Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wedding Recap part 2- The Ceremony

Previously, we got ready and did a first look. Now, the ceremony.
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Writing our wedding ceremony was really interesting. Originally I had planned to write it all on my own because we couldn't find a rabbi and the deacon couldn't officiate since it wasn't in a church (receive the vows or sign the marriage license). Then we were going to use the venue's non-denominational Christian minister to do the ceremony.

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In the eleventh hour (ok, in November) I found a rabbi! We had to import him from Dallas, but it allowed me to add some additional Jewish elements that I originally planned to cut out. Both the Rabbi and Deacon were really accommodating, allowing us to use whatever of each tradition we wanted and scrap the rest.  What we ended up with was, in my unbiased opinion, a perfect mix of the two.
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[The italics below contains excerpts from our program- we designed the program to be on the longer side so we could explain the religious customs to those from the opposite- or no- religion]
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Sister escorting my grandfather.
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My grandparents.
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In the traditional Jewish processional, the bride and groom are each escorted down the aisle by their parents. We chose this processional style to emphasize that we are not just two individuals getting married but the joining of two families. 

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At the altar is a chuppah, or wedding canopy. The chuppah represents the home; it is open on all sides, like Abraham and Sarah’s tent, which was always open to welcome guests.

Our chuppah had 3 talit at the top- my grandfathers' on either side and my father's in the middle.


First Reading- Torah/Old Testament        Genesis 2: 18-24
Second Reading- New Testament            Mark 10:6-9

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My cousin doing the first reading.
In the Catholic marriage ceremony, the couple selects several Bible readings. We have selected one from the Jewish Torah or Old Testament and one from the New Testament. These readings discuss the biblical basis for marriage in the creation of man and woman, which is shared between Jewish and Catholic tradition.

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Dan's SIL doing the second reading.


In a Catholic wedding, the marriage is enacted with the exchange of vows. To honor that, we have chosen to use the traditional Catholic vows.  
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The only almost-cry face you'll get out of me. I did NOT cry at my wedding.
Both the Jewish and Catholic traditions include a ring exchange. In the Jewish tradition, the ring exchange is referred to as the betrothal, and only the groom gives the bride a ring. In the Catholic tradition, the ring exchange follows the vows. Both the bride and the groom receive a ring, which are considered a symbol of the marriage which has already taken place.
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The Ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract. Traditionally the ketubah detailed the husband's obligations to provide for his wife. Our modern ketubah instead makes promises to each other, much like the vows. In Jewish tradition,the ketubah is signed by the bride, groom, and two witnesses, unrelated to the bride or groom. Our witnesses are our attendants and longtime friends, [names omitted].

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And then we were married! (No glass was harmed in the making of our marriage.)
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Photography By Janine: Daniel & Stephanie &emdash; DanielStephanie-403Immediately after the ceremony we went alone to the groom's ready room for the Jewish custom Yichud. This is becoming more common in non-Jewish weddings too, and is basically when the bride and groom go alone together to a room right after the ceremony. I'm undecided on how I liked including this tradition- good to catch your breath or taking away time you could spend with far flung guests? More on that some other time.
Then we snuck out with the photographer for a few more photos before rejoining cocktail hour.

The ceremony went better than I dared hope. Everyone was there (and mostly on time!), the officiants showed up, the chuppah was beautiful. I worried it would be too cold... it wasn't. I worried it would be too dark... it wasn't. Many people remarked afterwards how beautiful the ceremony was; nobody- at least as far as I know- was put off by the parts for the other religion. And nobody said anything about our lack of glass smashing. Plus, we got married!
Read on to the reception....


  1. What a beautiful ceremony. I think it was perfect. All the pictures are gorgeous. And I didn't comment on your last post but the green ties are awesome, love them with the purple.

    1. Thanks Tara!
      I know I've been gushing over the top about those ties, but they look SO GOOD in pictures. I was worried they would be too much, but they were just the right amount.