Chris will be marrying Ariel on 6th June 2021 in Chris’ Aunt and Uncle’s front yard. Click here to read all of Chris’ planning posts to date.
THREE FACTS: (1) Ariel proposed to Chris in November 2020 (2) Chris swiped right on Ariel and the rest is history! (3) Chris + Ariel will be having an intimate 10-person wedding.
When I told my mother (a hippie Jew who married an Irish Catholic community organizer) we were working on our Ketubah, she told me that the thought of a document proving she had been sold to a man did not fit in with her feminist sensibilities. For this reason, they did not have one for their interfaith marriage in 1982. I explained to her that although I see where she is coming from, it is traditional to fight in front of your Ketubah. Writing it together is a way to craft a reminder of what is important to us when we don’t like each other very much or when the road ahead seems too hard to bear.
My mom thought this reframing was beautiful. With that lofty goal weighing heavily on our shoulders, during a weekend away on the Cape, in the dead of winter, looking out onto a frozen lake, we began to craft this sacred document: part love letter, part promise, part aspiration, part reminder.
As we poured over texts that were meaningful to each of us, there was a glaring omission to me. None of the inspirational texts that I could find seemed to say anything about grief. I was looking for something to speak to how we would navigate our life with each other when in the
kind of pain I was in at 17, when my 2 dear friends passed away a month apart from each other. I was looking for a sentence to speak to the grief I felt a few years ago when I was the medical proxy for my friend and had to sit helpless as the machine counting his heartbeats flatlined. This week, when we consulted our Rabbi, Rabbi Getzel Davis, for text about grief he really helped us to reframe the definition of grief.
He helped remind us that we are all in grief right now. As I write this, in the US alone we have lost over 500,000 people from COVID-19. We are grieving the loss of those half a million people both as a whole and as the loved ones of people we directly know. We are grieving a way of life from before the pandemic, which at this point feels like a dream. We are grieving not having holidays together. We are grieving friendships and family relationships strained by this time of not being able to hug each other and just be in the same space together silently watching a movie.
We are grieving the idea of dancing with all our friends and family at our wedding. We are grieving Shabbat dinners at friend’s houses filled with hugs and laughs. The more we talked with our Rabbi, the more we realized the complexity of grief, and the more we realized we should be practicing how we want to be in grief with each other right now.
This has helped us be more intentional with each other during this time. With the understanding that we are grieving now, we give each other more space to grieve and process on our own. When we are ready, we come together and hold each other and talk about our feelings or just sit together on the couch and watch “The Voice”. We pick up the slack for each other when the daily chores of life get overwhelming though our grief. We fill up our own cup; Ari with books and me with my morning routine and podcasts. We check in with ourselves and we check on each other often. We put ourselves in the other’s shoes and do not get defensive. We hold each other when we are ready to cry.
We give each other time to process with friends because we understand and respect that we are not always the best sounding board for every situation and value other perspectives. We smile knowingly as the other belts out sad songs in the bathroom, understanding that this is the most effective way to process feelings sometimes. When we go to the pharmacy we pick up each other’s favorite chocolate, or bath salts, or flowers just because they are a small, thoughtful way to show our love in these unprecedented times. In the end, the line we added to our Ketubah that sums up our feelings on grieving together is: We will help guide and support each other through grief.
This is how the middle of our Ketubah* reads:
As beloveds and friends we choose to walk life’s path together. We pledge to be equal partners, loving friends, and supportive companions all through our life. Our lives are now forever intertwined. Our similarities will bind us, our differences will enrich us, and our love will define us. We commit to a relationship grounded in kindness, respect, empathy, communication, mutual support, honesty, acceptance, gratitude, joy, play, compromise, and patience. We will support each other with curiosity and compassion as we grow and change. We will share our hopes and dreams, and help each other discover and follow our own true path in life. We will celebrate all of the passages of life together with joy and reverence.
In times of happiness we will cherish each other, and in times of trouble we will protect each other. We will help guide and support each other through grief. We will build a home together and fill it with laughter, empathy, faith, trust, friendship, companionship and love; a home in which holidays and heritage are celebrated in accordance with our traditions. May we live each day as the first, the last, the only day we will have with each other. Surrounded by family and friends, we joyfully enter into this covenant of companionship and love. From this day forward, we are as one; we are bound together as a family.
*This text was inspired by several Ketubahs. Please feel free to use this as inspiration for your own Ketubah. However, we respectfully ask that you do not use an exact copy of our text.
Their website says: With a fashion-industry background and NYC roots, we work to bring the brilliance of the Big City to creative New England couples. Here, we embrace unapologetic individualism (be you, and don’t be sorry about it), elevated art (make it amazing and intentional), and an effortless, enjoyable process (you’re getting married, not filing taxes).
This really embodies them! They were the only company to ask us how we met and took time to get to know us. We immediately felt comfortable with them and that we were in great hands! Their funky cool style is just what we were looking for!
Chase was the sixth tent company I called. Chase Canopy Company is a party rental service located in Mattapoisett, MA. With over 38 years of experience in the party rental business, they are dedicated to providing the supplies to make your event a success. When I called, I asked if they are ok vending for a same sex wedding.
The Rep said “Well… I’m gay, so if we didn’t, that would be a problem…” He was sassy and sweet and very on top of things. He even puts up an away message every night before he logs off for the day to make sure if someone is trying to contact him during an event and he is not working the auto reply will provide them with all the info they need. They even had the clear top tent Ariel really wanted!
Click here to read all Chris’ planning posts to date.
Chris & Ariel’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:
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