Jewish weddings are steeped in tradition and have been celebrated for centuries. The ceremony itself is incredibly beautiful, and the reception is a joyous occasion for family and friends.
However, there are some myths concerning Jewish weddings. Read on to learn.
1. You Need To Be Religious To Have A Jewish Wedding
This is one of the most common misconceptions about Jewish weddings. In reality, you don’t need to be religious to have a Jewish wedding. Many couples who are not religious choose to have a Jewish wedding because they feel a strong connection to their cultural heritage.
2. Jewish Weddings Are Always Expensive
Another common myth about Jewish weddings is that they are always costly. While it’s true that some aspects of a traditional Jewish wedding can be costly (like the cost of the Ketubah, or marriage contract), there are ways to keep costs down. For example, many couples choose to have an intimate ceremony with only close family and friends in attendance.
3. Jewish Weddings Always Take Place In A Synagogue
This is another myth that is simply not true. This is one of the most common misconceptions about Jewish weddings. While many Jewish weddings do take place in a synagogue, this is not always the case. Many couples choose to have their ceremony in a hotel ballroom, outdoor park, or home.
The only requirement is that the ceremony takes place under a huppah (a canopy or tent) and that the couple is married by a rabbi or cantor.
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4. You Need To Be Married By A Rabbi To Have A Jewish Wedding
This myth is also not true. While it is customary for a Rabbi to officiate a Jewish wedding, it is not required. If you are not comfortable with having a Rabbi officiate your ceremony, you can ask a friend or family member who is knowledgeable about Judaism to lead the ceremony instead.
Couples are free to choose whoever they would like to lead their ceremony. This could be a friend or family member who is ordained or even someone who is not religious at all. The important thing is that the person officiating understands and respects the couple’s wishes for their wedding day.
5. Jews Don’t Believe In Divorce
This is another common misconception about Judaism. While it is true that divorce is not encouraged in the Jewish faith, it is not strictly forbidden. Many couples who have gone through a divorce choose to remarry within the Jewish faith.
6. All Jewish Weddings Are The Same
This is perhaps the biggest myth of all. In reality, no two Jewish weddings are exactly alike. Each couple has their own unique story and traditions to bring to their wedding day.
7. You Can’t See The Bride Before The Wedding
Another popular myth is that the bride and groom are not allowed to see each other before the ceremony. This tradition has changed over time and is now quite common for couples to see each other before the wedding, often during a “first look” moment. The only restriction is that they should not see each other during the seven days preceding the wedding, known as the Sheva brachot (seven blessings) week.
8. You Have To Be Jewish To Have A Jewish Wedding
This is simply not true! While it is certainly more common for both partners to be Jewish when they get married, an interfaith couple can have a Jewish wedding. Many rabbis are happy to officiate at interfaith weddings and help couples create a ceremony that incorporates elements from both of their traditions.
9. All Jewish Weddings Are Huge Affairs With Hundreds Of Guests
Another common misconception about Jewish weddings is that they are always huge, lavish affairs with hundreds of guests. While there are certainly some Jewish weddings that fit this description, many others are much more intimate affairs with only close family and friends in attendance. It all depends on the couple’s preference and budget.
10. You Have To Have A Big, Expensive Wedding To Be Considered Married In The Eyes Of The Jewish Community
This is not true! The size and cost of a couple’s wedding have no bearing on whether or not their marriage is considered valid in the eyes of the Jewish community. All that is required for a Jewish marriage to be official is that the couple exchange vows under a huppah and that the ceremony is officiated by a rabbi or cantor. Whether you have 2 guests or 200, your Jewish marriage will be just as real and just as valid.
If you are planning a Jewish wedding, don’t let these myths discourage you. Talk to your Rabbi or other knowledgeable family and friends to get started on planning the perfect day that reflects your style and traditions.
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