Jewish Wedding Traditions

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The Jewish faith is one that is deeply rooted in tradition. A traditional Jewish wedding follows a number of beautiful traditions that date back for thousands of years. The traditions include the signing of the Ketubah, the use of the chuppah as well as traditional dances that are performed at the wedding. The rings exchanged during a Jewish wedding also have traditional connotations.

The signing of the Ketubah is the traditional start to a Jewish wedding ceremony. The Ketubah is a written agreement that not only asserts that the bride is not already married but also outlines the expectations that the couple hold for each other in the marriage. This ornate document can later be framed and prominently displayed in the couple’s home as a reminder of their commitment. After the bride and groom have signed the Ketubah, the groom takes one final look at his bride before lowering her veil and beginning the wedding procession. This tradition has biblical roots and recalls the story of Jacob who married the wrong woman because she was veiled and he did not realize his mistake in time.

The wedding party traditionally precedes the couple in the wedding procession. The bride and groom then proceed down the aisle together accompanied by both of their parents to symbolize that their union includes the union of both families and not just the bride and the groom. The couple ends their procession under a traditional canopy called a chuppah. This canopy symbolizes that God is present and that he is sheltering and protecting the couple.

After the couple exchanges their wedding vows, a Rabbi reads 7 traditional blessings. After the blessings the groom steps on a wine glass to break the glass in a symbol of human frailty and the suffering that members of the Jewish faith have endured and this with a final blessing from the rabbi concludes the ceremony. Unlike other traditional weddings, there is usually not a receiving line at the conclusion of a Jewish wedding. Tradition holds that the couple spends a few minutes alone immediately following the wedding so many members of the Jewish faith honour this tradition by leaving the ceremony immediately and waiting until the reception to offer their well wishes to the couple. This togetherness time was traditionally an opportunity for the couple to consummate the marriage but in modern times it is more of chance for the couple to reflect on their wedding ceremony and the start of their life together before the chaos of the wedding.

Even the rings that a couple exchanges during a Jewish wedding have traditional values. Tradition holds that the couple exchange very simple rings that are devoid of gems, engravings or other distinguishing marks. With nothing to distinguish the beginning or the end of the ring, it is a beautiful symbol of a love that endures forever with no clear beginning or end. This symbolizes both the couples love for each other as well as Godís love for his people.

A traditional Jewish wedding reception features many dances. An energetic dance called the Hora is performed at many traditional Jewish weddings. In this dance the bride and groom hold a handkerchief between them while they are seated in chairs and hoisted into the air by their guests. This dance is a celebration of the bride and groom and recognizes the significance of their union.  If this wedding represents the last son or daughter of one of the parents to be married there are a few more traditional dances that may take place. If the bride was the last in her family to be married, she and her sisters may honour their mother in a tradition known as Krenzi. The mother is crowned with flowers and her daughters honour her in the form of dance. Also, if either the bride or groom was the youngest to be married both of the parents will be honoured through the Mizinke dance. In this tradition all of the guests circle the parents and shower them with flowers and praise.

The Jewish faith is a faith that is full of history and tradition. Many couples and their guests choose to honour these traditions by incorporating them into their wedding ceremony and reception. Many of these traditions are the defining moments of the celebration and they lend an atmosphere of historical significance to the wedding.

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Paying For Your Wedding

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Many couples are opting to pay for their weddings themselves. Some couples decide to pay for their own weddings because they have not other choice, some do so as a matter of choice. The best reason to pay for your own wedding is because you do not want to compromise on how, when and where you get married and you are ready to pay for it all on your own.

The average cost of a wedding in the North America is over $25,000, so financing your wedding requires a serious financial commitment. The sooner you start planning and saving for your wedding, the more time you have to come up with the necessary funds. The average time between the engagement and the wedding day is 12 to 18 months. Such time frame gives you an opportunity to plan and save for your wedding. The most important task you have is to determine the total amount you wish to spend on your wedding. Then, divide the amount by the number of months to determine how much money you need to put aside each month to meet your goal. If you estimate that your wedding will cost $25,000, and you have two years until your wedding, you need to save about $1042.00 per month. Realistically, not everyone can put aside a thousand dollars each month. If you are unable to save enough to cover all the costs, you may need to start cutting costs until you come up with a figure that you can meet. Aside from cost cutting, you can do a lot by saving one everything you do. You can save by taking your lunch instead of going out, spend less on clothes and entertainment. You could also, take on a part time job to help you with your budget. You have many options.

Opening a separate savings account for your wedding may help enforce the need to save. Even if you start with a modest amount a special wedding savings account should help you make the right spending and saving decisions.

You can find ways to save money by learning as much as you can about the products and services you need for your big day. The more educated you become about prices, the more you can bargain with vendors to make sure you get the best possible deals in town.

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All Weekend Wedding

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All weekend weddings are becoming more popular, particularly as families are spread further apart. They usually begin on Friday night, continue with the wedding Saturday and conclude with a post-wedding breakfast on Sunday before everyone returns home.

Planning activities for these weekend-long celebrations doesn’t have to be difficult; in fact, it can be quite a bit of fun if you keep everyone’s needs in mind. First, consider the wedding. Will this be a formal wedding with a sit-down dinner at its center? If so, you might want to ban a formal rehearsal dinner and replace it instead with an informal barbecue dinner or picnic.

But how will you keep people occupied during the long weekend? There are many activities to consider. Will the wedding be near a lake? How about planning a day at the lake on Saturday, filled with pre-wedding activities like swimming races and beach volleyball.

One popular pre-wedding activity is a scavenger hunt. Prior to the wedding weekend, a list of meaningful items should be drawn up, and guests placed in two teams. The list should include things like “get a brochure from the jewelry store where (groom) bought (bride)’s ring” or “take a picture of the group at the location where the couple got engaged”. You will have to tailor the scavenger hunt list to the location of the wedding and the energy of the guests who will be participating.

You can even offer lavish prizes for the team that wins the scavenger hunt, such as gift certificates or gourmet food and wine baskets. It might seem an obvious choice to divide the teams into groups who know or are related to the bride and teams who know or are related to the groom, but it might be a little more fun to mix it up a bit. You can create teams of friends versus family, or men versus women (always a popular choice).

Another activity that’s popular during wedding weekends is a competitive sport activity, such as baseball or flag football. Again, add a special twist. Offer prizes for performance (first home run gets a kiss from the bride) or make silly rules, like members of the bridal party have to wear tiaras while running bases or members of the groom’s family should always have their shirts on backwards.

It’s important that during the wedding weekend, planners keep in mind that the weekend itself might be expensive for some guests, particularly those who had to fly in for the occasion and many of the activities should be free, or inexpensive. If they are more expensive, and planned for the entire group, they should be paid for by either the bride and groom or their families.

But there are plenty of activities that don’t have to be expensive, but can provide big bang for the little buck, such as the scavenger hunt suggested above. If the wedding weekend guests will mostly be family, you can schedule a home movie-viewing event, including home movies from both the bride and groom’s families. For even more fun, consider an activity where the movies are mixed up and the guests have to guess which family’s videos they are watching. This might sound easy, but depending on the contents, it could be hard, particularly if the bride and groom are babies in the photos. We would love to hear your thoughts . Please comment below, stop by and check out www.djxtc.net . Follow us on twitter @weddingdj1