Tag Archives: Jewish marriage ceremony

The Wedding that Dodged the Hurricane

hurricane-wedding-1I met with a couple this summer who came from very different worlds but were determined to start a new life together. He is a PhD Virologist that was married and the father of three children. Now divorced, he met a lovely and smart lawyer whose family hailed from Israel and of course she was fluent in Hebrew. We met in the city and then I visited them in Sunnyside Queens where they were living, temporarily, before moving into a house on Long Island. His children visited them there, and I was impressed with the closeness she had with them and what an amazing father he is.

The wedding was set at his parents’ house in Point Lookout, Long Island, on September 4th.  All the preparations were made, including creating a chuppah on the deck and the backyard set up with tables for 50 guests. The living room of the house was used as a buffet station. It was a beautiful house that his mother had redone with her decorating skills.

hurricane-wedding-3All was set, except for the forecast which was calling for a tropical storm/hurricane, supposed to hit that day and the Long Island shore was potentially vulnerable. We were speaking about Plan B a day or two before, as this storm or hurricane was widely reported on the news and the beaches were closed. I even had to plan for a railroad trip out there instead of driving so I could make sure to show up.

Fortunately, the storm did not take the path that all were sure it would and the day turned out to be a picture-perfect sunny and low humidity winner. All went as planned and the best part was  that his two-year-old daughter, standing under the chuppah held by her grandmother, stole the show!


A Jewish Interfaith Wedding with a South American Feel

A New Jersey couple from different corners of the world met in a restaurant five years ago and it completely changed their lives.  He was originally from Jersey, on track to a legal career, following in the footsteps of his father.  Living in Washington D.C. to gain experience prior to law school, he started working in a restaurant to earn some extra money.  He found he loved it and returned back to Jersey to begin a career in the hospitality business.
The woman was born and raised in Lima, Peru where as long as she can remember, she felt a burning desire to come to America.  She struck out on her own, made it to the states, ended up working at the restaurant where the groom worked.  The rest is history, as they say.
highlawn nj front
The venue they chose, pictured above,  was in Montclair, called “The Highlawn, and was set high in the hills with a view of NYC.  It was actually used by General George Washington during the Revolutionary War as a look-out point.  I created an interfaith service for them and it was truly magical to witness the participation by her friends and family who were able to come from Peru for the event.  The ceremony had a wonderful South American feel. Her grandfather was from a remote town in the mountains of Peru where they still ride donkeys and horses, while here,  she is on track to a teaching career in our 21st century world of technology.
nyc skyline
It was truly a privilege to officiate at this Jewish interfaith wedding. It was a union of two very diverse cultures. What a great moment it was! After he broke the glass Mazel Tov and Te Feliciato’s was shouted out by all!

A Beautiful Jewish Wedding – Of My Best Friend’s Daughter!

       I recently officiated at the Jewish wedding of a bride who is the daughter of close friends of mine, going back 35 years. When I first met the bride, a day after she was born in 1984 at NY Hospital, I was looking at her through the glass window in the baby nursery. She has long been a part of the fabric of my family’s life and is just two years older than my son. He used to enjoy playing with an ”older woman!”

   I watched her through her childhood, adolescence and college years. She was always a woman of definite opinions. Everyone admired her spunk and confidence even for one so young. She started dating a military man and it turned out he had been deployed to Iraq twice. She ended up enlisting in the reserves herself and goes once a month to an army base for her commitment. I got to know him over their several years together and grew to appreciate his sensitivity, loyalty to her, and his quiet confidence. They decided to marry and asked me to officiate.

   Seeing them together is a study in complimentary attributes. She bubbles over with enthusiasm and energy and he looks at her in sheer amazement, but is beaming. Together they support and compliment one another. When I spend time with them I feel uplifted by their loving and easy relationship.


   The wedding was at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden the first weekend of June. The night before and even into the early morning the rains came. But two hours before the service the sky cleared and it turned into a picture-perfect June day. They did the wedding in the open air, as was the traditional Jewish custom and they had a lovely chamber music trio setting the tone.

     It was the first wedding I conducted where I felt I might be in tears throughout because of the closeness to the family. But because the bride bounded down the aisle, all smiles and beaming I took my cues from her and didn’t lose it.

   Her father, however, was crying throughout the service . He ended up delivering the benediction which is done at the end of every Jewish service. It was so very touching. Afterwards the reception was warm and filled with music and love. My son and his girlfriend came in from out of town for the event. I felt like I had everyone who loved me around to celebrate this wonderful event.


Check out the wedding planner Leigh who makes it all seem so easy   http://www.palmhouse.com/