This past weekend Tommy and I attended my sweet friend Lara’s wedding in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. A little past Philly. It was beautiful to say the least. The venue was perfect and picturesque for the couple, the food was delicious, and the bride and groom just exuded pure excitement and happiness in the afternoon and late into the night.
Not only was I excited to see Lara marry Brendan, the man of her dreams, I was excited to attend my first full Jewish wedding ceremony. I was very curious to see and learn more about the wedding traditions. (The wedding we went to in Annapolis a few weeks ago was technically a non-denominational wedding with some Jewish traditions sprinkled in).
For male Jewish and non – Jewish wedding guests, they had the option of wearing a yamaka during the ceremony. It is a thin, usually slightly-rounded cloth cap worn by observant Jews on the crown of the head. The crown of the head is the “crown” spot which represents the area of the body that connects us directly with god. The yamaka covers this spot in respect of God. It is the shape and size it is because that is the real shape and size of the crown. Tommy chose to wear one!
Lara and Brendan stood under a chuppah. The Bride and Groom’s names had been embroidered on this family chuppah, which was borrowed from the Bride’s cousin. The chuppah represents the new home the newlyweds will be building together and is open on all sides to welcome the love of family and friends always.
When it came time for the exchanging of the rings the Bride and Groom vowed to each other (in Hebrew) “Haray at m’kudshet li b ‘taba’ at zo k’dat Moshe v’Yisrael”, which translates to “by this ring you are consecrated unto me as my wife/husband according to the laws of Moses and Israel.”
At the end of the ceremony Brendan did the traditional “Breaking of the Glass”. There are many different interpretations for the Breaking of the Glass, but Lara and Brendan chose to include it because their relationship must be treated with special care – for, like glass, it is strong enough to share the love of husband and wife, yet fragile enough to break easily.
As Lara and Brendan processed down the aisle as husband and wife, Brendan’s fellow Coast Guard classmates executed a Sword Arch after the Breaking of the Glass. Their passage through the Arch ensures the couple’s safe transition into their new life together and it also symbolized them welcoming Lara into the extended Coast Guard family.
Then it was party time!
The beautiful reception room. Lara and Brendan chose to get married at Normandy Farm.
I got the sea bass. YUM!
We unfortunately couldn’t stay for the cutting of the wedding cake (my favorite!) because I had to be back in D.C. early the next day for a work conference.
Both Tommy and I were so honored and happy to be included in this very special day. Can’t wait to see all the photos!!!