I’ve been married for six months and I already feel like one of those GI’s who landed at Normandy and lived to survive the assault at the beach with all limbs intact. Just by enduring the utter agony of planning a Jewish wedding, you can feel free to call me Private Ryan. I’m sure everyone who has taken their vows under a Chuppah can attest to the many things that they went through on their wedding day/night, but lucky for you I have the ability to vent in the form of a magazine article. And honestly, this little rant isn’t for you, you’ve survived…this is for that guy. That guy that is at the four year mark at dating the same girl. Yeah, I’m talking to you dude. I know you’re watching movies like Parenthood and shows like Say Yes to the Dress and breaking out into a cold sweat. Let me start with this: It’s not that bad. There will be days where you’ll log onto Southwest.com to see flights to Las Vegas and mumble to yourself ah to hell with them all (and by them I mean everyone who’s not your fiancé). I had many of those days. Even though a lot of things went right, the stress really came from the small stuff. I never knew centerpieces could cause such a rift between two people who are supposedly in love. I mean they’re just flowers right? Oh hell no they’re not.
Since the wife and I are both writers, we stuck to a writing theme, having a vintage typewriter instruct people to the table they were assigned to. And that’s where my hell began. The dreaded table assignments. Our wedding was approximately 200 people, the wife wanted one thing while I wanted another, and the war begun. My biggest advice to couples planning their wedding, especially to the grooms: just let her have it. It’s just not worth it. You know what’s worth it? Peacefulness.
My last little anecdote for ya’ll about my wedding day happened 30 minutes before I was supposed to walk down the aisle. Upon arriving to the synagogue I was dumbfounded by how beautiful it looked. A long white runner leading up to a beautifully decked out Chuppah. Our Rabbi quickly saw me and asked to speak to us. We went into his office and he said words I never thought I’d hear a whole half hour before my wedding. “I can’t marry you,” he said. I lost all my saliva within my mouth as the butterflies that were in my stomach originally now turned into dragons. I asked why and he said, “You don’t have a kosher Chuppah, it has no roof.”
Now, my wife was in charge of renting the Chuppah so as I went over to it and saw it I also noticed that it was lacking the very thing that made it a Chuppah, a damn roof. The wife was in her bride’s room, resting and eating Lay’s potato chips mind you, as I broke the news to her. We were now down to 15 minutes and some people had already started to arrive (definitely not Mexican Jews because they’re allergic to promptness). And as quick as the conflict arose, an idea came to me.
I was going to have four of my closest friends sign my Ketubah as witnesses, and I asked the Rabbi, if they could hold the largest tallit he had over us, would that make the Chuppah kosher? He said, absolutely. Crisis averted, and on August 9, 2014, I married my best friend under a Chuppah supported by four of the friends I have known the longest, surrounded by my most cherished family and friends. The battle had been fought and won; the war my friends, well that’s a whole different story.