Arts & Culture

5 Jewish Wedding Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

Ah, wedding season: Weekends fill up with nuptials as our friends and relatives (and maybe even a few of us) march down the aisle and get hoisted up on chairs to wave napkins and hope they don't get dropped. Weddings … Read More

By / June 25, 2008

Ah, wedding season: Weekends fill up with nuptials as our friends and relatives (and maybe even a few of us) march down the aisle and get hoisted up on chairs to wave napkins and hope they don't get dropped. Weddings are beautiful and fun, but as anyone who has ever watched Bridezillas can tell you, they rarely go off without a hitch. Here are some tips for anyone who wants to avoid common Jewish wedding disasters.

  1. Check Your Hebrew: If you’ll be having any Hebrew text on your invitation or program, and if you’re not really comfortable with the language, have the text proofread by someone who can catch typos, grammatical errors, and other miscommunications. I’ve seen invitations where ‘I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine’ became ‘My father is my beloved’s and my beloved is mine’ because of a typo. And a ketubah where ‘bride’ became ‘easy girl’ because of a spelling error. Don’t trust the artist or printer to be your Hebrew language expert.
  2. Read Your Ketubah: If you’re going to have a ketubah, read the translation ahead of time to make sure that you’re both okay with it. As I’ve written before, it’s kind of a bizarre document, and many couples are uncomfortable with the traditional text. This is the kind of thing you want to talk about months before the wedding, especially if you’re having a ketubah made just for you. You don’t want to hear it read at the wedding and think, “That’s not very romantic.” Be prepared.
  3. Test Drive the Glass: There are few things more embarrassing than watching while a groom haplessly stomps on a napkin over and over until the crowd finally hears a satisfying crunch. If you want to use a glass, try a very thin champagne flute. Or cheat and use a light bulb. Remember to save the shattered glass so you can have it made into a mezuzah for your home.
  4. Find Chairs With Arms: You will be hoisted into the air, and if you have arms to hold onto, you’re less likely to fall or feel unsteady. It’s also good to have some strong friends and relatives on hand.
  5. Choose Seven Friends: The seven wedding blessings need to be said under the chuppa following the grace after the meal. You may want to give the honor of the first seven to various family members, and the second seven to good friends. Just make sure whoever you ask is comfortable reading Hebrew out loud in front of a lot of people.
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