L’Dor V’Dor

It’s been a hard weekend here – there has been a family emergency, and I’m having a hard time summoning my words. It did, however, seem to be the perfect time to post this picture by Our Labor Of Love, which moved me beyond words.

I talk a lot about how I want our wedding to feel like a joyous party. In fact, our wedding invitations actually say “Wild Celebration To Follow,” and oh, it will follow. But when David and I sat down to write what turned out to be our wedding mission statement we said that we wanted a simple religious ceremony followed by a joyful celebration. In the Jewish tradition, your wedding day is a personal Yom Kippur, a day of atonement. It’s a day you approach with deep internal meditation, making yourself right with the world, and with whatever your concept of the universal is. You apologize to those you have hurt and you try to approach the day and your marriage with a clean ethical slate. There is a particularly lovely Jewish tradition that a bride, on her wedding day, has God’s ear directly. In some communities it is traditional for people to pass along prayers for people in need of healing to the bride, and she prays for their healing before she walks down the aisle.

The point of all this is not that the wedding day needs to be a religious one. It is that, for me at least, the importance of our wedding ceremony is that it ties us to something far greater than ourselves: to our histories, to our traditions, to our families, to the pull of the universal. I hope my wedding day feels like this picture: deep, rich, human, with the hands of many generations, the hands of love on my shoulders.

Picture by Our Labor of Love, see the whole wedding on the new Once Wed here, here, here, here, and here

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  • LPC

    Our thoughts are with you for the family emergency. Hope recovery of whatever sort is required has happened. I remember being struck how real my sister's Jewish wedding seemed, the things the rabbi said, almost like he pulled aside the usual curtain of religion and ritual that I had been used to in Christian weddings. I hope you too have a parting of the veil.

  • My thoughts are with you and your family, make. I am so sorry that you guys are having a hard time. But yes, this is what gets me about Jewish weddings too, and you articulated it so beautiful. It is about connecting with each other, with God, and with humanity. I feel really grateful to have these rituals in my life, and yes, when things get hard, those moments ground us. Take care of yourself.

  • Sunny

    When I ask myself what the facination with weddings is all about, I think it's about creating family ties.

    It's about going forward knowing that your choice to marry has changed the course of your life.

    This is why we are drawn to weddings and images of weddings.

  • Meg, I hope things are looking up.

  • Amy

    I love your reflection. This s a beautiful tradition and I think it reminds us that despite the Wedding industry marketing the wedding day is not about the bride, it is about the greater communities (faith and secular) and families which are uniting through two people.

  • "I hope my wedding day feels like this picture: deep, rich, human, with the hands of many generations, the hands of love on my shoulders."

    simply beautiful. thank you.

  • My thoughts are with you.

    This is a beautiful tradition and I can't think of a better start to a marriage.

  • great message! great picture. great reminder of what really matters.

  • Cate Subrosa

    Beautiful tradition. This is the kind of "it's the bride's special day" with which I can get on board.

  • Wishing you & yours quick recovery from the emergency! Be well. An unexpected crisis on top of work, wedding planning, blogging and regular city life is a lot to handle. Take good care.

  • I hope things are going better for you and your family!

  • you've already got our hands, meggy

  • Anonymous

    The photo speaks volumes – and puts into perspective what is truly meaningful – and what a blessed way to start your married life. Thanks for the post –

  • Peonies and Polaroids

    What a beautiful tradition and such a moving photography.

  • Meg

    Oh, ESB, you just made me well up a little. And smile.

  • You won me over first with the pic (which I actually saw for the first time today over at Our Labor of Love and, well, loved it) and kept it going with your writing. You continue to help me keep things in perspective. I think the most helpful part is realizing that our wedding IS a big deal, just not for the reasons that keep being forced on us. Good luck with your family, and thanks again.

  • April

    Meg, hope all is well with you and your family. Take care.

  • Beaurtiful tradition! I think your wedding day, make anything you like, such as wedding invitations, wedding dress and so on…It's your days. Congratulations!

  • that is just lovely!