(Closed) How to integrate Jewish culture/traditions into secular wedding?

posted 10 years ago in Secular
Post # 3
908 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

We had a Jewish/Catholic wedding so we did a lot of incorporating of both sets of traditions.

I’m a bit confused by your informal ceremony, do you have an officient for it or are you exchanging vows or something without an officient?

Have you considered using a Chuppah?  Lots of people use wedding canopies of some sort even if they aren’t Jewish so this might fit into your more secular setting.  We made one ourselves for under $200 using PVC piping, curtains from Ikea and a little bit of sewing.  PM me if you’d like more details.

What about a kiddush?  Maybe you could recite the hebrew and offer the wine to each other, or you could come up with your own version of what to say.

Post # 5
165 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

We had a Christian ceremony but I was raised conservative/reform and many of my relatives are conservative and we wanted to honor my heritage and not offend anyone, we got married under a chuppah, and we broke a glass at the end… Also my brothers and dad sang a song from Fiddler on the Roof, but that’s prob not an option for you 🙂  Be sure to play hava nagilah at the reception!

Post # 6
23 posts
  • Wedding: December 2010

You may want to have a kabbalat panim. I attended an interfaith wedding last year where they incorporated a few Jewish traditions including the kabbalat panim. Basically, the women are in one area (we sat around with the bride under parasols drinking lemonade) and the men are in another (in this case, actoss the property under a tent). The father of the bride leaves the men and visits the women’s room (wherever this would be). He and the bride’s mother, walk the bride across to the groom and the female guests follow behind. The men are waiting with the groom and when the bride, parents and female guests arrive, the bride leaves her parents and joins the groom. I’m sorry if this is difficult to understand, and please let me know if I can clarify. It really was one of the most beautiful parts of any wedding I’ve attended. It was outdoors (in the mountains) and everyone was extremely moved by this tradition.

Another option is to circle each other. Traditionally, the bride will circle the groom seven times – this symbolizes many things. But now many brides will circle the groom three times, the groom will circle the bride three times and then they will walk together in a circle one time.

I agree with mrsmike – don’t forget to do the hora, but get chairs with arms! Trust me 🙂

Keep us posted on what you decide to do.

Post # 7
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

You could do some variation of the seven blessings if you’d want to include them.  I’ve read about couples who just created 7 blessings that were important to them, not necessarily reflective of the traditional blessings.

The glass is a great one, and the chuppah was very important to me (and I’m the Catholic one in our interfaith relationship).


Post # 8
1955 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Tannery Pond at the Darrow School

I think the breaking of the glass, the chuppah and the ketubah can all be interpreted secularly and still hold meaning…I think the marriage contract is a great idea~

Post # 9
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

You might want to look at our ceremony text.  We are doing versions of the Seven Blessings that avoid mention of God, and stress universal rather than strictly Jewish meanings behind them.

Post # 10
1 posts
  • Wedding: July 2008

Check out “The New Jewish Wedding” by Anita Diamant. She discusses the traditions surrounding weddings and does so in a way that makes it accessible to both practicing and less-practicing Jews.  It was really helpful in figuring out what we wanted for the ceremony while also balancing our feelings about equality in the relationship and other issues.

Post # 11
137 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

We’re doing the same thing, just incorporating some Jewish tradition into our wedding. I’m not wearing any jewelry that day and the ring for the ceremony will have no diamonds in it.  The band I will wear every day is more detailed w/ diamonds.  We’re breaking the glass as well.    I think that’s all we’re incorporating but it’s more important to me than him and he’s the Jewish one. LOL

Post # 11
19 posts

I found this blog post on [content removed for self promotion] very useful. It provides quite a few ideas on how to incorporate ‘Jewish’ into a non-Jewish, secular, or interfaith wedding. Hope it helps you too!

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