The New Jewish Wedding by Anita Diamat
As soon as we got engaged I pretty much went out and bought this book. It really is the book on planning a Jewish wedding. Even if you don't read a lot of Jewish non-fiction, it's likely you've still heard of the author since she wrote the novel The Red Tent.
As unbelievable as it may sound I've never actually been to a Jewish wedding. While I know all the traditions commonly associated with Jewish wedding like stomping the glass, or the horah, I was still at a loss about the actual ceremony. And this was really helpful outlining traditions from the seven wedding blessing to the ketubah (the Jewish wedding contract).
It doesn't just descibe what happens at the wedding. Instead it goes into the history or reason why certain traditions exist, for example that Jewish weddings are often outdoors to allude back to G-d's promise to make Abraham's decedents as numerous as the stars. It also brings up how some of these long term traditions translate into a modern ceremony, for example in a Jewish ceremony it makes sense to do a first look since the groom is supposed to veil the bride before the ceremony, once again going back to the Torah, based on Jacob wanting to marry Rachael and instead marrying her sister, this way the groom makes sure it is the who he expects waiting for him at the alter.
While I know I have months of planning ahead of me. This was definitely a great book to get the wheels to start turning. I'm glad I read it now, but definitely know it'll be coming back to it for reference once I start actually planning.
1 hour ago