BlogThoughts about weddings, marriage, and more
Let’s stop calling it “Intermarriage.”
When we see a happy couple together in love, it gives us hope that there can be a brighter tomorrow. So why do we typically label a couple from disparate religious upbringings as “interfaith” and their marriage as “intermarriage”?
Planning your Ceremony Set Up for your Wedding Day
You’ve planned out your bridal party, the processional, your music, but how should you set up the space where your wedding ceremony will take place? Look no further!
Jewish (or Jew-ish!) Wedding Music for your Procession or Recession
Need some ideas of how to make a great musical entrance for your upcoming wedding? We got you covered with some great processional and recessional songs!
It’s not who you are, it’s what you do that counts in a relationship
Recently, I read an article at inverse.com that echoes the same sentiments I have offered to couples when I do my Prepare-Enrich work with them. That is to say, that even though a couple might have come together because of common circumstances (same college, same workplace, same hobbies…), that is not what makes for a long-lasting and committed relationship.
Veils and First Looks
Older traditions are becoming more popular. What’s up with the “First Look” and the veil at a wedding? Let’s find out.
Couple Spotlight: The “theatrical, intimate, and edgy” wedding of Rachael and Michael
A dramatic couple without the drama. Read (and see) about the unique venue and happily married people!
A Vacation is not a Prescription for Happiness
Adam Sandler has something to teach couples about Idyllic Distortion with some hard truths.
Cantor Erik Contzius wins The Knot’s 2019 Best of Weddings recognition
Thanks to the many couples I’ve worked with (and thank you! It was a pleasure working with you all!), I’m happy to report that I’ve received The Knot’s 2019 “Best of Weddings” recognition.
Couple Spotlight: An Afternoon of Love in the Hudson Valley
I first heard from Jessica and Conor over a year ago. They were (and are!) a very enthusiastic couple, and right off the bat, I knew I was going to enjoy working with them. To begin, their relationship is one beyond simple partnership. They have a dynamism that’s full of energy. They are competitive—especially Jessica! They both complement each other and at the same time feed off of each other’s zeal for life and adventure.
Writing Your Own Wedding Vows
Before you say, “I do,” have a list of things to say “I do” to! Let’s get creative and write your own vows.
Rabbi or Cantor—what’s the difference?
Couples looking for a Jewish wedding officiant are most likely looking for a rabbi. But ordained Cantors are just as capable of working with wedding couples and marrying them—plus, we sing! So what exactly the difference between a Rabbi and a Cantor?
Outline of a Wedding Ceremony
When I first start working with a couple towards their Big Day, I do so with an eye towards getting to know the couple really well, so they’re assured that a stranger won’t be officiating at their ceremony. Over weeks, or more often months, I do a lot of pre-marital work, which is mostly about preparing for their married life—working on communication skills, conflict resolution… but of course, most couples come to me to craft the perfect wedding ceremony. Here’s the parts of the ceremonies I write.
5 Common Jewish Wedding Traditions (and how to make them work for you!)
Whether you’re two traditional Jews, are more Jew-“ish” than Jewish, or a couple from different faith traditions, if you’re reading this blog, you probably want to know a bit more about some of the more common Jewish Wedding Traditions because you want to see how they’ll fit into your wedding ceremony. As a Reform Jew, I like to say I’m an “Informed” Jew, and I love to teach couples about the meanings, origins, and reasons to include (or exclude) rituals in your Big Day. Here are five of the most common Jewish Wedding Traditions and how they might enrich your wedding day.
Couple Spotlight: Surprise Wedding on the Fourth of July
Every year on the Fourth of July, Bruce and Maria have a huge picnic and party at their home in Westchester, New York. They rent tents, have a huge cook-out, there’s music, the whole nine yards. Since their closest friends and family were going to be there anyway, they wanted to surprise their guests…
Getting Married on Shabbat—What you need to know
You just got engaged. Congratulations! Now it’s time to pick a date for your Big Day. You look at the calendar, talk to family and friends, and call catering halls, venues… and it looks like the best time to get married for you both is a Friday evening or a Saturday during the day. You and your partner are not that traditional, so getting married on the Jewish Sabbath doesn’t seem like that big a deal. But are there things you should think about before getting married on Shabbat?
How to make an awesome wedding program your guests will love (and appreciate!)
Whether you’re having a wedding ceremony completely in English, including different languages, special religious rites, or some newly invented rituals, having an awesome wedding program for your guests will help everyone present feel included. Here’s some suggestions to make that memorable program.
Let’s go Ketubah Shopping
I hear from couples all the time, “Cantor, we’ve never done this before…” Of course! Unless you’ve been through planning a wedding before, there is no experience from which to draw when it comes to so many details involved with the rites and rituals of a wedding. Nowhere is this more potentially confusing is when shopping for a ketubah. With so many choices between artists and texts, it can be confusing. Let’s do a deep dive and see what you need to know about shopping for a ketubah.
Is there a difference between a Religious Wedding and a Legal Wedding?
As a clergy person, I’m an Agent of the State, and have to make sure I act accordingly as to not break any laws, or inadvertently cause a couple to be in a problem situation. So let’s look at what clergy in New York State are able—and not able—to do for couples.
How to decide on a Wedding Officiant
You’ve popped the question, said, “I do,” and shared with friends and family. And now, you’re faced with a barrage of decisions: When to hold the wedding, where to have the party, who will be the photographer… and of course, who will preside over the wedding service. You want the day or evening to go just right… so how do you decide on a wedding officiant that will be just right for the two of you?