Beyond the Hora: New Ideas in Jewish Wedding Entertainment
Guest Post from, Marta Segal Block of GigMasters.com
Jewish law requires that people celebrate and have fun after a wedding so exploring your entertainment options is definitely a mitzvah! But you don’t have to wait until after the wedding to bring on the fun.
While the late night after party is becoming a huge wedding trend, it’s unlikely to catch on with Jewish weddings. Jewish weddings usually take place either late on Saturday night (after sundown) or on a Sunday. Neither a late start on Saturday night nor an early workday on Monday make for great after party material. Also, keep in mind that in Jewish custom the bride and groom are not supposed to eat before the wedding. So, to have a wedding late enough in the day to make a late night after party possible, you’d have to be willing to get pretty darn hungry!
Don’t fret though! Jewish couples have the advantage of a built in pre-party with the tish. Once practiced only by Orthodox, the pre-wedding tish is gaining traction with all sorts of Jewish couples. Why? Because it’s a great party! The tish is a great time to surprise the guests (or the bride or groom) with special entertainment. Strolling magicians, clowns, even a singer with a special song would all be appropriate.
If you’re not having a tish you can still make the most of your entertainment options. In fact, getting married on a Sunday may open up a variety of options financially since performers will be more likely to agree to shorter performance times or even special deals on a day when they aren’t likely to get other bookings. Consider a special dance or musical performance in addition to your band or DJ.
Jewish families are often full family affairs and hiring a magician or clown to entertain the children is a great way to keep the day civilized.
This video of the Jewish Bottle Dancers (a la Fidder on the Roof) is a great example of adding a little bit of flair to your tish or wedding reception.
When it comes to hiring a band or DJ, we recommend asking the DJ or bandleader about his or experience with Jewish weddings. The rhythm of a Jewish wedding reception is slightly different than that of a Christian wedding and having some experience is helpful. If you fall in love with a band that hasn’t worked a Jewish wedding before, consider a wedding planner with Jewish wedding training.
No matter how much experience your planner or band has, make sure that both you and your vendors are clear about any rules of modesty or kashrut that you, your rabbi, synagogue, venue, or family have. There are all sorts of levels of observance and what seems obvious to one person may be a new concept to someone else.
Looking for more wedding advice? Check out GigMasters’s Wedding Blog.