Planning a wedding has details. Planning a Jewish wedding has a million details. The process of planning your wedding can be fun and exciting and doesn’t at all have to be gruelling or stressful. Here are a few tips and some direction to keep you on track. If you have any further questions along the way feel free to ask away contact me.
Between the pressures of family, the vendors and all the traditions, you want to make sure you are at the top of your game for your special day. Combining all the tradition of your Jewish wedding while still holding on to who you are as a person takes grace and preparation.
Just like you, I want your day to be unforgettable. You should enjoy every moment of preparation and time with family and friends as you celebrate the life-long commitment you will make to your partner.
But since you do have some planning to do and wedding to enjoy, here you go:
Top 10 Tips for planning a Jewish wedding
- Before anything happens take a breath and start by writing a list of everything you think you need for your wedding. Trust me, this list will be amended throughout this process of new things you will think about. Maybe even add it to an excel spreadsheet. I love a list, I always feel better once I write one, it makes things clearer and you aren’t relying on your memory in every wedding conversation you have with your suppliers and family.
2. Next, I would highly recommend booking your wedding insurance. Weddings cost a lot of money and anything can happen at any point, you need to be covered as soon possible for peace of mind. There are plenty out there, John Lewis is a great option. They have various levels of cover to suit your budget.
3. Ask your Rabbi or wedding officiant to officiate. Even though this seems obvious, make sure the person you want to officiate your wedding is available for the date you would like. Some say you need to ask at least 6 months in advance to ensure a clear schedule, but even asking a year in advance can be recommended particularly if you have a very emotional/spiritual bond with your Rabbi. You want to make sure he has your wedding in his calendar. The officiant really sets the tone for the ceremony so if you aren’t close to anyone, be sure to ask questions about how they facilitate the ceremony.
4. Once you have booked your Rabbi, you need to start viewing venues and meeting with caterers. I’d say these three are the most important areas of your wedding and should be at the top of your list to be booked with immediate effect. Simply for the reason that if they are booked up they won’t be available again for your chosen date. It’s a bit logistical to match up the Rabbi, Venue and Caterer but once its done and confirmed you can relax somewhat. Once they are booked you can take more time to think about wedding photographers/videographers, florists and wedding bands. Do your homework: find the best vendors for every aspect of your wedding. There are so many vendors who are going to help you make your your wedding the most special day. Think of weddings you have been to where you loved the bride’s hair or couldn’t stop looking at the wedding photos after. Ask your friends and family who they used and loved for their weddings and special functions. Test a couple of different make-up and hairstylists. Search for recommendations for the best wedding bands. Where possible view the bands whilst they are live at their clients weddings, make sure the band invites you and clears it with their clients first…we don’t want any wedding crashers. Wedding preparation is not a time to skip on your research. Scour the internet, get on social media, ask everyone you know their experiences good and bad with every business you are considering using. Someone sharing their bad or good experience can help you make educated choices that will impact your wedding day. You want to have the best day possible and we live in a world where reviews are easily accessible, so save yourself the disappointment of a bad experience and go with the vendors who have the best customer experiences.
5. Pick your chuppah decorations: since your chuppah symbolises the home you will build with your each other, the way you build and decorate it can be really as significant as you would like it to be. What kind of couple are you and what kind of home are you going to build for your family. Are you glamorous or maybe more classic and elegant? You can make it fun and modern, decorate as a way to express yourselves or you can use lights, greenery and flowers to make your chuppah the perfect fairytale dream come true. Even with flowers and greenery you can be as simple or as extravagant as you want. Most chuppahs are square, but I’ve also created circular ones that are spectacular. They can be wooden, clear, metal, colourful, columned to fit in with your theme. Take a little look at my Pinterest and Instagram for some inspiration.
6. Hire a wedding planner: I know, I know, obviously as a wedding planner I’m a bit biased here, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. One of the primary reasons to hire a wedding planner is to help enjoy the process and your special day while alleviating family stress and feeling overwhelmed with so much to book and pleasing everyone involved. A wedding planner more often than not can mediate too, someone with an unbiased opinion and not emotionally involved can give you the answers you need, maybe not what you want, but they will do what’s best for the wedding, also giving you realistic expectations on various aspects of your wedding; such as suppliers and timings. The added benefit of having someone who organises everything gives you the perfect checklist and makes sure all plans are fully executed not only relieves undue anxiety, but brings enjoyment to the details that otherwise would be mundane. You will have an insider scoop to vendors and ideas plus the advice and wisdom their experience offers can keep delicate situations calm. What many people don’t realise is that having a wedding planner also helps you stay on budget, communicate with vendors and of course they are indispensable on the big day. You won’t miss a detail and will enjoy the process of your wedding planning and your special day so much more with a wedding planner at your side. Check out some of my packages that might suit you…worth a look.
7. Start to think about how you want your day to run: your timings. Let’s be honest. Jewish weddings are amazing and full of culture and reverence. There are so many beautiful traditions and details, start early, give yourself plenty of time to think about how you want to incorporate everything – so you don’t miss out any areas, you’ll probably change your timings more than a few times, I often have timings changed on the day, so don’t worry too much about it being exact.
8. Include an Order of Service to your Chuppah ceremony and Toast order to your menus. Adding the symbolism and descriptions of the special traditions is a wonderful way to showcase Jewish tradition and culture to those unfamiliar with them. It’s also a special way to remind all the married couples in the room the beauty of marriage. There are adorable ways to showcase your bridal party with everything from traditional pictures to more fun characters on place cards. You can add favourite quotes, special thanks to those most involved in your life/relationship. Many couples even choose to add a memorial section to their program to remember family members they have lost they wish were there celebrating their special day.
9. Buy your special “Glass.” We all know when the groom breaks the glass is a favourite tradition. The Chuppah ceremony ends with a big crash and everybody goes crazy! Sometimes the bride and groom may even share in the pleasure of smashing the glass. Generally, the glass would be wrapped in a couple of thin linens or napkins, but nowadays you can buy stunning glass and repurpose it after it’s broken, check out some ideas here and even buy a special bag to put the glass in before the glass is stomped. If you are sentimental there is so much choice to be creative with your broken glass. You can buy coloured glass and then use the tiny shattered pieces to remake the wine glass in a perspex case, Mezzuzahs and varieties of wall art. It’s a stunning way of remembering your wedding day and that special moment of the glass being smashed.
10. Lastly and probably the most fun part…GIFT LIST TIME! Register your wedding gift list. Not everyone at your wedding will know you personally and something that is not so personal but more practical, is an amazing gift that you actually need to help you set up your home with your new husband. Many large stores have gift lists such as John Lewis to make the process convenient and easy to use in store and online. So start scanning!
Jewish weddings are so special and full of the kind of beauty that only tradition and culture can bring. Commitment, festivities, beautiful dresses…what more can a girl ask for? Enjoy planning your Jewish wedding, do your homework and remember who you are. Add a bit of yourself and the groom to every tradition. Hire a wedding planner who can appease all the awkward family situations that are bound to arise.
Most importantly remember your love for your future husband and are preparing to celebrate a life long partnership with the one you adore. All the details are spectacular and important, but there is nothing more important than your future happiness. So be patient, kind and flexible with your partner as you enjoy this process. It will only happen once, so relish in every precious moment!
Alternatively, if you would just like to have a chat you can email me email@example.com