Every bride wants to make sure their guests are having a good time at their wedding! Especially when it’s time to party at the reception. Nothing says “successful reception” like seeing all of your guests out of their seats dancing the night away. But how do you get them on the floor? We have some tips to get people dancing at a wedding reception!
Jewish Wedding Ideas
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Following the Traditions of a Jewish Wedding
There are many things that go into planning any wedding. However if you are of a certain faith or heritage with traditions to uphold, things can get more complicated. A Jewish wedding is no exception. While some aspects of the Jewish wedding can be similar to a modern non- Orthodox wedding, there are quite a few things you will want to do to ensure you keep with the Jewish practices. GigSalad can help you make sure you don’t miss those important traditions.
Congratulations to the Chatan and Kallah
A Jewish Wedding can only take place on certain days. Be sure to consult with a Jewish calendar when selecting a date. Weddings are forbidden on the Sabbath, and they also cannot take place on any major Jewish holiday. The location of the wedding can generally be anywhere, but some popular choices are synagogues, temples, courtyards or family homes. Traditionally, the entire wedding party will wear yarmulkes. Many weddings will also ask that the guests wear them as well, so they should be provided when they arrive at the ceremony. The ceremony should be performed by a Rabbi that is close to the bride and/or groom. It also tradition that the couple be married under a Huppah, which is a Jewish alter. Huppahs can be built by hand or they can be purchased or rented from a local supplier. If you plan to hire a florist for the wedding, they may also supply the items needed to construct a Huppah.
The most important part of a Jewish wedding ceremony is the signing of the Ketubah. This is a marriage contract that is to be signed by the bride and groom and two witnesses. The document is very formal and is often framed and displayed in the couple’s house after the wedding. During the ceremony, one popular tradition is the reading of the Seven Blessings. These can be read by the Rabbi, or the bride and groom may choose to have the wedding party, family members, or close friends do the readings. One of the last traditions of the ceremony is the glass breaking. Breaking of glass symbolizes the fallen temple and also the fragility of life and relationships. Instead of a receiving line like most weddings, at the conclusion of a Jewish ceremony the bride and groom leave and spend time alone together. This tradition is called Yichud.
Mazel Tov! Now Let’s Dance!
As with any type of wedding, music is a very important part of this special day. The level of Jewish influence on the music choices is completely up to the bride and groom. If you are trying to stay as Orthodox as possible, then you will want both the ceremony and the reception to stay true to the traditions. For the ceremony, there are certain songs that are commonly used for the bridal entrance; such as "Dodi Li" or "Erev Shel Shoshanim." Hire a singer or group that knows or can learn those songs. Another option is to just have instrumental music for the ceremony. For this you could hire a violinist, guitarist or ensemble.
If all traditional music is featured at the ceremony, you may or may not want to also do it at the reception. These days, many couples will mix secular music with their traditional Jewish music. You will need to make sure the wedding band or DJ you hire knows the tunes needed for the traditional Jewish dances. There are several options out there for Jewish entertainment. One of the most popular choices would be a Klezmer band. Other options include folk bands and dance bands that will have Jewish and Hebrew songs in their catalog. One of the most popular traditions during the reception is a section of music and dancing called a ‘Hora.’ During this the bride and groom are lifted into the air while seated on chairs. They hold onto opposite ends of a handkerchief as the guests dance around them in a big circle. Other popular dances include the gladdening of the bride, the Krenzi, the Mizinke and the Mitzvah tantz.
The reception will often start with the traditional Jewish blessings. There are blessings before and after the meal and sometimes the seven blessings will be read again. Before the meal begins there should be a blessing of the bread. This is a large loaf of bread, called the Challah, wrapped in cloth. The Rabbi will usually do the blessing and then often the bride and groom are the ones that hand out the bread to the guests. Once the bread has been served and blessings said, it’s time to eat. You may choose to serve a sit down meal or you can just offer it in buffet style where guests serve themselves. At a Jewish wedding you should be careful in choosing your menu. Hire a Kosher caterer to help you so that you can be sure you serve the right things. Depending on your heritage, there are different items that are traditional for a Jewish meal. Some of the popular dishes include lamb, roasted chicken, potatoes, rice, and vegetables. To go with the meal, the most popular beverage for a Jewish meal is kosher wine. You may also want to serve other items, both alcoholic and non, for the guests that do not care for or wish to drink wine. Consider hiring a bartender to be on hand to make sure a glass is never left empty.
An essential part of any wedding is the desserts. The popular choices for a Jewish wedding are a variety of cakes and fruits. Serve both fruit desserts and an assortment of fresh fruits. Your caterer should be able to help you with choosing these dishes. Or you can contact a Jewish bakery so that you can ensure that all the fruit dishes prepared are kosher. They could also handle the wedding cake. However, if you do not use a Jewish bakery, most other cake makers will know how to make a kosher wedding cake.
Aside from the traditions, many pieces of a Jewish wedding can be very similar to any other wedding. Planning a wedding, especially with all the details of these traditions involved, can be complicated, so consider hiring a wedding planner to assist with all the work. With the help of the planner and GigSalad, you are sure to have an amazing Jewish Wedding!