The Everything Jewish Wedding Book
Author: Rabbi Hyim Shafner
Rating: 3 out of 5 veils
Summary: A comprehensive summary of Jewish wedding traditions, rules, and rituals. This is a great introductory guide for someone who wants good definitions and explanations of Jewish traditions. However, it is definitely aimed at more traditional or Orthodox couples. More of the book is dedicated to Jewish family life and emotional/social issues than to wedding planning.
Best Advice: “How would you feel if your fiancé was not there any more? This can be an important question to ask yourself when you feel pre-marriage anxiety. It might help you ascertain if it is regular nervousness or some bigger issues in the relationship or in how you see each other.” (p.10)
Advice we aren’t quite sure about: “At some less formal traditional Jewish weddings, guests who are part of the couple or family’s community, but are not close enough to make the guest list are instead invited to the ceremony and for the first set of Jewish dancing … they are expected to leave after the first set of dancing and hors d’oeuvres” (p.31).
Unless you’re part of a community where this is the norm, (meaning you’ve heard of this, you’ve seen this done before, and you know for a fact everyone at your wedding will expect this) do not attempt this. No good can come of creating two different classes of wedding guests.