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The Wedding Ceremony

How To Do A Wedding Right

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Having just been at an over-the-top lavish wedding in Mumbai, we could not imagine that we would or could enjoy another wedding as much as we did this one so soon. The Jewish faith knows how to get married. And anybody who knows Nicky knows that he loves to party. And a party it is; an unrestrained celebration of joy and dancing and food and drink and kissing and hugging. If you seek restraint know that it will not be found here.

After all the guests were successfully transported through partially gridlocked traffic to the wedding venue (supposedly 30 minutes north of the hotel but with today's traffic an hour away), cocktails and hors d'ouvres were served and then the atmosphere grew from merely happy to joyful mayhem.

Women Arriving. As befits sophisticated feminity, the women made their entrance into the pre-reception area with grace and elegance. The bride, bride's mother, groom's mother and various female friends and relatives made their way to an elevated platform that provided for them a throne of sorts. Applause and smiles were their greeting from the 200 or so wedding guests.

The ladies gather to prepare for the presentation of the Ketubah--the marriage contract. TheLadiesGather.JPG

Men Arriving. The men entered to much celebratory cacophony. If an atmosphere of sophistication had been previously set, they quickly altered the mood and feel to one of almost adolescent frivolity. They made their way to the women's venue and got--if only for a moment--serious.

Rabbi's Paperwork Ketubah--the Marriage Contract

After that, it was time for everyone to make their way to a lovely garden only a few steps distant where the ceremony would be held.
Jane & Nicky Down the Aisle

Black Tie guests stand to witness the bride's entrance

Cantor and Groom The cantor--Hazzan in Hebrew--wielded star power. His emotion gripped us all and set the tone for what was to come.
Cantor and Groom He made certain that his enthusiasm did not overshadow the spotlight more correctly focused upon the groom (Chatan in Hebrew or Chossen in Yiddish)

Bride and Groom approach the Huppah The bride--Kallah--is escorted to the Huppah by the groom. The Huppah is a structure where a canopy or Tallit which had served the groom's father's father as well, represents the home the couple will later create together. The Tallit is a fringed garment traditionally worn by religious Jews. Happiness radiated from them to a welcoming congregation.

They're Married The ceremony--Erusin--featured much Hebrew and English explanation and was highlighted as the bride accompanied by her mother and the groom's mother circling the groom seven times representing the seven wedding blessings and seven days of creation, and demonstrating that the groom is the center of her world. The bride's train required quite a bit of management to be certain that no-one would be tripped up.

Smash the Glass At the end of the ceremony, the groom breaks a glass with his right foot, and the guests shout "מזל טוב‎" (mazel tov! 'congratulations').

Men Dancing We move to the reception venue and the party truly begins. I am used to guests arriving and settling into their tables in a period of respite before the bride and groom arrive. There was no respite here as the band started the party without delay. Everyone was dancing and happy to be so doing.

YMCA What wedding could be complete without dancing to YMCA?

More YMCA Dancing to A LOT of YMCA.

The Reception Venue Everyone was blown away by the room; Jane and Bonny made everything perfect. ReceptionVenue.JPG
Our "Perch" We were with friends at Table 15 on a raised portion of the room's rim allowing us a bird's eye view of the joyful madness but giving us a short path the dance floor as well. One takes one's life in one's hands on the dance floor at a Jewish wedding but B4 and I participated without injury. The band was superb, food and wine and champagne plentiful and the bass beat loud enough to last us all for a lifetime. Pity any nearby neighbors. ReceptionTable.JPG

I hope my gentile recollection and recitation of this is accurate. I invite my Jewish friends to post corrections where appropriate.

If it's a party you're after, attend a Jewish wedding. If it's the party of the year you're after; sorry, you just missed it.

Posted by paulej4 03:32 Archived in Israel

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loved seeing the whole chronology..How fun! and so glad you could be there

by karyl innis

I attended my first orthodox Jewish wedding this past December and much of what you described was exactly the same.
What’s of interest , also, is that many if not all of the young people attending the wedding were in the army. Many of the young men wore guns. And the women who were wearing gowns that could not conceal guns had to get special permission from the army to leave their gun at home.
Personally I found the separate dancing of men and women strange.
It was a very interesting experience!!!

by Sandi

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