Post # 1
I know that there are many wedding traditions the bride/groom do during the wedding ceremony, though I’m trying to figure out a ceremony to have other important people participate in. As of now, I’m sort of at a loss for ideas beyond candles.
Are there any Jewish wedding traditions that close family or friends traditionally become involved with? I’m thinking of something that would involve about 4 people.
Any thoughts and feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!!
Post # 3
Many brides and grooms have 4 people hold the chuppah — that could be a lovely way to involve people. The only other thing I can think of at the moment is having someone read the 7 blessings (we’re having my FI’s little brother do it, most likely). I’ve actually been to a wedding where the couple had 7 people each read one blessing each (in succession) which was very cool!
Post # 4
Yes – the 7 blessings is the biggest one that people participate in (you can have them read it in english, or a transliterated version). I’ve read one blessing at a couple of different weddings. And yes BBTB, the chuppah poles is a great idea!
Post # 5
holding the chuppah, signing the ketubah, saying the 7 blessings or other readings, saying the blessing over the bread and/or wine, yichud guards…i’m sure there are others, but that’s what i can think of off the top of my head 🙂
Post # 6
I was also going to suggest holding the chuppah poles and having friends read the 7 blessings. My cousin had a friend who was training to be a cantor sing a blessing (but I cannot remember which one). You could probably also have a participant do the blessing over the wine.
Post # 7
Yichud guards is another great one and very low pressure. My brother did that for my other brother’s wedding (I found out later the yichud was used for its traditional purpose so the job was extra important!!! )
Post # 8
Oh! Just be very weary of things like the ketubah signing. We got excited about choosing who could sign our ketubah, and then got very surprised when we learned that halakhah is very strict about this (at least for conservatives). None of the people we originally wanted to sign our ketubah are allowed to, so just be aware that there might be some restrictions as to who can do what when it comes to the more legal aspects of the ceremony. But as always, your Rabbi can tell you what’s restricted (I just didn’t know to ask about this one!)
Post # 9
Thanks everyone for the suggestions! My friend actually came across the seven blessings which seems like a wonderful idea. In one website I found, it said that the parents traditionally cover people with the talit, so I figured the moms could do that? Be a bit less traditional? Then the other two could read the blessings? I like the chuppah holding idea too, but I dont want to make TOO many people stand there the whole time. 🙂
Also, does anyone know of any restrictions in regards to any of these traditions? My fiance and his family arent Jewish, though my friend is (though not at all practicing). Does this make a difference? (And on that note, thanks BostonBride for the heads up on the ketubah signing!)
Post # 10
The only parts of the marriage ceremony required by Jewish law are a) the ketubah, b) the groom’s giving the bride a ring, and c) yichud. Thus, nonJews can be chuppah bearers or read blessings without endangering the legality of the marriage.
With regard to the ketubah, traditionally the witnesses must be Jewish males unrelated to either the bride or groom.
And of course, in a Reform ceremony, you just have to ask the rabbi, since the level of compliance with the traditional rules varies widely.
Post # 11
- Wedding: March 2017 - Ritz Carlton, Marina Del Rey
For the ketubah, the minimum necessary is two witnesses that are Jewish males (some rabbis require that they be shomer shabbas). BUT that doesn’t restrict you from adding more signers if you’d like! We had our grandmothers sign, in addition to the two male witnesses, and I think they both really loved that.
As for the blessings, you can double the number of people you can involve if you have each blessing read once in English and once in Hebrew (assuming you have friends or family who can read or sing the Hebrew). We had 14 of our friends and family members involved in the sheva brachot: http://www.weddingbee.com/2009/11/16/æ„›-vey-were-going-to-the-chuppah-and-were-gonna-get-married/
One more suggestion: you can also have friends/family participate as guards during yihud. You can have two or more people hang out outside of the room you’re doing yihud in, and they can make sure that you’re not disturbed and that you’re in yihud for the required amount of time.