Jewish Weddings

Some questions about breaking glass

I'm trying to figure out the glass breaking thing. I'd really like both my future husband and me to break it together, rather than just him alone. Did anyone do this or have you seen this done? How do we keep it from looking awkward? Should we have 2 glasses to break or should I put my foot on top of his? The second option seems pretty awkward in my mind. Any advice on this is greatly appreciated.

My other question is on where to buy the glass. Are there any coupons or free shipping offers anywhere? And is it safe to order the Shardz glass through the mail or will it do its breaking business prematurely on its way to me? 




Re: Some questions about breaking glass

  • signingjuliesigningjulie member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    The tradition is that the groom breaks the glass.  I've never heard of the bride breaking the glass.  This has the potential to be really awkward, if not dangerous.  You can order the glass online through many Judaica websites (Shardz is one of the brands) or you can ask your venue for a glass they don't mind getting smashed or bring your own.  You can also use a lightbulb. 
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with Julie.  I understand you may be having an egalitarian ceremony, but it really is the groom who breaks the glass, not the bride, and not both.
  • edited December 2011
    I went to an interfaith wedding a few years ago (groom was Jewish, bride was not) and they both "broke the glass". They just used stemless wine glasses wrapped in a fabric cloth. I thought it was a bit weird but then again I thought it was nice that she wanted to be to included in his traditions.

    I think you might also have to consider your guests. Will there be guests in attendance who might find this rude and disapprove?
    image
  • moslimosli member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'd check with your rabbi on both questions. A good friend had bought a glass to break, only to have the rabbi insist on a lightbulb (It made a louder sound so the large amount of wedding quests could all hear).
    I have seen a same-sex wedding were both partners broke a glass simultaneously - it was a really nice touch.
    I'm leaving the glass to my guyI - i think he's been excited about that since he was a boy and I know it'll mean alot to him
  • edited December 2011
    at our wedding, my FH will be breaking the glass, which is, of course, the traditional way to do things.  however, we will also be breaking (pun intended) other jewish traditions in order to have a wedding ceremony that is meaningful to US, and feels right to US in terms of our approach to judaism.  traditionally the bride circles the groom 7 times, we will be sharing this where we circle the other 3 times, and circle each other once.  we will be having (G!D forbid!) women signing our ketubah - women who (GASP!) are not torah-observant, and (here's the big one) -  having a family member sign the ketubah.  also, i designed my wedding ring (there will be two for me), and my FH will be using his grandfather's wedding band under the chuppah.  all of this stuff is outside the realm of chalacha (jewish law).  however - as i mentioned above, this is meaningful to us and fits our judaism.   this is all after long discussions with our rabbi, who understands where we are coming from, and has agreed to be part of the process.

    all this to say:  if it is meaningful to you to step on the same glass as your FH or to have a glass of your own, do it.  if your rabbi objects, get a different rabbi.  i think the only thing you should consider are your reasons for this, so that when you do bring it up with the rabbi or your FI, that you have a clear reason for wanting to do it.  i can think of dozens of reasons for a bride to step on the glass, and i'm sure you can too.

    good luck!

    V.

    all this to say
  • edited December 2011
    ps.  with regards to the possibility of offending guests by your breaking a glass along with your FH.  IMHO, it's not their decision, they can be as offended as they want - but it is YOU up there, not them.  this isn't a question of etiquette, it's a question of spirituality, and when it comes to spirituality, the conversation is between you, FH and G!D however you understand G!D to be.  the etiquette police don't get a say in it. 
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you for your opinions ladies. However, I don't understand why the bride can't break the glass too in an egalitarian ceremony. It's not a physical impossibility for a woman to participate, even though I realize it's not traditional.

    Equality is something I take very seriously and I do think it would be very meaningful to share this tradition with my FH and not be an idle observer. From a practical standpoint, it would probably be easier to break 2 glasses so we don't fall over or something. But then we can mix the shards together, which I think would be very symbolic of our lives coming together. Picking the pieces apart after mixing would be impossible.

    I mentioned wanting to break the glass together to the Rabbi we hired when we first met and he had no problem with it. My FI has no problem with it either and honestly, being the feminist that I am, I couldn't have had a relationship with a person who would have a problem with an egalitarian gesture like this. Our world views would just be too different for us to click. And please don't think I'm disrespecting the tradition or the choice to have just the man break the glass, it's just not right for me personally.

    Oh, and I really don't think I'll offend any guests at my wedding. None of them are very observant Jews. Although, most probably will think it's strange or "wrong" if they haven't seen it done this way before.

    Again, I mean no disrespect for Jewish tradition or anyone who feels the traditions should never be modified. We just need to do what's right for us and I was hoping to get some opinions on the best way to go about this.

    Also, any opinions on getting the Shardz vs. a light bulb? I think the metallic Shardz glass is really pretty and would be a nice keepsake, but is it just a waste of money, really? I assume the Shardz glass is as easy to break as a light bulb, is that true?


  • tenofcups4metenofcups4me member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011

    Dh and I broke the glass together. I'm Jewish and he isn't and it was something we wanted to do together.

    I'd been previously married (also to a non-Jew) and in that ceremony, he broke the glass by himself only because I couldn't think of a way for us both to do it. I didn't want for both of us to try to break one glass together since he was wearing regular men's shoes and I was wearing formal women's shoes, which don't offer much protection. And I thought it would lose some of the symbolism that was important to me if we each broke our own glass. (My preferred symbolism has nothing to do with the temple and is all about life changes.) But I always felt kind of bad that he did it at that wedding and thought later that either I should have done it myself since it was my tradition or we should have found a way to do it together.

    Dh and I discussed it and he liked the idea of us doing it together. He built something that allowed us to both do it. I forget the details but it was a piece of wood that the glass sat under -- the wood was wide enough for us both to put a foot on it at the same time and the pressure of both of our feet when we stomped at the same time broke the glass.

    As I understand it, breaking the glass is a CULTURAL TRADITION, not any kind of religious imperative so you can do it any way you want (or frankly not at all). Sure, the tradition is that the groom does it, but there are loads of traditions I don't follow when they no longer make any sense. To me this fell into that category. And honestly, I preferred the symbolism of BOTH of us doing it.

    While I can see making sure that the ceremony is not a problem for immediate family members, my goal in creating my wedding ceremony was to have something meaningful to me. If that offends any guest, then that's their problem, not mine, and they're free to use any traditions in the way they prefer at their own weddings.

  • silversparkssilversparks member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011

    If you both want to break the glass, I would get 2 separate glasses, wrap them in napkins and do it simultaneously. Having seen people miss, and I don't know if you're wearing heels, but putting your foot on top of his just sounds potentially awkward.

    We used a lightbulb, it's cheap and makes a nice crunch. If you like the shardz idea, can you get the glass in 2 colours and then makes something out of the pieces put together? Either way, put the glass in a plastic bag then cover it with a napkin so that the pieces don't go flying (easy clean-up, especially if you want to save them). I'm pretty confident that shardz takes its packing material seriously, but if you're concerned about breakage en route, just don't order it at the last minute.

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  • MoFreeMoFree member
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_jewish-weddings_questions-breaking-glass?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:399Discussion:153e09ff-1010-4a56-ada2-fa75c264ef51Post:ce813e78-db29-490a-9ff1-47efc0391464">Re: Some questions about breaking glass</a>:
    [QUOTE]I agree with Julie.  I understand you may be having an egalitarian ceremony, but it really is the groom who breaks the glass, not the bride, and not both.
    Posted by ballandchain10[/QUOTE]  Maybe for you the groom breaks the glass, but there is no rule that stipulates that it has to be that way.

    My feeling is that if it's meaningful to you and your future husband, then by all means have 2 glasses and you break one while he breaks the other.  I really don't see why people would get offended by doing something different.  There's nothing halachic about a man being the one to break the glass, just tradition.  Maybe I see things differently now after DH's recent brush with death, but you cannot live your life based on avoiding what might offend someone else.  As long as it is not directly causing them harm it's none of their business what you do at YOUR wedding ceremony.
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  • edited December 2011
    We'll be stepping together, feet side-by-side, but not worrying about whose shoe ends up crushing the thing.  (It'll likely be his, as men's dress shoes are better at that sort of thing, but that's OK with me.) 

    I've never actually seen anyone else try that -- I'm a non-Jew marrying a Jew in an interfaith ceremony, so I haven't been to that many Jewish weddings.  So I can't say how well it'll work, but it's our plan. 

    Though I like your option, tenofcups4me.
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for your support, ladies. I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in wanting to share this with my FH. I have to admit that I'm worried about the logistics of it, though. I don't even know if I'll be able to see the bag I'm supposed to step on under my dress unless I lift the skirts in an undignified way. But I really want to make this work. I wish I could figure out how to build an implement like tenofcups's husband.
  • tenofcups4metenofcups4me member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011

    IGMuse, I'll see if I can find a pic of it to post (computer crashed last week and even though I know I have backups, I'm not sure where everything is right now). I'll also ask DH  if he remembers what he did.

  • ShoshieShoshie member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We used the glass that, once broken, goes into the mezuzah in our home.

    You can always hold his hands when he breaks the glass. We had a fairy equal ceremony, but I didn't want to worry about it rolling under my gown or not breaking under the weight of my shoe.
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  • signingjuliesigningjulie member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I wasn't trying to offend anyone or be the etiquette police, I was just letting the OP know what the tradition is.  Obviously, you can tweak the traditions to your liking if your rabbi is ok with that.  By no means are we following every tradition to the letter.  We are incorporating lots of traditions but are doing a few things differently.  I had just never heard of the  bride and groom breaking the glass together, but it certainly can be done if it means that much to you.  Another thing you might want to do is instead of you circling your FI 7 times, you circle him 3 times, he circles you 3 times, and you circle each other once (my FI and I are doing this). You might like this if you want things to be equal.
  • edited December 2011
    Glass breaking is a tradition, not a mandate like signing the ketubah.  If you both want to do it, then go for it.  I'd say for ease, both of you should have a pouch and step on your corresponding bags at the same time.
  • edited December 2011
    I like the idea of getting a stemless glass or 'shardz' style bulb to break together. If you could each put part of your foot down it might work, might not be able to stamp so much...

    I found a nice, blue, small sized (thin) wine glass at a discount store (Homesense). I think it was about $3. Better than paying $30 + shipping IMO. My sister-in-law is going to make us a pouch out of a satin we paid about $4 for, and we'll wrap the glass in some paper inside the pouch for some extra padding/safety.
  • 2dBride2dBride member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    My only concern is a practical one.  My wife and I used a glass meant for breaking:



    Far from being too easy to break, it was way too hard!  We tried together to break it, we tried separately, at one point my son even tried to help.  NotFroofy was at one point actually standing on the thing, and it still didn't break.  By that time, I was wondering whether it would be too much of a violation of tradition to throw the thing out the window to break it.  ;-)  NotFroofy finally managed to break it only by stamping very sharply on it--something which is hard to do in unison.

    Thus, if you are planning to do it in unison, you might want to try something easier, like a light bulb.  Or you could have one breaking glass for each of you, and put a ribbon between the two of them.

    I will say the one advantage of the type of glass we used was that it produced enough shards, which were colorful enough, that we managed to have it made into a mezuzah by an Etsy seller after the wedding:




  • edited December 2011
    Oh, no, I can imagine how frustrating that was with your glass, 2dBride. I should make a separate post to ask people about the fancy colored glass, if it's not really easier to break than a regular wine glass. I'd like to have the shards as a memento, hopefully to make something out of them but I guess I'd rather use a light bulb if that's the easiest to break.

    And thank you so much, ladies, for your support.

    tenofcups, thanks for trying to find a picture for me, please page or PM me if you can find it.
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