Important Things to Know Before Attending a Jewish Wedding

If it is your first time to attend a Jewish wedding, expect things like being surrounded by friendly and happy people, experiencing old traditions and heating up the dance floor. Usually, ceremonies are the same for the majority of Jewish weddings. However, wedding etiquette, attire and venue will depend upon the religiousness of the couple. Often, wedding ceremonies take place at about sundown and a dinner and dance reception will follow.

Dress Code

Orthodox weddings are usually formal occasions. Men suit up and women don on their sophisticated getups. A number of invitations require black tie attire. A Jewish wedding may also mean gowns, tuxedos, etc. If you are not sure, you can always ask to avoid awkward and uncomfortable situations.

Jewish Wedding

Modesty of Look (Guests Should Dress Modestly)

For the Orthodox Jewish tradition, modest refers to a dress that has no low-cut back or neck. Also, its hem should fall below the knee with sleeves covering the wearer’s elbow. The skin within such boundaries must not be shown and a sheer fabric is not enough to cover them. But this requirement is pretty much a middle of the road modesty. A number of communities do accept sleeves gracing the elbow or skimming the knees. Some resist flashy hues and clingy dresses.  Orthodoxy means a lot of things; however, not a single dimension. Within this observance, understand and interpretation of traditions, customs and Halacha do vary. So, if you are in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask your host.

Sitting Arrangements

Often, attending a Yeshivish or Chassidic Jewish wedding means being in an occasion where men and women are separated by a partitian called Mechitza in order to preserve modesty. At a Chuppah ceremony, men should be seating on a side of the aisle while the opposite sex on the other side. In the majority of contemporary orthodox weddings, there is mixed seating but now mixed dancing. On the dance floor, men and women create separate circles.

You need to keep in mind that a wedding celebration is not about advancing your political views on progress and religion. Whether you agree with the etiquette and observance, you have to respect your hosts’ wishes.

Appropriate Gifts

The giving wedding gift tradition not just helps newlyweds in setting up their new house but also lets guests take part in the joy of the start of the couple’s new life of being together. At Jewish weddings, gifts of money are quite common and the amount of money you have to give will depend on your closeness and relation to the couple as well as how much you can afford.  Giving money in multiples of 18 is a niche touch.

But if you prefer to purchase a gift, it is a good idea to ask the hosts if they have registered with a local gift service. There are many kinds of gifts to choose from the most common of which includes ritual items for the holidays and Sabbath including Mincha Maariv booklets and candle sticks as well as cookbooks and a mezuzah for the couple’s door.

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