Thursday, March 1, 2012

Jewish-ish Wedding Traditions- Separation, The Covering of the Bride, The Procession, and Unterfierers

Hello my weddingettes! I'm finally bringing back the Jewish Traditions posts! Today I am lumping together 4 different traditions because they are just small points to the wedding to discuss. Let's do some definitions first before we really get into the meat of the traditions!

Separation- this tradition is that the bride and groom do not see each other for the entire WEEK leading up to their wedding!

The Covering of the Bride- essentially, putting on the veil.

The Procession- this is obviously how everyone gets down the aisle! 

Unterfierers- simply means "chaperons."

Ok, now that we all know what we're talking about, let's get into it!

The tradition of the Separation comes from the Ashkenazi Jewish community. (Ashkenazi Jews originate from Germany but spread out to a lot of Eastern Europe including Lithuania, which is where my grandfather came to the U.S. from). By not seeing each other for a week before the wedding, it is meant to increase the joy of seeing each other on your special day. For me, this would most definitely not increase my joy. This would drive me crazy!! The separation is also supposed to prevent the bride and groom from hurting each other emotionally during such a stress charged time. I don't do well without my man though so this tradition is definitely out!

The Covering of the Bride seems to be the origination of the now popular "first look" where the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony. Apparently, in the Bible Jacob was tricked by his father-in-law into marrying the wrong sister because her face was hidden behind a veil (who knew? I'm not really up on my Bible reading...). So the Jewish tradition is that the groom comes in to put the veil over his bride's face a) so he can check to make sure he has the right gal and b) it can symbolize the groom's commitment to take care of and protect his wife, setting her apart from all others and is an indication that he is interested only in her inner beauty! I think this is pretty cute! We will most definitely be doing the first look so that we can take pictures before the ceremony and of course sign the Ketubah, but I'm not sure about J attaching my veil... I am most likely going to have a bird cage veil (more about this in a later post) so he wouldn't have a blusher to pull over my face. I'm going to need my fabulous hairstylist/bridesmaid to attach my veil for me. So this tradition is half in half out.

The Procession and the Unterfierers go hand in hand so let's discuss them together! In the Jewish tradition, the bride and groom are King and Queen on their special day (I'm ok with that!) and should therefore, not walk down the aisle alone. Traditionally, the Unterfieres should be a married couple with children. This is a good omen for the couple, providing luck for starting a family of their own. Usually the Untefieres are the bride and groom's parents. The bride and groom will process in with their parents and go directly under the chuppah. The order of the bridal party or any grandparents walking down the aisle is not prescribed. Anything goes! A flower girl can be used, but typically the best man will hold onto the rings so a ring bearer is not used. For us, this is pretty easy to follow. We don't know any little boys so we are only planning on having a flower girl anyway (and she's the cutest flower girl ever!!).

Ok, there we have it! Sorry there were no pretty pictures with this one but I'll make up for it in my next post! Here's where we stand with the Jewish Traditions:
1. Ketubah signing- IN
2. Chuppah- IN
3. Separation- OUT
4. The Covering of the Bride- Half IN Half OUT
5. The Procession/Unterfieres- IN


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