I was contacted by a distraught bride almost a year ago. She is Jewish and her husband-to-be (at the time) is Christian. She wanted a rabbi and minister to officiate and all the officiants in the synagogues of the area turned her down because she would not commit to raising her children Jewish. She said to me later, “I’m 41 and don’t know if I will have children but I didn’t feel I had to commit to that to get married.”
They set up a date to meet me in East Hampton and insisted on taking me out to eat in a local restaurant. That was a first in a couple’s generosity for me. The groom is a personal chef and the owner of Michael’s Restaurant where everyone knew him well. We got royal treatment, even a very special bottle of wine. I sat for a few hours with them and felt a warmth and camaraderie. We just clicked and that made preparing the service effortless. What helped as well is that the bride is a librarian in the local school system and did her homework. She searched the net and bookstores for information on interfaith weddings and taught me a thing or two.
They were having a good friend of the groom’s co-officiate- a lovely Hispanic man. We all sat together one spring day on the couple’s deck with her parents in attendance. We ate the chef’s chocolate chip cookies and planned the service together.
The venue was Gurney’s Inn in Montauk– one of the most beautiful waterfront sites on the east end. They did a barefoot beachfront wedding. The weather was amazing-late afternoon with sun not too hot and a delightful breeze. They did their procession to “Somewhere Beyond the Sea.” We even did a sand ceremony with the two mothers bringing sand from their respective homes pouring two vessels into one. The symbolism is two cultures and religions into one.
Their incredible band made dancing a total joy- I was called the “Bopping Rabbi.”
I wish them much sun and joy for the future in their lives.
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