Ask the Expert: Wedding Timing

When can we get married?

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Question: My rabbi said there are some times when you're not allowed to have Jewish weddings. What are these times, and why not?

--Laurel, San Antonio  

expertAnswer: I always recommend that anyone planning a Jewish wedding get a hold of The New Jewish Wedding by Anita Diamant (the same woman who wrote The Red Tent and Day After Night). Since Anita is my go-to source for Jewish wedding information, I emailed her about your question. Here's what she had to say:

"There are certain dates and days when weddings are not, traditionally, scheduled. Most important of all: Shabbat is off-limits, not only because of the inevitable work and travel that would violate the prescribed rest of the day, but also because of the notion that every simcha--every joy--should be celebrated individually.

Weddings are not held on major holidays, though Hanukkah and Purim are okay. There are also two extended periods of public mourning that traditional Jews avoid: the three weeks between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av (summer months), a time that commemorates the destruction of the Temple; and the weeks of ‘counting the Omer’ between Passover and Shavuot (springtime) except for Lag Ba'Omer (the 33rd day in the counting of the Omer) which is a very popular date for weddings."

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