Babycakes took me to watch one of her relatives get married last weekend. Oy veh.
You'd think I'd know a bit about Jewish weddings by now, but no, there's always more to learn. At this wedding we were given a little booklet "... an informative guide about the many Jewish customs and traditions ..." I'd like share some of them:
B'Dekan -- where the groom greets the bride before the ceremony and lowers the veil over her face. I think he does this to be sure he's marrying the right woman.
Ketubah -- the marriage contract. The couple has to sign it before the wedding ceremony begins. Then they read it (in both hebrew and english) during the wedding. Most couples frame it and hang it in their house until they decide to get a divorce and then I think they throw it at each other.
Circling the Groom -- this doesn't have a cool hebrew name because it's stupid. The bride goes around and around seven times. The entire audience counts (silently, but you can see their lips moving). I think they only get married if she can still stand up.
The Chuppah -- this is the tent they stand under. You know it's not a Jewish wedding if they don't have a Chuppah. At some weddings they force the bridesmaids to hold it up during the ceremony but I'm glad they didn't do that this time. It was a long ceremony. Those girls can get pretty tired.
The Yichud -- apparently, the bride and groom go to a private place after the ceremony for "a short while." What's that about? Do they have sex? Right there in the synagogue? I didn't get enough information about this but I'll do some research and get back to you.
All in all, it was a lovely event. Babycakes told the bride's brother, "We'd invite all of you to our wedding but, as you know, WE CAN'T GET MARRIED." He said, "I can't do anything about that. I'm a lawyer, but I only do real estate."