June is a popular time for Jewish weddings. Being a newlywed myself, we went through all of the traditional aspects of creating the simcha: finding a rabbi, deciding what customs to use, having an aufruf and designing our Ketubah.
But all of this was well overshadowed by other decisions. Those about the celebration after the ceremony: what color flowers to use for the centerpieces, what would be served for dinner, what brand of kosher wine to use for the toast, how many people could sit at each table, what color were the table skirts, and would the hotel tolerate a group of 20-somethings acting like they were at a USY convention.
(The answers: Pink/orange/green, chicken or fish, Bartenura, 8-10, white i think, barely–just barely.)
We teach our youngsters that the most important aspect of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is not the party afterward, but the special ceremony that marks the beginning of a great Jewish journey.
Why hasn’t this belief rubbed off on to brides and grooms (perhaps more importantly the families of the couple)? A wedding should be about Jewish continuity.
When two people get married, more is taking place than just the first part of sharing a life together; marriage is a spiritual transformation. The souls of two people who marry become blended together as one. (more)
And more should be taking place than just one big party.
Perhaps we need a sequel to Keeping up with Steins…Keeping up with the Steins and the Cohens?