Friday Shabbat Special: Newly Engaged? Planning an Interfaith Wedding?

engagement pictures collage

Today’s Advice is just for you! 

Mazel Tov!

You’ve done (almost) everything your Mom taught you and now you’ve grown into the “nice Jewish adult.”  In fact, you have become such an object of affection that you’re engaged to someone that everyone loves! Congratulations!

So what if the love of your life isn’t Jewish?  A Jewish wedding (or parts of one) can still be in your future.

Prepare yourself for the tricky part: managing to keep your fiance and your exuberantly Jewish parents (AKA future in-laws) all hunky-dory happy?

Relax! Today, The Modern Jewish Wedding has something special just for you!

Here are five simple ways to incorporate some Jewish traditions into your Modern Jewish/Interfaith Wedding that are uncomplicated and fun for the whole family!

  1. Find an interfaith Ketubah!  There are Ketubot written in English with no mention of God or religious beliefs.  But, every couple should agree to love, commitment and laughter; it’s good for the soul!
  2. Have both your parents walk you down the aisle.  Every Jewish mother dreams of the day she’ll walk her son or daughter down the aisle.  Don’t deprive her of this proud moment! Plus, your soon to be in-laws will no doubt find it charming, thereby giving you some serious brownie points!
  3. Have a chuppah!  The chuppah represents your new home and forms a beautiful, striking central space for the wedding ceremony.  Also, designing a chuppah with your fiance will be a special way for you both to create something symbolic and beautiful together. Just add it in to the floral budget and enjoy the experience.
  4. Step on the glass!  Since, Jews can’t even agree on why we break a glass at a Jewish wedding there’s really no reason not to include the tradition. It’s fun!  Everyone shouts Mazel Tov and claps. Who doesn’t want a standing ovation at the wedding?
  5. Do the Hora at the wedding reception.  Since there’s no religious significance—consider the Hora just a fabulous dance. The Hora is a fun way to get everyone off their feet and onto the dance floor. Feeling really brave?  Include the part of the dance where your parents are lifted high above their friends and family in chairs! A word of advice: make sure to find out in advance if all the  parents want to join in the hair-raising fun!

One last little idea just for fun: participate in Yihud

Immediately following the ceremony, spend 15 minutes in private room with your wife!  The tradition (meaning seclusion) will be the only time the two of you will spend alone the entire evening!  So take advantage of it—trust me; you will both thank me later for including this sweet Jewish tradition into your special day!

How do you plan to ‘mix-it-up’ on your wedding day? Have you and your bride-to-be discussed ways to share your interfaith celebration in a meaningful way that respects both belief systems?


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