Getting Married At Other Peoples’ Weddings
Well, not exactly.
But, being at other peoples’ weddings certainly makes me think about my own wedding. And June, July and definitely August are shaping up to be very busy nuptial seasons.
This August, my best friend and my sister are getting married within two weeks of each other, and I am in both weddings. So, June and July were filled with showers and bachelorette parties, final dress fittings and alterations, and all kinds of wedding and marriage things.
It’s a really exciting time, but it’s also very overwhelming.
My sister’s wedding will be more Orthodox. My best friend’s is going to be Reform. Ours will be somewhere in the middle. I’m looking forward to seeing what goes on at each, especially since I haven’t been to a Jewish wedding since I was a teenager.
I’m also looking forward to getting ideas from each about what we want, and don’t want, at our own wedding.
For me, a big part of our wedding is the people who won’t be there.
My dad passed away in 2014 as a result of the infamous Metro Detroit flood, and my fiancé’s father passed away in 2006 after a lengthy illness. We’re having a small wedding — much smaller than either of the two I’m in — and part of the reason is that we only want those closest and most important to us to be by our side on that day.
We’re also cutting out the things that would make me acutely feel my dad’s lack of presence. I know that’s kind of a depressing thought on a day that’s supposed to be super happy, but it’s also realistic. It’s what I need, so it’s what we need. So, we’re doing a lot of things our own way — a lot of personal touches that I’ll share eventually. For example, my mom is walking me down the aisle.
In reality, it doesn’t really matter what I think of either of the two weddings I’m in.
It’s about the couple, and it’s their day. And the thing is, this is maybe 4 or 8 hours out of the next 40 or more years. So while it’s important to have fun and celebrate, it’s also about the sanctity of the day and the importance of the commitment a married couple is making to each other.
That’s why it’s been helpful to meet weekly with the rabbi that is officiating our wedding. He helps us stay grounded, in not only what the wedding day means, but also in Jewish tradition.