I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I’m in law school at a Jesuit school, which I’ve enjoyed very much but which is kind of funny sometimes. See I grew up very “culturally Jewish” where we’d say things like “that’s not kosher” and “stop kvetching” and “oy vey” all the time. Most of my friends were Jewish and if they weren’t, then they wished they were so that they could have a Bar Mitzvah complete with games like “Coke and Pepsi” and a silly theme. Judaism kind of entered every part of our lives, from the food to the music to the slang. Going to a Jesuit school, and living in a very Catholic city, this is the first time I’ve ever really been in a place where I’m not constantly surrounded by other Jewish friends… sure we do have a lot of Jewish friends but we have met a lot of people here who went to Catholic school their whole lives and never really knew much about Jewish culture and traditions. After we got married (almost 2 years ago now, it’s hard to believe!) everyone from school asked me what Jewish weddings were like, since weddings are one of those events that have huge cultural differences… so there are a few things I can share that made our wedding “Jewish.”
Here’s Ken waiting under the chuppah (a Jewish wedding canopy) with one of the three Rabbis who performed our wedding ceremony. You’ll notice that Ken has a yarmulke on his head.
When I first got down the aisle to the chuppah, I walked around Ken seven times (a Jewish tradition), which made me laugh a little because, in all of the excitement of the day it was hard to keep track of numbers, so I started counting out loud and, well, the Rabbi had a microphone on him… so yes, everyone could hear me counting, and they thought it was pretty funny that I had to count out loud!
We signed a ketubah, which is a Jewish marriage contract. Traditionally it would have said something like “in exchange for your daughter I give you ten sheep, three cows and thirty-five dollars” but today it is more like wedding vows… you know… I promise to love you, to keep you smiling, etc. as well as promises to ourselves for the future… we promise to raise a Jewish family and keep a Jewish household with certain values that are important to us.
Other than that, though, our wedding was pretty standard… we had bridesmaids and groomsmen
My parents both walked me down the aisle, and Ken’s parents both walked him down the aisle… though this is originally a very Jewish tradition it has taken off in non-Jewish weddings as well because it’s nice to include both parents.