A wedding is more than the union of two people in love. For those in the community who join in the celebration, it’s a chance to give the perfect gift. Finding that, however, can pose a challenge to even the most experienced guest. Here are some suggestions for go-to gifts, many of them from those who make it their business to attend these celebrations.
Lavish weddings featuring guest lists upward of 500 people were seemingly de rigueur in Southern California's Iranian-Jewish community just five years ago. But the growth of six-figure simchas strained middle-class families, leading some couples to either call off a wedding or divorce a few months after getting married.
Born into a poor Moroccan immigrant family that settled in the development town of Dimona, Yardena Ovadia always dreamed of giving her daughter a fairy-tale wedding.
There are many things that come to mind when the words “bachelor” and “party” are said in the same breath, and often the sum of this equation is not pretty. Despite Hollywood’s depiction of this rite of passage as a final gasp of protracted adolescence (from the Tom Hanks camp classic “Bachelor Party” to the “Hangover” movies), there are men who are not interested in acting silly (or worse) for its own sake.
When Miriam Sushman and her then-fiancé, Owen, were planning a summer wedding, they searched for an outdoor venue that would reflect their love of nature.
What is the difference between a pit bull and a Jewish Mother? The pit bull eventually lets go.
On my wedding day last fall, I was very nervous. My husband and I planned our celebration, to be held in Chicago, entirely on our own and all the way from Boston. We were also combining a Russian-Jewish family with a Sabra-Israeli family, and members of each took long flights to the U.S. for the wedding.
An organization of Modern Orthodox rabbis that performs alternative religious wedding ceremonies for non-religious couples can continue to register the couples.
Israeli lawmakers from diverse parties slammed the decision of the religious services minister to prevent an organization of Modern Orthodox rabbis from performing religious wedding ceremonies for non-religious couples
From reality TV shows to ads for bridal boot camps, it’s no secret that many women want to slim down for their wedding.
After her husband stepped on the glass at their wedding, and she survived the chair dance without falling, Emily Brecher changed into a traditional red Chinese dress.
A wedding that costs $100,000? A bar mitzvah that costs $20,000? When did extravagance and luxury become such primary Jewish values? I can’t remember the last simcha (Jewish celebration) I attended at which there were not tremendous amounts of wasted food, overly expensive napkins and bands large enough for a royal banquet.
Although most islands in the Caribbean have been an easy sell for honeymooners, Curaçao for years was a diamond in the rough, lost in the destination shuffle. However, in recent years, that diamond has been polished to such a brilliant shine that it has become as much of a paradise for foodie and culture-vulture couples as it is for beachcombers.
For Rabbi Mike Comins and his bride-to-be, Jody Porter, the decision to commission a custom ketubah was a no-brainer. Comins, who had advised many couples about matrimonial matters over the course of his career, firmly believed in the centrality of a ketubah to the covenant of marriage. Porter agreed, adding that “since a spiritual journey was part of our courtship, it was important for us to have this [a ketubah] be a part of our wedding.”
Israeli wedding dresses typically run the gamut from over-the-top ballroom showstoppers to gracefully minimalist renditions. While these three prominent Israeli designers showcase very different trends, they all appeal to the masses with their signature styles. From Victor Bellaish’s specialty boho-centric creations to Lihi Hod’s extra-romantic sheaths and Hila Gaon’s streamlined, modern garments, Israeli wedding design is inspired by the past and the present, by the local market and European craftsmanship — but, most significantly, by the brides themselves. With that said, expect some inventive and sassy designs (truly sabra). And take note, most Israeli wedding dress designers rent their dresses out per occasion (although there is always the option to buy, as is the custom in the United States and Europe).
The only requirement of a chuppah, or bridal canopy, is that it be a temporary structure open on all sides, just as Abraham and Sarah had their tent to welcome their friends and family. So anything is possible from a creative standpoint.
When a woman hits a certain age, she’s likely been to more bridal showers than she cares to remember. She’s sat through innumerable toasts, idle chitchat, wedding dresses made from toilet paper and hours upon hours of watching her nearest and dearest open boxes of linens and wine glasses from Crate & Barrel.
Jeremy would be standing in front of 220 people the next day, including colleagues, friends, family and his bride. As he walked the streets, the groom-to-be mentally composed his wedding speech. The following evening, without missing a single beat, Jeremy had the audience in fits of laughter and bouts of tears as he delivered a sincere, witty and memorable speech.
When Debbie Miller and her then-boyfriend, Ofer Valkurlker, decided to marry, they knew their wedding would be a fusion of East and West. Miller is American-born and Ashkenazi while Valkurlker, who is a member of the Bnei Menashe community, was born in India. Although the couple anticipated that cultural differences would influence their wedding plans, Miller was caught totally off guard when her fiancé, whose community is believed to be descended from one of the 10 lost tribes of Israel, insisted that every wedding invitation to his side of the family be delivered in person.
These are not your grandmother’s yentas. The Wedding Yentas, a Conejo-based Web site offering planning advice to the modern Jewish bride, is the brainchild of Alison Friedman and Nicky Kahn.
Apryl Levine (nee Carson) had thought of everything the morning before her wedding. Every decision was made, from food to flowers, right down to the exact glass that her husband-to-be, Joshua Levine, would break.
Even if real life affects the bottom line of your bridal budget, you can still make your shower or brunch reception the first-class affair of your dreams.
Actress Natalie Portman, who is expecting her first child, announced she will marry the baby's father.
Six months after Chelsea Clinton married investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, the granddaughter of President’s George HW Bush has announced she is to marry another New Yorker of Jewish descent.
One of the first things I learned about wedding planning is that it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. Oh, I knew it would take time, money, teamwork and a slew of help from my family and friends, but what I never took into account was just how political the entire process would become. Having never been a big fan of politics — personal or otherwise — I was less than thrilled at this discovery.
Fortunately, it's perfectly possible to welcome children at your wedding without compromising the sanctity of the event or the sanity of any involved parties.
It happens like some sort of divine intervention. You're single, depressed and desperate for a relationship, but just as you hit rock bottom, when you've given up all hope, the right person makes a grand entrance into your life
If Arash Saghian's recent marriage had taken place in the late 1980s or early 1990s, he would likely have faced ostracism from Los Angeles' Iranian Jewish community. The family of the 25-year-old businessman might have also frowned upon the match, all because his spouse Maya was Ashkenazi.
Jackie and Adam Sandler. Shaunie and Shaquille O'Neal. Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale. Heidi Klum and Seal. Jami Gertz and Tony Ressler. Janice and Billy Crystal. When these high-profile pairs have a star-studded soirÃÂ(c)e to host -- anything from a wedding to a bridal shower, a bar mitzvah to a birthday or business bash -- they all leave the preparations to one party planner: Mindy Weiss, owner of the Beverly Hills-based Mindy Weiss Party Consultants. But if you think her job is just about selecting flowers and ordering cakes, you're sorely mistaken.
Whether a Jewish wedding is white tie and tails at a five-star hotel, blue jeans and bare feet on a beach or something in between, today's betrothed couples are choosing to custom mix and match the components that come together to form a unique and perfect union.
The traditional Jewish wedding ceremony as we know it has evolved over thousands of years. But suddenly, today, in what seems like a nanosecond out of all of recorded Jewish history, couples standing under the chuppah are seeking a whole new script.
Based on Whedon's short-lived 2002 TV series, "Firefly," whose fan base helped spur the movie, "Serenity" revolves around the outlaws' attempts to discover the telepath's true identity after she beats up everyone in a bar.
Israel has scores of unique wedding venues. Most couples typically choose a venue between Jerusalem and Caesarea, thereby missing out on the many special venues in Israel's periphery.
Marital advice from the under 11's.
May there soon be heard, Lord our G-d, in the cities of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem, the sound of joy and the sound of celebration, the voice of a bridegroom and the voice of a bride, the happy shouting of bridegrooms from their weddings and of young men from their feasts of song. -- From the Sheva Brachot, the Jewish wedding blessings, www.ou.org/wedding/7brachot.htm
Rita Milos Brownstein, author "Jewish Weddings" (Simon & Schuster, 2002) said she wishes she had known about yichud before she was
A group of 27 influential Charedi rabbis will soon issue a takhana, or rarely issued formal guideline, setting strict limits on the number of people who are to be invited to an Orthodox wedding, the number of musicians hired to play, and even the type and amount of food that is to be served.
Of all the weddings I've attended, nothing compares to the spectacle that is the Jewish French wedding.
Flowers are often a big part of anyone's wedding day, from the bouquets the bride and her attendants carry to the chuppah decorations and the table centerpieces at the reception hall. Many times the flowers are what the guests remember about the wedding (unless a minor disaster strikes). Deciding which flowers to use for what arrangements, though, can be a dizzying experience, thanks to the availability of different types and colors of flowers at all times of the year.
Like most converts, the Hardins take the precepts of their adopted faith more seriously than many born to it, and they display an intense hunger for knowledge, as if to make up for what they missed during their childhoods.