Post # 1
My fiance is Jewish (but in a more cultural than religious sense) and I was not raised with any religion, although I now identify as a Unitarian Universalist. Anyways, we are planning on having a secular wedding. However, I would like to incorporate some cultural Jewish elements to show our respect for his background.
Ideally, I would love to use a Jewish reading, but I am not sure if it is possible to find something that would suit a non-religious ceremony…? Unfortunately, there isn’t a good way that we can’t use a chuppah where we are getting married. We are thinking he will stomp the glass after the ceremony, but are there other things we can do?
Post # 3
You could have a ketubah (marriage contract). Typically, the text in the ketubah is pretty traditional and that might not fit with your secular wedding. However, you could modify the text to say anything you’d like. You usually have it signed by witnesses prior to the ceremony, then read aloud during the ceremony, and later you frame it and have it hung in your home.
For readings, you might look to see if any of the seven blessings would be secular enough for you.
There is also a custom of the bride circling the groom. There are many interpretations of this and ways of doing this, but you might chose to circle him three times for “I betroth you to myself forever; I betroth you to myself in righteousness and in justice, in love and in mercy; I betroth you to myself in faithfulness.” Or you could each circle each other.
That’s what comes to mind at the moment.
Post # 5
@chocolatecoveredstrawberry: I am Jewish, but not practicing, FH is a non practicing catholic. All we are doing is the encircling and glass stomping. We haven’t planned out our ceremony in detail yet.
Post # 6
@slpscientist: Thanks for the suggestions! Random question- how is a ketubah different from a Quaker wedding certificate? We were planning on having a Quaker wedding certificate because we love the symbolism behind it, my Fiance went to a Quaker high school, and it is a great way to remember guests.
Post # 7
@maplemag: Those sound like some great traditions to include! I have never heard about encircling. I am going to have to research that. I have never been to a Jewish wedding before, so I need to do some reading!
Post # 8
@chocolatecoveredstrawberry: Unfortunately I don’t know anything about Quaker wedding certificates, so I’m not sure about the similarities or did similarities with a ketubah.
Post # 9
I feel like a broken record (I recommend this book to everyone!) but I suggest checking out “The New Jewish Wedding” by Anita Diamant. It has a lot of really fantastic advice for how to incorporate traditional customs into modern weddings and marriages – I am also not Jewish by birth and I have found this book really eye-opening and helpful in planning my wedding. You also may like “Celebrating Interfaith Marriages” by Rabbi Devon Lerner.
Post # 10
My dad is Jewish and we were raised moderately Jewish (my sister is a super Jew for some reason), but my Fiance and I are not religious at all and his family is Methodist so we’re just doing a few Jewish aspects. We are having a chuppah and doing the glass breaking because my Fiance thinks it’s cool, but I think that’s it.
Post # 11
@chocolatecoveredstrawberry: Yay UUs! The Uncommon Denomination!
OK, now that that’s out of the way — I would suggest Googling Reform Jewish wedding readings to find texts that will have the greatest amount of convergence with your beliefs. 🙂
Post # 12
I am Jewish and my fiancee is not…we are incorporating some of the suggestions above along with a short reading by Baal Shem Tov. Additionally after the exchange of rings we will be saying ” I am my beloved and my beloved is mine” instead of with this ring I thee wed…
Post # 13
Darling Husband and I had one of our closest friends officiate but incorporated many jewish elements. I pretty much wrote the entire ceremony.
We had a chuppah (basically a canopy decorated with flowers) and custom kippots for guests that chose to wear them.
We both drank wine and the officiant did a canopy blessing
We got his relatives to read the 7 blessings in English
the bride was on the right side and the groom on the left side
We had an exchange of rings where the ring was placed on the right index finger and the words recited “I am my beloved and my beloved is mine”
And then he broke the glass
And we did the horah! because that was super fun! (though not really in Sephardic tradition)
Things I scrapped:
The circling because my groom is from the Sephardic tradition and the bride does not circle..more in Ashkenazi weddings.
The ketubah signing..I guess we both just did not see the need for another ceremony
No bread blessing
This website helped alot: http://www.interfaithfamily.com/
Post # 13
How about some of these ideas? 5 different ways to incorproate ‘Jewish’ into your ‘non-Jewish / interfaith wedding’ 🙂 [content removed for self promotion]