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[personal profile] rackmount
Even if you don't marry a Jew, you should totally Jew up your wedding, in my opinion. Jews, as you know, are pretty awesome in a lot of ways; their weddings are tops.

1) You and your partner will both be escorted down the aisle by BOTH of your parents! I know! This is two-fold goodness. First, and most obviously, the bride as chattel thing goes by the way-side. From your father's house to your husband's? Please. 1a) It wasn't my FATHER'S house, it was my PARENTS'. You mother carries you for 9 months, nurses you and probably does the lion's share of the childraising. So as much as I love my dad, it seemed pretty unfair to me that he was the one to "give me away." (Terrible expression, by the way. Points up a lot of what's wrong with it.)

The second part of the goodness is that it made it feel, for me, like it was a day for both of us, not just me (the bride). Did you know that most women report their level of happiness decreasing after marriage, and most men report their level of happiness increasing after marriage? If I were a dude getting married, I would be celebrating my newfound increased happiness. I'd want the day to be about me too.

2) The chuppah: the little house Jews wed under is like the home you're building together. What I like more about it is that it's traditional to have it open on all sides, to show that you will open your home to others. I like that. I also thought it had this overtone that no matter how basic the house you live in, that with two of you, it will always be home. Nice thought.

3) The Old Testament readings are way better than the New Testament readings. The new testament's all "love is patient, love is kind, etc. etc". The old testament is much hotter. Song of Songs? Not exactly the patient lover. "As an apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. Under its "shadow" I delighted to sit, and its "fruit" was sweet to my taste."

4) The ketubah, or wedding contract, is maybe my favorite part. Everyone should have a wedding contract, because then you have to talk about what your expectations are. Sadly, most Jews have forgone the idea that it should be a meaningful, detailed document. Because weddings are about showing off how much money you have (in every culture), the ketubah similarly has become all about getting something expensive, and basically generic. ketubah vendors have pre-selected text, and they fill in your particular details, like your name. that's how generic they can be.

Also, sadly, most ketubahs are ugly. But it's a fine tradition that should be adopted and (in my opinion) improved. my husband found an israeli caligrapher and artist who sold nicer-than-usual-but-kind-of-plain ketubahs, but he also made really lovely regular art. so we chose one of his regular works and had him modify it to suit our needs.

5) smashing the glass: apparently this is supposed to mean either a) that you and your partner will stay together until the glass becomes whole again or b) that in the midst of your joy you should not forget the sadness of having lost the second temple. however, there's something about this that feels like it probably started out as a sexual metaphor. Just saying. either way, it also def. has an overtone of "let's get this party started!" much more so than a "church" kiss and a walk down the aisle.

6) the chair dance: my (large, burly, lutheran, macho) cousins saw the chair thing as an opportunity to work out some of their feelings toward me. I have never been so scared in my life. it was fun.

Date: 2009-07-06 07:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iscari0t.livejournal.com
5) smashing the glass:

My favorite interpretation of this part is that it's the last time the groom will ever get to "put his foot down". HAR HAR HAR

Date: 2009-07-07 12:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rackmount.livejournal.com
:() my husband would say that that's true, although it's less true than he feels.

Date: 2009-07-07 03:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] troubler.livejournal.com
smashing the glass = hymen.

but I do like thinking about the rituals the way you describe them.

It's all a bit weird to me because I never learned ANY wedding rituals, so I didn't know that among (episcopalians? all christians? quakers too? who exactly?) both parents were not involved. Are all of these rules written down for christians too?

Date: 2009-07-07 01:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rackmount.livejournal.com
yeah, the hymen was my first thought.

the procession thing was really awesome for me. the christian ceremony really points up the chattel thing. the groom doesn't process, he waits at the front. the dad "gives the bride away" by processing with her up to the front, kissing her, and then handing her off to the groom. weird and kind of icky when you think about it.

(the only similarly weird thing in jewish ceremonies is the way the bride and possibly her parents circle either the husband or the entire chuppah seven times.. But many contemporary jews who bother to do that at all, usually split the job.)

that's what all mainline christians do, most christians generally, and most ceremonies that have western elements. quakers don't do anything like that. quaker weddings are like quaker meetings. usually more people decide to talk though, subject being the two people getting married. and they also have a wedding contract. my old friend who used to be called scarpia on here, he had that sort of wedding, one of the best ive been to.

Most awesome wedding evah

Date: 2009-07-08 12:07 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Let's not forget the wedding that was so cool you couldn't even do it justice (http://rackmount.livejournal.com/98455.html).

Not all goys are gauche.

Re: Most awesome wedding evah

Date: 2009-07-08 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rackmount.livejournal.com
you obviously didn't read the comment i made that is directly above yours. :P it's not always just about you, dear.

Re: Most awesome wedding evah

Date: 2009-07-08 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
No, I hadn't read that. I read your original post, made my reply, drove around Vermont for a day, then came back to realize I needed to do that stupid capcha thing to actually post. I did that and went to bed while the squirrels carried the post from my B&B to the nearest town to insert them into the internet (well, it's actually a bit slower than that up here). Even up here that Verizon guy has to ask "can you here me now?" over and over. It's no wonder Vermont was constantly out of the loop on that whole thirteen colonies thing.

Re: Most awesome wedding evah

Date: 2009-07-14 01:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rackmount.livejournal.com
It's probably the best thing for them, that out-of-the-loopness.

Pro-semitic

Date: 2009-07-10 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jawsoflife.livejournal.com
Jewish weddings are the best, but in a mixed-faith marriage, there's always the chance that the hora goes horribly wrong.

Re: Pro-semitic

Date: 2009-07-13 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rackmount.livejournal.com
<--- mixed faith wedding right here. and it was a bit scary. I'm not sure they knew that i wasn't supposed to fly.

Date: 2009-07-21 03:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tccstend.livejournal.com
Not only was it one of the loveliest weddings ever, your reception is the only one I can think of to have been closed down by the local police.

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