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Jewish Weddings

Aufruf (long)

I know the aufruf is generally held the Shabbat before your wedding, which for us would mean the day before.  We were hoping to do it the week before so as not to overwhelm ourselves and give us some breathing room over the weekend, but because of a prior function it didn't happen.

We initially told his mother's family over Passover about it but when we discussed the matter in detail this past weekend, it seems that the only folks going will be his grandmother, mother and sister.  His step-father (they've been married just over a year) is agnostic to atheist and so it was surprising but didn't mean much.  I was surprised when his grandmother said that his uncle, aunt and cousins wouldn't be there.  Yes, it's a bit of a trek, which would have to be done two days in a row, and they'd have to be there early in the morning (9:30am), but it's not every day that there is a marriage.  My thought was that if the kids (who are already mitzvahed) was having an early bar or bat mitzvah, he'd be there.  Okay, so it's easier for one person to travel than all, but if the kids couldn't get ready say, the adults could and by doing so set an example for them for the future.  He didn't seem bothered by it and it's hard to tell, but if it were me, and my family is already tiny, I'd be pretty upset that the return favor for an event I'm finally having isn't being returned.

On his dad's side, it's not yet known if his father and step-mother will come out; they are further in NJ (about an hour out) and I could see his dad not wanting to do the same trip two days in a row.  And he's not the type that would then consider getting a room for the night, being in the city for the wedding the next day and then heading back.  In regards to his dad's side, while I find it annoying, he's hasn't always been there for major things, so FI's expectations aren't as great there.

I dunno; I just am always told how his family does things here and there and it just seems to me that folks are really dropping the ball.  His grandmother isn't happy we are doing a hora dance and to me what would make a reception Jewish without one?  I wouldn't say it's been a struggle, but it's certain been challenging because we have made a life of observance for ourselves (far from as strict as it probably should, but still meaningful enough for us) and it can be difficult, especially for FI, to please his family but keep in mind that we are now doing things "our" way and we are now our own unit and they are just going to have to get over things...

Were there any aspects of your planning or wedding festivities that you were surprised certain folks didn't step up to the plate as you might have anticipated? 

Re: Aufruf (long)

  • edited December 2011
    I'm so sorry that you have to deal with all of this! And I have ZERO idea why his grandmother wouldn't want the hora.. I've never heard of that before!

    And eventhough I am still 6 months out I have totally experienced family dropping the ball. None (literally out of 25) came to the engagement party that fi's parents threw for us. Besides my sister and father none of my cousins or aunts and uncles came and that was so hurtful.

    Also, as I was planning my sister's wedding shower lots of aunts on both sides didn't attend.. they could drive, it was too early in the morning, blah blah blah.

    It really hurts when family doesn't come through for you but in the end, just remember that you and your fi will be married and everything will just work itself out.
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  • edited December 2011
    My family isn't very big (or it is but most of us don't really talk), so when someone drops the ball, I'm not surprised (my brother isn't coming, so that also means one of my nieces and I think he's excuse is lame but it is what it is). But for him, he always makes a point of how his family is when it comes to certain things and he's the first of the immediate bunch to get married, so to me it's odd that folks wouldn't be on board with every facet. But the fact that his family is quite secular/non-observant, they aren't familiar with many customs and just don't want to do things, and I think it's lame. And yeah, so it's lots of travel, but it's a holiday weekend so I don't see the big deal - but that's me. Oh, as for the hora, his grandmother thinks because everyone has gotten divorce (though subsequently remarried), it's kind of an omen. I don't see one thing having to do with the other and if she opts to sit out, that's her choice but no way are we not not going to do the hora. I think his fam is weird when it comes to a lot of things, but I've made it clear to him that when it comes to our unit and how we decide to raise kids, they will be familiar with lots of customs and will be just totally different than his secular lifestyle engaged in after bar mitzvah.
  • RedZeeRedZee member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    For C's aufruf, we had his parents, my parents, and his mom's friend who was in town early for the wedding. No one else. And his dad made negative comments about certain parts anyway because he's a jerk.

    BUT - it was still such a beautiful experience. The congregation really made it special for us and we didn't miss the people that weren't there. Instead, it was really a celebration of the Jewish life we were building because our new community was celebrating with us.

    For us, there are many, many people who surprised us in a bad way. But there will also be people who come through for you in a good way. It sounds like you have a really good sense of the two of you as your own family and I think that's the most important thing. Because of my crazy SIL, C can't share anything Jewish with his family anymore. It's been so hard for him but we just have to work on building new traditions for our own family.
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  • edited December 2011
    His family will have to get over not being there for a family member.  Not to sound cold, but I've given up on getting close to a few of them - I can only do so much and just feel like folks seem to forget that the status quo is about to change.  From my perspective, it'll just mean fewer invites will be sent out for various events - which I am more than content with.  :D
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