campfire and s’mores to say the traditional post-meal blessing. We honored 7 people by asking them each to say one of the sheva brachot (seven wedding blessings), which are repeated during the birkat (blessings) at weddings.

Chuppah (Jewish wedding canopy)
We kept it simple, and used a tallis that Andy received from his aunt & uncle as a wedding gift. He wore the one he received for his Bar Mitzvah during the ceremony. We drilled holes through the tops of birch poles we purchased from Nettleton Hollow, and secured the tallis to the poles with the skinniest bungee cord we could find, so there was some elasticity and movement to it. Our florist tied some arrangements onto each pole. We honored 4 people not in the wedding party (my friend and cousin, his friend and sister-in-law) by asking them to carry the chuppah out and hold it throughout the ceremony. I love the symbolism of the chuppah, and especially that those 4 people were the support and pillars of the symbolic home where we began our marriage.

I want to give a huge thank you for Amy and Andy for so generously sharing their wedding, and to Amy for writing such a fantastic summery of all the Jewish wedding traditions they used in their ceremony. This is very helpful to me, as we plan our wedding, and I’m hoping it’s helpful for some other brides out there, and informative for many more. Mazel Tov to you both!

Photos by Joseph Milton Photography.

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  • I am not sure if this is common at Jewish weddings, but my cousin asked my sister and I to be “guards” for the Yichud. They went into a room, had some champagn, ate and enjoyed each other, we stood outside and kept watch. We were told that it is customary to have a guard or two to keep the mothers away! We are going to incorporate this practice, by stealing away a few moments together after the ceremony!

  • Jennifer, that is actually a necessary part of the ceremony! You are making sure that the bride and groom are alone together, which presumes consummation. In reality the bride and groom just eat and bustle the dress, but it is a widespread custom.

  • What a fantastic guest blog! Fun, beautiful AND educational : ) Thanks for sharing!!!!

  • Good to know I played a necessary role!

  • Your blog is wonderful, thank you! We are having a Jewish wedding in London (UK) next June and you have so many great ideas – and fantastic advice! Makes me feel like I am not going mad to read that you don’t have to spend ridiculous amounts of money to have a wonderful day – although in London as I am sure is the case in many big cities – you have to work hard to get around the wedding market and its inflexibility! We are getting there though…

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