image: Chyna Darner Photography
Today’s post is written by Michele Schwartz, editor of The Modern Jewish Wedding, a popular website for Jewish/ interfaith couples and wedding planners.
Mazel Tov, you’re engaged! You are starting to put together Pinterest boards, you’re buying every wedding magazine going and bookmarking all the best wedding blogs. There’s only one hitch – you are Jewish, and your fiancà© isn’t. But no need to worry, because by adding Jew-ish touches to your wedding and reception, you can honour both sides and have everyone “kvelling” in no time.
Here are five simple and fun ways to incorporate Jewish wedding traditions into your special day:
1. FIND AN INTERFAITH KETUBAH: There are Ketubot written in English with no mention of God or religious beliefs. Every couple should agree to love, commitment and laughter (three things the Ketubah represents); it’s good for the soul! [image: Interfaith ketubah from Daphna & Godwin’s Tuscan castle Jewish wedding ]
2. HAVE YOUR PARENTS WALK YOU DOWN THE AISLE: Every Jewish mother dreams of the day she’ll walk her child down the aisle (wearing a dress that’s the envy of all her friends). Don’t deprive her of this proud moment! Plus, your soon to be in-laws will no doubt find it charming, thereby giving you some serious brownie points.
3. HAVE A CHUPPAH: The chuppah represents your new home and forms a beautiful, striking central space for the wedding ceremony. Also, designing a chuppah will be a special way for you both to create something symbolic and beautiful together. Just add it in to the floral budget and enjoy the experience and symbolism. [image: Chuppah from Lee & Gary’s Jewish Wedding at The Criterion, London / Peachy Productions ]
4. SMASH THE GLASS! Since even Jews can’t agree on why we break a glass at a Jewish wedding, there’s really no reason not to include the tradition. It’s fun! Everyone shouts “Mazal Tov” and everyone claps and hollers. Who doesn’t want a standing ovation on their wedding day?
5. DO THE HORA AT THE WEDDING RECEPTION: Since there’s no religious significance–consider the Hora just a fabulous dance. The Hora is a fun way to get the party started and gets everyone onto the dance floor. Feeling really brave? Include the part of the dance where you are lifted high above friends and family on chairs! [image: The Hora dance from Sara & Elliot’s Scottish Castle Jewish wedding / Claudine Hartzel ]
ONE BONUS IDEA: Participate in Yihud. Immediately following the ceremony, spend 10 or 15 minutes in private with your new spouse. The tradition (meaning seclusion) will give you some much needed alone time, so take advantage of it. Trust me–your non-Jewish spouse will thank you later for including this sweet Jewish tradition into your special day. [image: Yichud from Karen & Jeremy’s Jewish Wedding at the Wallace Collection, London / Mark & Marianne Earthy ]
How do you plan to ‘mix-it-up’ on your wedding day? Have you and your fiancà© discussed ways to share your interfaith celebration in a meaningful way that respects both belief systems? Let us know in the comments section below.
This piece was published in it’s original format on OneWed.com