When we last met with our rabbi, our homework was to review 3 different Jewish wedding ceremonies and pick the one or pieces from each that we liked for our wedding ceremony.
Another resource we had at our fingertips was The New Jewish Wedding by Anita Diamant. Her book was great at explaining the symbolism and outlining what aspects you could customize.
With all these resources, one might think figuring out a wedding ceremony would be easy. It helps, but it's certainly not easy - easy would be just pointing to a ceremony and saying "This one." Did you write your wedding ceremony from scratch or chose pieces from other resources?
Here's what we're thinking of.
Our God and God of our fathers and mothers, bestow Your blessings upon Ploni and Plonit as they unite their lives. Cause them to thrive in their life together. Teach them to share life's joys and life's trials, and to grow together in understanding and devotion. May love and companionship abide within their home. May they grow together in health and contentment, ever grateful to You for the union of their lives.
Blessed are you who come here n the name of God. (We bless you in this House of God.)
Serve God with gladness; come before God with singing.
O God, supremely blessed, supreme in might and glory, guide and bless this bridegroom and this bride.
Rabbi, to the groom's parents: Who blesses the marriage of their son, Ploni, and welcomes Plonit into their family as their new daughter?
Groom's Parents: We do.
Rabbi, to the bride's parents: Who blesses the marriage of their daughter, Plonit, and welcomes Ploni into their family as their new son?
Bride's Parents: We do.
Here we're thinking of starting with the vows we've written for each other and ending with the more traditional:
(Bride recites vows she's written.)
(Groom recites vows he's written.)
And now Plonit and Ploni, in the presence of caring and loving witnesses, as you stand ready to enter the bond of marriage, respond in faithfulness:
Rabbi, to the groom: Do you, Ploni, take Plonit to be your wife, promising to cherish and protect her, whether in good fortune or in adversity, and to seek together with her a life hallowed by the faith of Israel?
Groom: I do.
Rabbi, to the bride: Do you, Plonit, take Ploni to be your husband, promising to cherish and protect her, whether in good fortune or in adversity, and to seek together with her a life hallowed by the faith of Israel?
Bride: I do.
Wine Ceremony and Seven Blessings
(Bride and groom each break a glass.)