Post # 1
So, I am not Jewish, but through various instances, have become close to several Jewish people over the last decade.
I inadvertently scheduled my wedding for September 18 this year, not that I could have avoided it, the church only had two September saturdays available, the other was my 25th birthday and the long weekend. But I totally didn’t think about Yom Kippur until a couple weeks later.
There are probably 12 or 14 people who are practicing Jewish followers that I would be inviting, and I understand that they won’t be able to attend on account of Yom Kippur.
My question is, how is the best way to acknowledge this. I’m thinking of putting a handwritten note in the invitations of those affected, saying I recognize it is Yom Kippur and understand if they will not be able to attend.
Am I fair to count on their no RSVPs, from what I understand Yom Kippur is one of the holiest holidays, and even casual followers well observe this day (like the casual Christians who only attend church on Christmas Eve). The people on the list follow the other Jewish observances and/or dietary laws and/or the Sabbath. So I’m thinking that they wouldn’t make an exception to not attend synagogue and come to my wedding instead.
But I don’t want to come across as insensitive by sending out the invitations when I know they won’t be able to attend, or not send out an invitation and have someone be hurt by it.
Post # 3
I’m a “casual” Jew. I say just send out the invitation without any special acknowledgement. A religious holiday is no different than another conflict they may have that would prevent them from attending your wedding. As a non-Jew it’s really not your responsibility to keep track of every other religion’s or culture’s holidays and schedule your life around it. I think it’s worse if you acknowledge it because then it’s like saying “I actually knew you wouldn’t be able to make it on this day but you’re not that important to me so I went ahead and planned it on that day anyways…oh but here’s a courtesy invitation”. And i’m sure that’s not the case at all. So yeah, just send out normal invitations without any special acknowledgements and don’t feel too bad about it.
Post # 4
I don’t know that I would include a note in the invitation — can you call them beforehand to explain/apologize? I think I would personally prefer to hear the news ahead of time.
And I wouldn’t count them as not attending just yet. For example, if my Fiance and I were your invited guests, I think my Fiance (who always observes Yom Kippur) would skip one year’s worth of high holy days to attend the wedding of someone important to him. I’m not sure what I would do, but I think he would definitely go to the wedding because although Yom Kippur is important to him, he’s so easy going that I think he’d find want to celebrate the marriage.
Post # 5
Also, depending on when your wedding actually starts, people might be ok with attending. They can attend services in the morning, fast all day, and then choose to skip evening services to attend your wedding.
I think it’s nice of you to consider their religious beliefs but I would leave the final decision of whether they choose to attend to them. After all, as other Bees said, some may make an exception due to the fact that it is your wedding. 🙂
Post # 6
i think that if you’re close to them, it’d be better to call and talk to them rather than send a note. but definitely still send an invite. and if they keep kosher or regularly observe Shabbat, it’s probably safe to assume they will RSVP no, but other wise it probably depends on the individual–I would probably not go to a wedding on Yom Kippur, but my brother probably would.
Post # 7
ooh miss root’s totally right: if your wedding is in the evening after yom kippur (which lasts sunset to sunset), they might be more likely to attend
Post # 8
i would definitely still invite them. i’m jewish, and while i wouldn’t like to miss services, i know many people (including my whole entire family, which also includes my husband) who probably would pick a wedding of a close friend over temple. like others said, i would call them and let them know that you understand if they can’t come, but don’t assume they won’t.
Post # 9
I wouldn’t worry about a note, though you could maybe mention it to people who are observant when you see them….generally I think most Jews expect that others may not be tuned in to when the High Holy days are, especially since they move around every year. There are also many, many casual Jews (myself included) who identify as “Jewish” culturally, but who never go to synagogue, and don’t necessarily fast for Yom Kippur. And most of the reform/casual Jews I know who do observe Yom Kippur would miss services for a wedding, even if they might continue to fast to observe Yom Kippur—it’s really a very personal holiday about making your own peace with transgressions of the past year, so there are some people who routinely observe it in ways that don’t involve synagogue anyway.
Also, what time is your wedding? Jewish holidays actually go sundown to sundown rather than following calendar days, so Yom Kippur starts Friday night around 6 pm and ends Saturday night around 6 pm. If you have an evening reception, people can likely join you then (and will be psyched to break their fast celebrating with you!) even if they have to miss the ceremony—so something to keep in mind!
Post # 10
I do want to make sure they are aware it is on Yom Kippur, because I know the high holy days change from year to year … and I worry about them RSVPing yes, and then later on realizing it is Yom Kippur and changing their RSVP. They are my “A” list people, but there are people on my “B” list, who I will invite if they do RSVP no. So perhaps I will give a call to ask for their mailing addresses and explain at that point.
They aren’t my bestfriend’s or something like that, one couple are my former boss and wife and others are people who work at the organization I volunteer for, so I am expecting that they’ll RSVP no, and so I won’t be hurt … though it’d be awesome if they could come.
Post # 11
What time is your wedding at? Yom Kippur starts the night before, so will be over probably around 8ish. I know that I’m kind of weak after fasting for 24 hours, but if it were my close friend getting hitched I’d go to the event after I had something to eat. And, if this is the case and they can come to the reception part, you’ll know that your food will be eaten!