• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Jewish Weddings

wedding vows

My fiance and I are somewhere between reform and conservative. He grew up in a reconstructionist family. One of his brothers is Modern Orthodox. One recently married a Catholic girl. Growing up, in my parents' household, keeping kosher meant not buttering a pork chop. I am the most religious one out of my family.

About 20-30 of our guests will be Orthodox. The rest are either reform or not Jewish. We are having a tradiitional ceremony. I wanted to do the traditional Christian wedding vows (to have, hold, love, honor, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part) after the Jewish portion is done but before the breaking of the glass. Those vows have nothing to do with Christianity or Jesus and I think that they are very beautiful and also being that a lot of our guests are not Jewish, I think it will be nice to have an element of the ceremony that they are familiar with. I went to a conservative wedding a couple of years ago where they did that and I thought that it was such a beautiful thing.

My fiance is on board with doing this. I have mentioned this idea to a few people, and I got told very rudely by someone that I was being goyishe and that I would alienate my Orthoox guests and make them uncomfortable if we did that.

Have you been to a wedding where the couple did that before? If you haven't- would you feel uncomfortable with it?

*My fiance and I will have lived together for 10 months before the wedding, which all of our Orthodox guests know (I moved out of the country to be with him) so they are coming to this understanding that this won't be a totally frum wedding.
Wedding Countdown Ticker

Re: wedding vows

  • edited December 2011
    I'd be a bit bothered. I have never seen that before but it just seems so goyishe to me. What about writing your own vows? That wouldn't put me off nearly as much.

    To be fair, I'd be just as upset with someone taking a Jewish tradition and using it when neither person was Jewish.
    Anniversary image
  • LBRM_NJLBRM_NJ member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Well, I wouldn't be offended by it, but, and I mean no offense by this, I would either think that the couple just didn't know that we don't do that in a jewish wedding ceremony or that they are immature and want the kind of wedding they see on TV.  As I said, I mean no offense, but, that's what I would think.

    That said, I don't think you base your wedding ceremony on what will make your guests happy.  Therefore, I wouldn't DO IT because it would be nice for my non-jewish guests and I wouldn't NOT DO IT because it might make my orthodox guests uncomfortable.  I would do what I want, provided my rabbi allowed it, but, I'd be prepared that some people will find it very odd that I'm doing it.
    Lisa
    The Knot lost my info, but, I've been married since 6/19/05!
    image
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker My Blog - "Helping Make Sense"
  • tenofcups4metenofcups4me member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I doubt I'd notice one way or the other. I have no idea what vows anyone did or didn't say at any weddings I've been to in the past.

    But I do think you're taking the idea of consideration for your guests to the extreme with both your comments about the vows -- it seems bizarre to me that you'd want to use those vows for the comfort of your non-Jewish guests and equally bizarre to me that you'd worry about "offending" the orthodox guests with your choice of vows. Just use the vows that represent what you and your FH want to say to each other (with the approval of your officiant, if that's necessary). Really, the guests have nothing to do with your vows.

    I just noticed I said much the same thing LBRM did, but I took more words to say it :-)
  • edited December 2011
    i'd notice and think it was weird and goyische. but,   ultimately i think the ceremony should reflect your values and be meaningful to you.  if you really really really identify with these vows and their exact wording seems to speak to you, then use it. i don't know how a rabbi would feel about this, but as the sentiments are not entirely out of step with jewish tradition i imagine you'd find some rabbi who would agree to it.  however, i agree with a pp who suggested you write your own vows (or agreements or whatever) and use those or simply go with a non-religous wedding and borrow from the christian ceremony so you can have the tv wedding you want.
  • edited December 2011
    We don't want a tv wedding.We do want a Jewish wedding (our rabbi is reform) but we want the traditional vows. Especially since the rest of the ceremony will be in Hebrew and it's not like we exactly speak Hebrew, it's nice to have a part of the wedding that we understand exactly what we're saying.

    I asked one of my most religious friends who will be at the wedding (Chabad family) and she said that she has seen it done before and sees nothing wrong with it. So now I know that it won't offend my guests.

    There is noithing Christian about the vows, they are the same ones that you say if you get married at City Hall.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • RachiemooRachiemoo member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Having vows in general is not Jewish.

    As far as I know, the only thing even remotely similar to vows that is said in a traditional Jewish wedding is when the groom puts the ring on the bride and says in hebrew "With this ring, you are consecrated to me according to the law of Moses and Israel."

    I don't think there is anything halachically wrong with saying the Christian vows.  I would personally find it strange but I wouldn't be offended by it.
    image BabyFruit Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • mickeypottermickeypotter member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Agree--I would think it is really odd and goyish
  • 2dBride2dBride member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    FWIW, we did this.  We had an entirely Jewish ceremony, except that we incorporated the declarations and vows from the Church of England ceremony.    A copy of our ceremony can be found at this link.

    However, NotFroofy is not Jewish.  While she is not Christian, either, the Church of England ceremony was the one used by all her family members while she was growing up, so it said "wedding" to her.  My view was that a) I wanted something that NotFroofy knew and understood as a binding commitment, b) the vows did not include anything that would violate Jewish tradition--just things that were not necessary in a Jewish wedding, and c) since it was the only thing (besides the music) in our ceremony on which she had a definite opinion, I figured I could give her that much.

    I don't think I would have done it just for the benefit of nonJewish guests.  We dealt with them by having a program that included a transliteration and translation of the Hebrew, and an explanation of the Jewish customs.  But if you want to include the vows, and your guests wouldn't find it odd, I see no harm in it.
  • shortee426shortee426 member
    1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: wedding vows:
    We don't want a tv wedding.We do want a Jewish wedding (our rabbi is reform) but we want the traditional vows. Especially since the rest of the ceremony will be in Hebrew and it's not like we exactly speak Hebrew, it's nice to have a part of the wedding that we understand exactly what we're saying. I asked one of my most religious friends who will be at the wedding (Chabad family) and she said that she has seen it done before and sees nothing wrong with it. So now I know that it won't offend my guests. There is noithing Christian about the vows, they are the same ones that you say if you get married at City Hall.
    Posted by whaleflipflops
    If you don't understand Hebrew, why will your entire ceremony be in Hebrew?  J and I are having a traditional Conservative Jewish wedding.  Yes, there will be some Hebrew, but the bulk of it will be in English.  Neither of us understand Hebrew, nor does the bulk of the guest list, so why would it do the entire thing in Hebrew?
    image
    Anniversary
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: wedding vows:
    In Response to Re: wedding vows : If you don't understand Hebrew, why will your entire ceremony be in Hebrew?  J and I are having a traditional Conservative Jewish wedding.  Yes, there will be some Hebrew, but the bulk of it will be in English.  Neither of us understand Hebrew, nor does the bulk of the guest list, so why would it do the entire thing in Hebrew?
    Posted by shortee426
    Agreed. Fi and I had a conservative ceremony and while there was hebrew, that was mostly sung by the cantor and a bit by the rabbi. We did repeat hebrew but in no means was our ceremony entirely hebrew.

    I kind agree about the goyish statement, it just seems a bit odd to me. If you want to say something similar to the "traditional vows" then write your own and model them after the christian vows. Those would be WAY more heart felt and personal, IMO.
    image
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you all for your input. We asked our rabbi. He said he does all 7 blessings in English as well as Hebrew and while he doesn't do the full vows, he does ask the bride and groom to promise to love and honor each other, which was what we had been wanting so we're happy with that.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • becunning2becunning2 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'm glad you've got an outcome you're happy with--and that there's some English for your guests!
  • misabimisabi member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: wedding vows:

    Technically, to have a Jewish marriage you need a ring and 2 witnesses, and halachically you may incorporate other things.  If there's no mention of Jesus in it, or any fundamental Christian or basically non-Jewish belief in your vows, I see nothing actually wrong with it.  However,

    Agree--I would think it is really odd and goyish
    Posted by mickeypotter
    I agree 100%.  I never would have elected to do vows in my wedding, nor would my husband, but you have to make the ceremony into something that's meaningful to the two of you, not to everyone else.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards