Photo by @paramountsight
If you’re planning an interfaith ceremony – or a not-so-traditional Jewish one – it can be hard to know where to start. The fact that there’s no set template to follow can be freeing, but it can also be overwhelming.
That’s why I’m so excited to share a wonderful wedding ceremony planning tool designed specifically for couples planning interfaith and/or unconventional Jewish weddings. 18Doors, a wonderful nonprofit organization that supports interfaith Jewish couples and families, has launched a DIY Wedding Ceremony Script Builder that makes it easy to explore the key traditions of a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony. With the tool, you can figure out which Jewish traditions speak to you – and which might not – to craft a ceremony that feels true to who you are as a couple, and as a new Jew-ish family.
If you’ve opted to have a friend or relative officiate your wedding instead of a rabbi or cantor with experience in advising ceremony structure, the wedding ceremony script builder is an invaluable tool. And did I mention that it’s 100% free to use?!
Photo by Charlotte Watts Photography
How It Works
To get started, you’ll have access to short videos explaining different components of the Jewish wedding ceremony featuring real footage submitted by interfaith couples from their own Jew-ish weddings. You’ll not only get a brief overview of what the tradition is and what it symbolizes, but you’ll also be able to see modern spins couples have chosen to put on them.
Once you’ve had a chance to familiarize yourself with the traditions and think what might be good to include in your own wedding, you’ll fill out a short form before being directed to the custom script builder. This tool was created by 18Doors with generous funding from the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.
Photo by @1028photo
The custom script builder tool will allow you to choose traditions you wish to include to your script, and offer multiple text options for your officiant for each tradition. With a few simple clicks, you can build your ceremony from start to finish and hand it off to your officiant. Whether you’re looking to go modern or traditional, to speak to classical Jewish symbolism or more universal motifs, you’ll be able to choose language that reflects your relationship and the marriage you’re creating.
Photo by Lacey Gabrielle
For example, as an introductory remark under the chuppah, the script builder presents three different text options:
________ and ________ stand underneath this chuppah, the Jewish wedding canopy, today as a symbol of the home they have built and will continue to build together. The chuppah reminds us of the Jewish patriarch Abraham and matriarch Sarah who opened their tent to welcome in anyone who passed by. Today, this couple invites you to witness one of the most transitional moments in their lives as they combine their families into one. May they be blessed in doing so under this holy structure.
In all Jewish weddings, the chuppah acts as a temporary structure that reminds us of how far the Jewish people have come from nomadic times in search of permanence. Today the chuppah shows the community’s supportive role in celebrating this marriage, as this couple creates a permanence in their relationship today. May _____ and ______ build their home in a way that mirrors this chuppah, and allows them to continue to be open to the community that surrounds them.
Surrounded by those you love, and who love and support you both, you stand underneath this chuppah, the Jewish wedding canopy, the symbol of the home. This home, a unique blend of each of your backgrounds and cultures, is open on all sides, welcoming others to enter into our lives and reminding us that we are part of a larger community. May your home be a shelter against the storm, a haven of peace, a stronghold of faith and love.