August 9, 2007
Who pays for what at today’s Jewish weddings?
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Many couples today, especially with people marrying later in life or for the second time, pay for the wedding themselves. According to the Conde Nast study, this group constitutes 32 percent of brides and grooms nationwide.
Freelance Rabbi Wendy Spears, who has officiated at many such nuptials, believes that the amount of money spent on the wedding bears little relation to how couples experience that day. She advises brides and grooms to think carefully and realistically about finances and not be swayed by the high-pressure advertising of what she calls the "marital-industrial complex."
"A wedding is one day, but your marriage is for the rest of your life. You don't want to start your life together with a big debt," she said.
While author Diamant warns, "Establishing who pays for what is one of the most common causes of inter- and intrafamily conflict," couples interviewed for this article reported little disagreement. Rather, while the process wasn't stress-free, they envisioned their marriages as the merger of two families coming together as one and worked hard to achieve consensus on important issues.
Still, Casiano Catering's Remo mentioned one item that inevitably evokes instant pre-marital ire -- the caterer's signature mini-hot dog hors-d'oevres.
"All the grooms request them," according to Remo, "and the brides get hysterical. 'We are NOT having mini-hot dogs at our wedding,' they say."
The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the reporter and her husband, the parents of four, as yet unmarried, sons.
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