Saturday, January 16, 2010


While we are definitely planning a secular wedding ceremony, the Architect and I are still planning on giving a little shout-out to our heritage throughout our wedding. In particular, we (or more precisely, I) would like to honor my Jewish heritage. My parents chose not to raise me with any particular religious upbringing -- and I come from a family with both Catholic and Jewish backgrounds. However, I have always felt a strong tie to the Jewish culture. My family cooks brisket, eats challah, I try (and often fail) to eat no leavened foods for 8 days every Passover, and we celebrate Hanukkah along with Christmas. I even begged my mom to send me to Hebrew school when I was a kid, while all of the other Jewish kids in my neighborhood wanted nothing more than to get out of their Hebrew school responsibilities. I know. I'm a weird one. So I feel that it's important to add some Jewish aspects into our wedding ceremony. We will definitely be breaking a glass. We will also have a chuppah.

A what-ah? You ask.

A chuppah.

Remember the scene in "Meet the Parents" where Owen Wilson is carefully carving a wedding altar, and he shows it to Ben Stiller's character, stating that "your people might call it a chuppah"? Yeah. One of those.

I've read a variety of different explanations of the meaning behind the chuppah. This one is my favorite so far:
"The chuppah is supposed to represent the new home the couple is creating together. The lack of walls in the structure is meant to symbolize the welcoming of everyone into the home as well as the tradition of Tzedakah, or charity." -- Miss Trail Mix on Weddingbee

Here are some of my favorite examples of chuppahs:

This is pretty much the craziest, most awesome, most creative chuppah that I have EVER seen. I have absolutely NO idea how they constructed it. Our chuppah is certainly going to be a bit more modest than this one.

This one is from my friend C's wedding. They used driftwood to build a chuppah for their beach-side wedding.

...with flowers

Birch chuppah -- I think we're going to go with something like this.

In addition to having a chuppah, and breaking a glass at the end of the ceremony, I was really hoping to dance the hora at our wedding and have our guests raise the Architect and me up in chairs as they dance. Unfortunately, the Architect is totally not sold on this idea. He thinks that our guests will drop him. (I think he's crazy, since he's not too heavy.)

See? Nobody dropping the groom!

Oh well, you win some, you lose some. That's all for this installment of Jewish wedding traditions. Now we just need to figure out how to incorporate the Architect's cultural and (non-)religious upbringing into our wedding as well.

Are you trying to include traditions to represent your culture or religion while planning your wedding? What specific traditions will you be including?

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