Mr. P and I are Jewish by birth. How we practice Judaism, however, doesn’t exactly fit nicely into a box that can be defined. We celebrate pertinent holidays, but sort of do it “our” way (maybe we break the Yom Kippur fast a little bit before sundown). Although I identity myself as being Jewish, it doesn’t hold a huge weight over my life. I would say I am more “spiritual” than anything else. I believe in some of the laws of Judaism. Others, I have a hard time putting myself behind. I believe there is SOMETHING out there, may it be God, Allah, or Aladdin—I don’t know. I also think there’s a place good people end up. It’s too depressing for me to think there is nothing out there in that great beyond.
Regardless of my own religious opinion of things, there will be many Jewish traditions that will show up in our wedding. Mr. P grew up a little more “religious” then I did. He wasn’t Orthodox, but was raised somewhere between Reform and Conservative. He didn’t live in a kosher home or strictly celebrate the Sabbath. But, he did go to Hebrew school, learn Hebrew, have a Bar Mitzvah, and quit it on the bread products during Passover. I grew up in a much more lax household. I didn’t want to go to Hebrew school as a kid so no one forced me to. I never learned Hebrew. I never had a Bat Mitzvah.
On Hanukkah we added some “Christmas touches” (minus the tree, holly, and baby Jesus). Our family (still to this day) gets together, eats a big dinner with latkes, and exchanges a lot of presents that we unwrap together. There’s nothing really religious about the whole affair. It’s more like a good reason to get us all together.
To be honest, I don’t know things that I “should.” I always had a vague understanding of Judaism. I know a lot more about the traditional aspects of Judaism than I do the religious ones. I never really thought about the religious side of how my wedding would go. I could honestly get married by a Justice of the Peace and be cool with it, but given Mr. P and our families’ wishes I am on board with incorporating our faith. We will be getting married by a Rabbi, have a chuppah (a canopy you get married under) at our ceremony, and say the traditional blessings.
Recently I have been on a hunt for chuppah inspiration. A chuppah, in Jewish tradition, is a symbol of the home a couple will build together. It is simply four poles (or people) holding up a cloth that the couple gets married under. Traditionally a tallit (Jewish prayer shawl) can serve as the cloth covering. Being less traditional (and religious) I’ve been thinking of using some blue fabric draped over the top to incorporate our color palette. We have the necessary poles, which my future in-laws acquired from a couple that moved out of the area. They didn’t want to schlep their chuppah along with them. It is made up of four white birch “poles” in potted plants that our florist will fill with some branches and blooms.
A traditional chuppah in a temple ceremony / Image via Wikipedia
Super simple chuppah / Image via Sukkahsoul
Closest to my idea / Image via Clearwater-florida.olx.com
I still haven’t quite figured out how to bring it all to fruition. I figure I need to get measurements of the distance between the poles and get to a fabric store. I am a failure at anything involving sewing so I am hoping it comes together easier then I am imagining it will. At least the poles, which I would think are the most difficult part, are already set and ready to go.
Anyone have any chuppah-constructing tips? Anyone have a weird half-in/half-out relationship with your faith?