Ketubah, the traditional Jewish wedding contract (Source)
Last night, we met our cantor for the first time. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous for this; I had heard through the grapevine that he might hassle us on the religion of our nonexistent kids, but luckily that didn't happen. He does seem stricter than our deacon in terms of adherence to rules and tradition, but I think we'll all be able to work together.
One thing I did love was how our cantor went step-by-step through the elements of a Jewish ceremony, everything in insane detail. I have only been to two weddings in my life, so I don’t even know the elements of my own faith’s ceremony, let alone someone else’s. His full on explanation really helped me begin to picture the actual ceremony, which as of yet I have not done (I know, I know it’s the most important part).
Some traditions we’ll be including:
A Chuppah (Source)
Chuppah: wedding canopy that we’ll get married under, believe it represents our future home. (I’ve been working with our florist on it, and it is going to be AWESOME).
Kiddushin: blessing and drinking of wine, followed by the exchange of rings, the “biggie” part of a Jewish ceremony. We take turns reciting an Aramaic phrase, followed by its English translation, and place the rings on each other’s hands. The cantor had us practice this; my Aramaic needs work.
Yihud: 5 minutes of privacy with my groom immediately following the ceremony. I think this will be a nice opportunity to
make out reflect on our ceremony.
Tzedaka: this is a charitable donation we give in honor of our marriage. It won't be mentioned at our ceremony, but I thought at a time when we're spending boatloads on a wedding, it's nice to remember and help others too.
We’ll be skipping some other traditions, such as having our parents under the chuppah with us- that’s just too many people up there. We also won't have a traditional ketubah, though we will have a similar type of document that displays the Hebrew text of our Old Testament reading. And I’ll be rocking a diamond wedding band, rather than the traditional unadorned band (I’m into working with other traditions but I have my limits, and a lack of diamonds is one of them!)
So now we just have to figure out how to combine everything...