Post # 1
I would love to get the hive’s opinion on this: we are for all intensive purposes having a “Jewish wedding” (FI is Jewish, I am non-religious). We are having a huppah, a Rabbi, a Ketubah, breaking the glass, having almost an entirely traditional Jewish ceremony. The only thing I have put my foot down on were no kippahs (we are getting married in a hotel ballroom and my mother was concerned people would feel uncomfortable even if they were optional, which I agree with, and my mom and dad are paying for 80% of the wedding), and I wanted Fiance to walk in with the Rabbi for the ceremony across the front of the room, with the groomsmen filing in behind him.
Traditionally, in Jewish weddings the groom walks in between his mother and father, and then the parents stand up front during the ceremony. I don’t want to do this.
1) We are doing a “first look” and pictures before the ceremony, but then we will have a break before the wedding starts and I don’t want Fiance standing in line right in front of me before we walk in.
2) I HATE the “clutching” mother of the groom thing. And Future Mother-In-Law WILL do this. She’s all about “her little boy”
3) My parents don’t want to stand up front during the ceremony. They want to sit and watch. I think it would look weird if FI’s parents are standing up there and mine aren’t. Plus, if HIS parents walk HIM down the aisle, MY parents will have to walk ME down the aisle, and I’ve already decided that I want my brother to walk my mom down because I want to include him in that part of the ceremony. Plus, it’s a really important moment for my dad and me and my mom has already told me that she wants that to be just for the two of us.
Any advice on how to deal with this situation? Or any girls marrying Jewish guys running into this same issue? And HOW do I politely tell my Mother-In-Law that she is NOT walking with her son down the aisle?
Post # 3
We just went through almost the exact same situation. We are trying to include both Jewish and Catholic traditions, and I am pretty openminded about most of the Jewish stuff. But I wasn’t at all comfortable with the kippahs or groom walking down the aisle, so we are not doing either.
So here is my advice: get Fiance squarely on your side before even approaching Mother-In-Law. Explain that you have been really openminded about many Jewish traditions (list a few), but you feel really uncomfortable about the parents walking him down the aisle. You can explain it the way you did in your post. I told my Fiance that I had been looking forward to walking down the aisle with my dad since I was a little girl and this was one of my few wedding dreams / things I was asking for.
Once he agreed, he explained this to his mother. Honestly, I think she wasn’t shocked since I’m not Jewish. Not to say she wasn’t unhappy, but having it come from him rather than me helped.
Post # 4
Ok, first of all, is your Fiance ok with this? If he is, then HE needs to be the one to break the news to his parents.
I think you’re getting a little worked up over it without telling us how your Fiance wants to deal with it. Talk to him! He’s the best source of what to do in this situation.
Post # 5
I agree with LaborofLove – What’s important is what your Fiance wants and if he agrees with you, it’s his job to tell his parents, not yours!
Post # 6
Oooh that’s a tough one. MY Fiance is Jewish but we opted out of doing any of the traditional Jewish wedding stuff – the only thing I really would have liked to do was the chuppah but that’s just because I think they are gorgeous and I really like the sentiment behind them as well. I think it’s fair that, since your parents want to be seated during the ceremony, his parents should also be seated during the ceremony. I think you need to tread lightly here to take the emphasis off of the fact that you don’t want her clutching him down the aisle, you know? Maybe just say that you and Fiance have decided that Fiance will be walking out with the rabbi with groomsmen to follow so that the bridesmaids will be walking the aisle alone before the bride. Phrase it as if it has already been decided, since it essentially has. She shouldn’t get all up in arms about it. You’re already having a predominately Jewish ceremony. You should get to dictate at least a few aspects of the ceremony, too.
ETA: if you can get your Fiance to just tell her that’s way better than you doing it.
Post # 7
We did something different from the father walking the bride down the aisle. My dad seemed okay with it but the day before he was not a happy camper. I just wanted to warn you that even though your Fiance may talk to his parents and they may seem okay, don’t be surprised if they try to have it their way with the walk leading up to the wedding and even the day of the wedding. If it’s truley what you two want, stick to your guns!
Post # 8
just one thing- coming from a jewish perspective, you might not want to rule out yarmulkes completely. i do realize that it might make people who don’t understand/don’t want to wear them uncomfortable, but if you’re having a jewish ceremony and you’re having jews there, you have to realize that it might make some people uncomfortable uncomfortable NOT to be covering their heads. it’s not like you’re forcing everyone to wear one.
my brother married a girl who isn’t jewish and he had both my parents walk him down the isle, but she was still able to just have her dad walk her down the isle. they didn’t stand up at the front like the traditional jewish ceremony. if you don’t want him to be in line in front of you before you go down the isle, maybe he can enter from another part of the building. there’s all sorts of different ways you can do it, even if you’re not sticking with all of the traditions, while still letting them be happy and comprimising a little.
Post # 9
Thank you ladies- Fiance already knows how I feel, and he is on board with me with having him walk out with the Rabbi, groomsmen behind him. One of the other reasons we want to do it that way is because Fiance has almost double the amount of groomsmen than I have BMs, and while I don’t mind the uneven numbers at the front or having the girls walk out with two men on each arm (lucky girls! ;)) I disliked the idea of having them walk UP the aisle that way.
I will definitely have Fiance talk to his mom and let her know that WE have decided that we want it this way. It will definitely go over better coming from him.
@pendola: I am terrified that this will happen. I am worried that my Future Mother-In-Law will somehow have kippah’s made and put a basket of them out (I have a bridesmaid already in charge of programs and preceremony setup though so she will also be on the lookout for those!) and then also somehow snatch FI before the ceremony and force him to walk out with her.
I know that I am probably being just a little crazy about my Future Mother-In-Law but she’s just been getting so demanding about the whole Jewish stuff and I’m starting to feel a little like MY family and MY part of the whole ceremony is getting lost in all the “Jewish”.
Post # 10
@ artbee: I figure if people want to wear them, they will bring them from home. We considered having them be optional at first, but my parents were very uncomfortable with even that idea. My parents are paying for most of the wedding, so I feel they should have some say in how the ceremony is done.
Besides, we were just at a Jewish wedding that was held pool-side at a hotel. They did the “optional” kippah thing, but most people grabbed them anyway because they felt they were being disrespectful to NOT wear them. But the consensus of the group that I was in was that the guys would have been fine wearing them if we were in a synagogue, but they felt uncomfortable putting them on and wearing them in the setting we were in. Plus, people just tossed them aside during the cocktail hour like they were used napkins. That reaction alone made me SO happy that we decided to not have the kippahs.
Post # 11
I am Jewish and my husband is not. He also felt pretty uncomfortable with the Kippahs, so I let that one go. We had more of an interfaith service – but most of the Jewish traditions we had (chuppah, breaking glass).
Coming from his parents perspective (and not sure where your Fiance weighs in on this) the parents walking down the aisle could be a VERY big deal. For my parents, there was probably nothing more meaningful than walking my brother and I (At our respective weddings) down the aisle and standing up with us during the ceremony. At my wedding, we had a mix of traditions throughout. For example my Fiance walked in from the side, no parents and my parents escorted me. However, all parents stood up with us (his parents are VERY religious christians). Honestly, it is really lovely being surrounded by your parents. Also, when we exchanged rings, he said the more traditional christian ring line and I said the Jewish one in Hebrew – totally uneven!! but totally us.
I would suggest you have your Fiance walked up by his parents and you by your brother. who cares if that looks weird to others, it is what you guys want and will reflect YOU. I would at least consider trying to get your parents to stand up with you – I can’t imagine them regretting it.
EDIT: I just saw your response so my post might not make sense anymore. Although I will say including more of YOU in the ceremony is important! Our rabbi was well versed in interfaith weddings and really helped us develop a ceremony that was about both of us, and not overwhelmingly Jewish…. happy to share more if your are interested 🙂
Post # 12
- Wedding: June 2010 - Tannery Pond at the Darrow School
Honestly, I think if the Future In-Laws really really want to walk him down the aisle, you should respect that and let them do it but still have just your dad walk you down just like you planned. Getting married is a big deal for both sets of parents and if this is something his mom has dreamed of for a long time, it doesn’t seem like there’s a very good argument against it. I’m sure you can easily be hidden while they walk down the aisle, so you don’t have to worry about him seeing you right before the ceremony…
I know it’s not exactly what you want to hear but I think parent’s wishes when it comes to this really traditional important stuff should be honored…
Post # 13
@ Miss Root: I have to agree with artbee that your jewish guests might be very uncomfortable without a kippah at a jewish wedding. Do not assume that they will bring it from home. No one does this because they expect them to be provided, (at least I’ve never seen anyone bring them from home). Honestly I think the best thing to do is to provide the kippahs but put up a sign which words in a polite way that they are there if anyone wants to wear one -> getting the point across that they are completely optional.
Edit to add: I honestly don’t know why anyone would be uncomfortable with respecting other cultures and religious. I’m not muslim but when I went to Turkey last year and went to see mosques and certain other sites, i covered my head because that is customary in their culture. It’s about tolerance and acceptance. You should set a good example 🙂
Post # 14
@Miss Root – Since you are not having kippahs available to your guests at the wedding, you might make a note of that on your wedding website or figure out a way to spread the word so those who DO want to wear one will know to bring one from home.
Post # 15
@Meowkers – I actually disagree a bit. Since this is not really a Jewish place of worship, there is no reason all the guests should have to observe someone else’s faith. If I went to a Catholic wedding, I would not participate in any kneeling or things like that….I think it nice that she is being thoughtful of ALL her guests, not just the Jewish ones. With the exception of very religious Jews, most would not at all feel uncomfortable at a wedding without a Kippah. Although I agree NO ONE will bring their own unless they wear them all the time.
Post # 16
THANK YOU JANNA! 🙂 I’m glad someone gets it. And I wanted to remind everyone that I’m posting this in the interfaith board. I’m not Jewish. And it’s really important to me that this ceremony is not cookie-cutter Jewish wedding. It’s very important to me that it is at least somewhat the wedding ceremony I always envisioned from the time I was little, and some of these little details I feel are the ones that are the easiest to compromise on. In my head, the groom was always standing at the front of the aisle waiting for me, and that’s just how I want it.
I’m still not having kippahs. I care not for setting good examples, I care that this wedding is representative of myself and Fiance. And there’s literally nothing of me in it thus far (Janna, I will be hitting you up later for some ideas on what we can do to make the ceremony a little more balanced). Our guests know I’m not Jewish. And FI’s cousin married a Catholic girl a few years ago- not a kippah in the crowd and no one said boo about it. This discussion was never about the kippahs anyway, it was about my crazy Mother-In-Law wanting to clutch the arm of her dear baby boy down the aisle and me trying to find a tactful way to tell her that that’s not what we’re doing. 🙂 Boy… good thing I didn’t mention my desire to serve bacon-wrapped scallops during the cocktail hour… 😉