Smashing The Glass is all about super creative Jewish (and Jew-ish) weddings packed with individuality and personal details so you’ve definitely come to the right place for inspiration!
I’ve come up with lots of creative ideas for you with everything from innovative ways to include friends, family and little ones in your ceremony to making them feel ultra special at your reception
A lovely way to get your closest friends and family involved is to have them contribute to your chuppah design. Ask guests to contribute different squares (tell them what size is required or supply a blank piece of square material sized correctly) and patchwork them together to make one big chuppah canopy.
Cheryl and Ernest’s beautiful personalised chuppah quilt (below) is an example that’s made out of the clothes of the bride’s mother who sadly passed away, and other momentous pieces including her grandmother’s wedding dress and a shirt her mum had kept of her grandfather’s after he had died, but the same quilt style could be used by asking friends and family to each contribute a square, and sewing them altogether.
Or do what my husband and I did where we asked some of our guests to contribute to our chuppah design by asking them to compose a short message (in English or Hebrew) that we then incorporated into our chuppah canopy design.
This was also a lovely way of including guests from abroad that weren’t able to attend in person. We also chose four significant people to hold each of the four chuppah poles including Sharon, our Irish Catholic mutual friend that set us up (chuppah holders don’t have to be Jewish). Perhaps your fiancà©e’s best friend could do that? Everyone we asked felt very honoured!
Image: Earthy Photography from my own Jewish wedding
Another ‘ceremony’ idea is to replace the traditional Sheva Brachot (seven blessings) with prayers by all your friends personalised for you, then have each friend came up and read their own prayer. Chelm and Jake did that in their Jewish wedding — have a read of their wedding post for many more ideas of how to involve friends and family. And even if you don’t want to personalise the seven blessings, you can still ask seven different friends or cousins to read each blessing for you at the chuppah. People comfortable reading Hebrew can read the blessing in Hebrew, while non-Jewish friends can always read an English translation.
Wedding reception ideas
A lovely way to make your guests feel super special is to incorporate another detail that I did for my wedding. My husband and I knew we wouldn’t have a lot of time to talk to everyone on the day, so we spent some time before the wedding writing personal notes to everyone at the wedding which we then had printed underneath their names on their menus / name cards. It took a bit of time but we really wanted each and every guest to realise how much we wanted them there and what they meant to us.
Images: Earthy Photography from my own Jewish wedding
Think of the talents of your friends and family and ask them to contribute to your day. They will be only too pleased that you asked them and will be so honoured to play a special part in your day. They’ll be only too delighted to provide you with ideas on how to decorate your venue, help with choosing or playing music, creating stationery, outfit ideas, accessories, anything you need assistance with! As I say guests love to be involved in your day so don’t be shy to ask. Chelm and Jake (whose wedding was mentioned earlier) are a great example of this – and their wedding is one of my all-time favourites on Smashing The Glass!
Kathleen and Liz also called upon their friends in more ways than one, and theirs is a great example of a super beautiful and personal wedding. They went for a music-themed W-day and one of their details was to include a card in each invitation that asked their guests to write down their favourite song lyric. It was a lovely keepsake for them, and on their one-year anniversary they had a designer friend create a laser cut with the song lyrics each guests had submitted. It now hangs in their home as a beautiful reminder of their wedding day and their closest friends and family.
A twist on this idea would be to ask guests to submit their favourite dance song along with their RSVPs, and you could then play each of your guest’s favourite songs at your party.
Image: Max & Friends from Kathleen and Liz’s Jew-ish wedding
Reception ideas for children and the young at heart, and wedding advice cards!
Get creative with a printer, some card, pencils and a disposable camera, and send your guests on a photo scavenger hunt with this game of i-spy (this could work particularly well for children, or those who are young at heart!) They have to spot a variety of typical wedding day occurrences and tick them off on their list.
An example i-spy card is available as a free download from Martha Stewart Weddings right here.
You can also place a ‘wedding advice’ card at each setting (see an example of one in the picture below). These are fun for your guests to fill out, they create a talking point at the tables, and best of all, they’re super enjoyable for you to read on your honeymoon and beyond!
Image: Martha Stewart Weddings via Bridal Musings
Have a good look through all Smashing The Glass’s real Jewish weddings and you’ll find limitless lovely creative ways of getting your friends and family involved in your Jewish wedding.
And do be sure you submit your wedding to me after the big day. I can’t wait to see what you came up with!