life in and around NYC is insane

Monday, July 23, 2012


We went to a wedding yesterday. Both the bride and her mother are employed at the school where Drew teaches, so many of his coworkers were there.

Beautiful venue -- a country club.  The ceremony was held outdoors (the weather was perfect for it, a lovely, not too hot, summer evening).  There's a garden with a small pond, and a platform inthe middle of the pond with a gazebo.  (Later I found out this place has a second location for outdoor ceremonies, a gazebo on the lawn next to a reflecting pool/fountain, which is just as lovely.)    Birds were actually flying around the gazebo during the ceremony.

The color scheme was black and gold.  All the men in the wedding party, even the ring bearer, wore black, with gold ties and gold yarmulkes (Jewish wedding).  The maid of honor ( the bride's sister) wore a strapless gold gown, the bridesmaids were in black with gold sashes, and the flower girl wore white with a gold sash.  The mother of the bride was also in gold, in a gown similar to the one worn by the maid of honor.

For the ceremony the bride wore a strapless white gown with a train and a simple headpiece with a lace-trimmed veil.  For the reception she took off the headpiece and veil and bustled up the train.

In a traditional Jewish wedding, both bride and groom are escorted down the aisle by their parents.  Last night the bride was escorted by her parents, the groom by his father (his mother passed away last year).  The gazebo served as a chuppah, the traditional wedding canopy that symbolizes the home where the couple will live together.

The Rabbi did not speak into his microphone, so it was hard to hear most of the ceremony . . .but I've been to a few of these before (including one about 25 years ago, where I was the one wearing the veil).  Two cups of wine shared by bride and groom, 7 blessings recited by the Rabbi.  A mini sermon about a wedding from the Bible. Reading of the Ketubah, the marriage contract.  The groom places a ring on the bride's finger and says "Behold, you are consecrated unto me as my wife according to the laws of Moses and Israel".  The bride, as has become more recent custom, puts the ring on the groom's finger and says "I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me."  The groom breaks the glass amid shouts of "mazel tov!"

Then it was on to the reception.  Cocktail hour followed by dinner and dancing.  Jewish receptions always start with the hora, though the dance floor is usually too crowded to really dance.  The bride and groom seated on chairs that are hoisted into the air.  Later the meal begins with the motzi, the blessing over the bread.

Then, like every other wedding, there are toasts, the father-daughter dance, cutting the wedding cake, throwing the bouquet.

I went to this wedding with the man I married 25 years ago.  Yet we aren't celebrating our 25th anniversary.  Weird, right?  Can't begin to sort out, let alone describe, the churning mixture of emotions.

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