Wednesday, September 14, 2011

(Weddign Recap) The Ceremony!

Finally the time came to walk down the aisle, exchange vows & rings, and officially become husband & wife!

From my spot out of sight in the balcony, I got a good look at the crowd gathering:
The chuppah translates to mean "covering" or "protection" and symbolizes the new home of the married couple.  It represents our desire for our home to be under the protection of God.  The marriage ceremony in Jewish faith cannot take place without a covering and four poles.

I remember standing at the top of the stairs, sneaking a peak and waving at friends who noticed me.  I listened to Wachet Auf lead our bridal party to their positions.  I heard the laughter and "awws," telling me my niece successfully made her flower girl debut.

I popped my head phones in and half listened to the chorus of Lady Gaga's Just Dance, to get me amp'd. Truth be told: I needed no help; my nerves turned over themselves, tears welled up in my eyes.  I heard the first chords of Pachelbel's Canon softly hit the air, just as I learned to play it on the piano around age 10.

Mike began his way to the chuppah with his mom and dad on either side.

When I successfully memorized Pachelbel's Canon way back when, I knew it would guide me to my groom in the future.  And here I was.
The music filled the air as I saw our wedding planner motion for me to start down the stairs.  Surprisingly, instead of don't fall don't fall don't fall I thought This is it.
 This is it.
My wedding!
Our wedding.

My dad waited for me at the bottom, with the biggest smile on his face.  He whispered to me how gorgeous I looked.  Blinking back tears, beyond my veil I saw so many familiar faces, all in one place, all smiling back at me.  So much love. Amazing.

As I approached Mike, I saw, with out any doubt, the happiest expression to ever grace his face.  I wanted to kiss him right then and there! (I also love his brother's face in the background)

Then I began the Seven Circles around my groom.  The seven circles represent my bond to him, just as the Teffelin straps are wrapped around a man's arm.  Also the number seven nods towards the complexity of the creation of the world, just as marriage reenacts the creative process.  Interestingly, some couples share the seven circles, taking turns rotating around each other.  We went traditional and I tried not to get too dizzy and fall down as I went around him seven times. For those of you wondering, the rabbi counted for me.

In Jewish faith there are actually two parts to the marriage ceremony: Kiddushin (Betrothal) and Nisuin (Nuptials). "Both parts are introduced with the benediction over wine, the traditional symbol of joy and abundance. The bride and groom each take a sip of the wine for each." {taken from The Jewish Wedding Guide}

During the Kiddushin we exchanged rings, by placing them on each other's right index finger.  Apparently, long ago one used their right index finger to make a mark or signature. 
I'm honestly so excited right here.

During the Nissuin the rabbi recited seven blessings over us, love, friendship, and completeness amongst them.  
We shared our own vows here.  And let me tell you, I thought we had this one covered, but...
Well, using a stock "fill in the blank" with sentence starters, we both had the same 8 statements to make.  I added a little bit to mine and so did Mike.  We had our bridesmaid and close friend, Kathryn, read them both to ensure we were on the same wavelength and literal length.  Kat encouraged me to add a little more, but it didn't feel natural.  
After I read my half page and felt pretty proud of myself.  Then seeing Mike pull out two pages just about made me gasp out loud.  He wrote and read the most heartfelt words.  I give him a lot of strife for not being "mushy."  Not anymore!
(And so much for trying to be on the same page - I guess you can't put a limit on love!)

Our rabbi read our ketuba and hand it to me.  I "own" it now. It's mine, all mine!

Finally, after the second cup of wine, hot veil was lifted off my face.  
The last thing left to do: break the glass!
The breaking of the glass can be a reminder of the fragility of life and also an affirmation that in times of happiness there should be a touch of seriousness.  It signifies that we are still mourning over the destruction of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.  It also serves as a reminder of the sanctity of marriage.  A broken glass cannot be mended. 
We shouted "Mazel Tov!" (good luck!)

and kissed!

We were married!
Husband & Wife.

{all photos taken by Studio Juno photography}


  1. SO gorgeous!! That first photo....LOVE it!!
    Your photos are so great!

  2. What a beautiful venue! Your bouquet is perfect and you look GORGEOUS! And way to go for not falling down those stairs ;D

  3. BEAUTIFUL!! I've never been to a Jewish ceremony before, I love all the traditions wrapped in it!

    A friend of mine just got married 2 weeks ago. Her husband is Jewish, but they had a Christian ceremony. They tied several Jewish traditions into their ceremony though, like the Chuppah and the breaking of the glass. Such neat traditions and stories behind them!

    Oh, and I'm sure I've said this before, but you are a beautiful bride!

  4. Aw love!! :) I've never been to a Jewish ceremony... Or even really seen much about one! Loved learning all of this! It sounds so beautiful!!! I'm impressed with Mike's two pages!! :) Good for him! Congrats again Vic! You made a lovely bride!

  5. What great photos! Love the one of your dad looking at you and the Mazel Tov one too! :)

  6. I love learning about these traditions!
    I also adore the look on Mike's face and the look on your fathers face when they are with you- both of them you can just feel the love :)


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