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Jewish Weddings

Cantor as Officiant?

Hi All!!

I'm having a destination wedding in New Orleans April of next year so we're beginning our rabbi search early. My FI is not Jewish, but is certainly open to a Jewish wedding since it is important to my family and me. We found a cantor that would be willing to marry us but I wanted to see everyone's thoughts on this. Has anyone had just a cantor officiate?

Also, another quick question: it will be an outdoor ceremony..do we still put kippots out for everyone to wear? I'm having a blank trying to think back to the outdoor weddings I've been to. Thanks everyone!
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Re: Cantor as Officiant?

  • RachiemooRachiemoo member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    A Cantor is totally fine and normal.  You don't need a Rabbi to officiate for it to be a completely "kosher" wedding as far as Jewish law goes.

    I would definitely have kippot for people to wear.  I had an outdoor wedding and we had them :)
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  • edited December 2011
    I am having a cantor officiate, and my sister had an interfaith wedding with a cantor.  I think it sounds great!
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  • edited December 2011
    Awesome! Thanks ladies! : )
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  • 2dBride2dBride member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    From the point of view of Jewish law, you don't need an officiant at all.  If the required elements are there (giving of the ring or other item of value, giving of the ketubah, and yichud) and are witnessed by two Jewish males who are observant enough to attest to all that by signing the ketubah, you've fulfilled all the requirements of Jewish law.  As with anything else, Reform and Conservative officiants may not even require that, e.g., they may permit women to serve as witnesses.

    All 50 states permit "ministers" to be officiants for purposes of civil law, at least if they have their own congregations.  And cantors as well as rabbis are accepted as "ministers."

    Thus, the only time there would be an issue would be in the few states that require the officiant to have his or her congregation, if the cantor were serving in a noncongregational function.  For example, someone ordaiined as a cantor who was now serving strictly as a music instructor might have an issue in some states.  However, this issue is not specific to cantors; a rabbi who served as a professor rather than having a congregation would have the same issue.  If you are facing one of those situations, you'll need to check your own state's law.  If you aren't, you'll be fine anywhere.

    An outdoor wedding is actually traditional in Judaism.    The idea was that the chuppah should be the only thing between the couple and the sky.  Thus, the location would not affect the need for a kippah.  Your more Orthodox guests may already be wearing kippot.    But for others, it is helpful to have some handy, and they are not terribly expensive.
  • alisonzalisonz member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We are being married by a cantor!

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