Last weekend I got to be mother of the bride at my daughter’s wedding. It was an interfaith wedding – Jewish but with no elements from another religion but we did make changes. It was also a multicultural wedding since her groom is from Spain.
Here’s how it went down. Her husband is Catholic but doesn’t practice. I wrote the wedding ceremony and it had many of the elements of a Jewish wedding. For instance, she had a beautiful chuppah. They used the beautiful exchange of rings from Psalm of Psalms: “I am my beloved and my beloved is mine”. But they didn’t do it in Hebrew and then English. No, instead, they did it in English and Spanish.
So I wrote the wedding ceremony and sent it to a translator in Valencia, Spain, the place where these two newlyweds met. I then integrated the Spanish with the English and wrote instructions for their friend who did the ceremony in both languages. I stepped in to do the kiddish, the blessing over the wine, using the kiddish cup that we have used in the home for years. I also did the shehechiyanu because I think it’s important to take stock on every joyous occasion to appreciate how lucky we are to be alive and to celebrate at a wedding.
And they each broke a glass – stomping at the end of their wedding before the Mazel tov! I bought them a souvenir glass and a beautiful mezuzah which has a little tube to house the broken shards as a souvenir of their wedding. One of them broke a light bulb and the other, the souvenir glass.
What else did they do – they did their own wedding vows and they were also asked the vows so they could say “I do”.
She had a beautiful hand painted ketubah and I officiated the ketubah signing ceremony before the wedding. Since my signature will be on the ketubah as the Rabbi, she asked her uncle, my brother, to sign as a witness. He felt honored.
The one who stole the show was my six year old niece who was the flower girl and who crushed it! She was so wonderful and at the end of the evening she concluded she would have her wedding at the same place because everyone was so nice. Indeed, they were.
At the reception I called my brothers to join me to do the blessing over the wine and also of the beautiful large simcha challah we had. And then I got to make a toast to both of them and a short little wedding talk.
I got to be her mom. Not the Rabbi – the best job of all, a mom. It was a beautiful, wonderful, joyous interfaith intercultural wedding. Everyone did the hora with gusto and celebrated with the most joy.
Thanks for listening!! I love doing all of your daughter’s and son’s weddings too – it brings me joy! I experience each one as though I was family. That’s what’s in my heart and I know it shows!!!
Stay safe everyone!
Rabbi Marsha Jane