Timing is Everything: When To Hire a Rabbi For Your Wedding

This article was written by Rabbi Adina Lewittes

Once the initial cries of “Mazal Tov!” and “Congratulations!” have quieted down, the newly engaged couple has a long list of calls to make to settle the many moving pieces of planning a wedding.  These include a caterer, a photographer, a band, an invitation specialist, a florist, a dressmaker – just to name a few. Oh, and a rabbi.

Jewish Wedding Planning - Finding a Rabbi Advice

Rabbi Dini with Bride & Groom

Photo courtesy of Rabbi Adina Lewittes

Choosing the right place for the wedding, and deciding on food, music, clothes and pictures are crucial tasks, for sure, and exciting ones too.  Another exciting decision involves finding an officiant to set the spiritual and emotional tone of the moment when two people become bound to one another in love and faith.  This is the turning point that launches the couple into a lifetime of sacred partnership, and hopefully sustains them throughout their lives together. It is a point in time that they return to in their hearts and souls over and over again.

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6 Chuppah Design Ideas – Traditional, Modern & Unique Huppahs

 

Cherry Blossom Chuppah

Cherry Blossom Chuppah via You & Your Wedding

Maybe it’s because I come from such a large family, but we have a lot of wedding photos that include our chuppah! The family portraits, wedding party, and of course the entire wedding ceremony! Having a chuppah (a.k.a. huppah, chuppa or Jewish wedding arch) that we absolutely love made the pictures even more special. As an added bonus, our  florist used the flowers from our chuppah to decorate the bride & groom table at the reception. This had the dual benefit of lowering our costs and adding consistency to our wedding decor.

The Chuppah is a traditional Jewish wedding canopy the couple stands under during the wedding ceremony. Huppah is Hebrew for covering, and that’s exactly what it is! The huppah can be a tallis held up by four poles, an extravagant display of flowers and branches, or anything in between. It symbolizes the new home the couple will share, open on all sides showing that guests are always welcome.

Because of its physical and symbolic beauty, many couples of all different cultures and religions choose to incorporate the chuppah into their wedding ceremony.

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Ceremony Lighting Ideas for Your Jewish Wedding

By Audrey Isaac, 100Candles.com

So, you’re planning a wedding – Mazel Tov! While much of the focus is on the food, the décor, and the entertainment at the reception, the ceremony is at the heart of a beautiful wedding day so be sure to plan accordingly.

Candles

Candles are, of course, important for your ceremony as they’ll be incorporated into the procession. Dress your aisle up with a simple runner lined with lanterns filled with candles to give a welcoming glow. If there are steps at the end of the aisle, placing clusters of candles within vessels on each step can add a beautiful touch.

Ceremony Lighting Ideas for Your Jewish Wedding

Photo Credit: Eco-Beautiful Weddings

Some couples also have the honorees that walk them down the aisle carry candles to symbolize a joyful life. Be sure to have enough taper candles for each escort and perhaps a couple extra – just in case.

A unity candle can also be a touching addition to the ceremony, especially if it is an interfaith celebration. With one main pillar candle in the middle of the table, the newlyweds join together to light the unity candle with their individual tapers as a recognition of their newly joined lives. READ MORE ......

10 Ideas for a Beach Theme Mitzvah, Wedding or Party

Whether you’re a jet-setting couple or a beach-loving teen, we are absolutely loving the idea of a beach theme for your wedding, bat/bar mitzvah, Sweet 16 or party. You can showcase this theme in the hot summer months or in the winter – when if our feet can’t be in the sand, our heads and hearts certainly are! Using summertime decorations like sand, beach balls, starfish, and sea shells are all fun – not to mention inexpensive – ways to incorporate this theme. The traditional nautical color scheme of white and navy is popular, while including a bright pop of color such as coral or turquoise can really make your decor stand out.

Here are 10 ideas we’re loving for your beach theme!

1. Waterfront Venues

Waterside Restaurant & Catering NJ | Beach Wedding, Bar & Bat Mitzvah & Party Theme IdeasPhoto: Waterside Restaurant & Catering

Your venue will dictate much of your event’s vibe, and a lake or river-view is a great option.  Abigail Kirsch at Pier Sixty & The Lighthouse and Chelsea Piers NYC in Manhattan both have stunning views of the Hudson River via floor to ceiling windows. READ MORE ......

White Winter Wonderland Wedding by Ruby J Events

Thanks to Joanna Greenfield of Ruby J Events for sharing another spectacular wedding venue transformation (view another example here).

Oftentimes the venue is booked way before there is a clear vision of the setting, decor or theme for the wedding or bar/bat mitzvah. Joanna Greenfield shared some of the key steps that Ruby J Events took to transform an urban hotel into the bride and groom’s Winter Wonderland.  Witness this amazing transformation, and be sure to check out the video at the end!

White Winter Wonderland Wedding by Ruby J Events - Savoy Hotel, London

According to Joanna, “the month of December is always a magical time of year. The air is crisp, the streets are lined with holiday lights, and the shops are filled with gifts for our loved ones. So when we have the opportunity to create a Winter Wonderland inspired wedding, we are fully on board!” READ MORE ......

Interactive Buffet & Station Ideas for a Wedding, Mitzvah & Party

When it comes to hosting a wedding, bat & bar mitzvah or party, presentation is everything. Appetizers, cocktails and desserts can be easily forgotten. But you don’t need to serve the crème de la crème to make your food and drink choices memorable.

Industry expert Brianna Ellis from The Sands at Atlantic Beach notes “interactive food stations such as “Action Stations” really make your guests enjoy ordering and choosing food options with their own personal twist.”

Up the WOW factor of everyday favorites with these
10 ideas for creative, fun & beautifully styled buffets and stations!

Creative Ideas for Wedding & Party Buffet StationsFOOD & DESSERT BUFFETS

1. Build Your Own Station READ MORE ......

A Charitable Wedding & Mitzvah Venue in NYC

New York City has an eclectic and varied number of event spaces for Jewish weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, parties and corporate events. Our modern city is home to the hottest trend-setting architecture and fashion, so we were delighted to discover The Prince George Ballroom. Located in the FlatIron District in Manhattan and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, The Prince George Ballroom is a feast for the eyes with its Beaux Arts style and Neo-Renaissance flourishes. In the spirit of tzedakah (charity), 100% of its net revenue is used for NYC outreach programs to help the homeless and other vulnerable New Yorkers.

THE GALLERY

Prince George Ballroom - Historic Wedding & Event Venue NYCWedding or mitzvah guests enter into a modern space named World Monuments Fund Gallery. READ MORE ......