Interfaith Weddings

Ketubah Question

Hello! fiance is Jewish, and I'm...well, I'm not. I'm baptised Roman Catholic, but it's a long story. Suffice it to say, I am spiritual.

However, in discussing Jewish weddings with the mother-in-law, she mentioned the Ketubah ceremony. Now, I agreed to a Jewish wedding. My family doesn't subscribe to a specific religion, and so I don't really have a tradition or an idea of how I would like the ceremony to go. I fully accept the fact that I entered into this blindly (agreeing to a Jewish ceremony before I knew what a Jewish ceremony was).


I don't feel comfortable with the idea of the Ketubah ceremony being performed right before the wedding ceremony. I am a little bit traditional, and I don't think that he should see me after the rehearsal dinner and before I make the entrance at the end of the aisle. I didn't think this would be a problem, because I wasn't aware of this ceremony.

His family isn't terribly orthodox, and they were all gung-ho about working together to create something uniquely ours (for example, his cousin married a Buddhist and they did a lovely chuppah with a tea ceremony following, and it all was gorgeous and worked). When I simply asked if I could maybe move this to after the rehearsal, so the photos would still be nice and it would still happen before the ceremony, they looked at me like I had personally insulted them. His mother and his grandmother are very sweet, and I know they didn't try to be so incredibly shocked and upset at my question (since it is normal for people to ask questions about something with which they are unfamiliar), but I still felt very....uncomfortable. They told me that a Jewish ceremony was "more beautiful and interesting than a traditional christian ceremony" and "everything I should ever want"...

I don't want them to come off as intolerant, though what they said certainly did. People get very protective of their customs and beliefs. It came off as very confrontational, and in that moment, I felt like my wedding just slipped out of my hands. I was told that we would be able to work out something unique and special, but there was no option. I know that the Ketubah is very important and crucial to the ceremony, and that it is very beautiful. I am very excited to have one, I am just uncomfortable with the timing.

Has anyone else known anyone that ran into this? Or does anyone know of ways this can be reorganized?

The fiance is very sweet. He told me that I shouldn't be worried; they wouldn't overwhelm the wedding. He told me that it would all work out, and that there is no problem with doing this at the rehearsal dinner. The problem is--

He doesn't seem to realize how very serious his mother was. He's never discussed this with his parents, nor has he attended many traditional jewish weddings (like I said, both of his cousins' were).

Re: Ketubah Question

  • It's tough to be in a spot like that!  I can see where you're coming from, and also how they wouldn't understand why.  I don't see a way for both parties to be perfectly happy.  Is there a way that you could do it before the wedding, but before you change into your wedding dress?  That's the first compromise that pops into my head; I don't know if you would be comfortable with that, it's just a thought.   I wish you the best in finding a compromise that makes you feel comfortable.
  • I'm in a similar situation, but opposite. I am Jewish and my fiance is not. We are having a tradition Jewish ceremony but still trying to incorporate his family and some secular traditions into it (ex: bouquet toss, ring bearer). My family is not too happy with my relationship but my mother is helping me plan the wedding, the only thing is she does not want to include any non-jewish traditions, and makes her opinion known. I often have to just remember that this is my wedding and my memories being created and just put her in her place. There is no set structure for a wedding, you can do whatever you want. While it might be harder to tell this to your future mother in law, it is better to not have any regrets afterwards. Even if you agreed to a Jewish wedding, it is still your wedding.
  • edited August 2012
    In Response to <a href="">Ketubah Question</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hello! fiance is Jewish, and I'm...well, I'm not. I'm baptised Roman Catholic, but it's a long story...
    Posted by Montegue42[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;">Hi, I am Nina, I have been around weddings for a really long time, and here is the best recommendation I can give you: In the more traditional Jewish weddings, the Ketubah is only signed by the Rabbi and the Witnesses, not the Bride and Groom, so maybe you could have those signatures done in a traditional signing ceremony, and then after you have walked up and down the isle, you and your groom can sign if you choose to include your signatures.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;">Having said all that, Ketubot are a beautiful way to memorialize you wedding, and they do not have to be only for Jewish weddings, one way that would include both your FI Jewish traditions and your Baptist ones would be to use the Traditional Ketubah text in Hebrew, and for the English part of the Ketubah write your own vows to each other! </span></p>
  • As a Rabbi (and somewhat of a newlywed), I can give you three options for signing a Ketubbah in a way in which the bride and groom don't see each other until the bride walks down the aisle:
    1- You can sign the ketubbah at the rehearsal or some other time prior to the day of the wedding when the Rabbi and witnesses can be present.  (I've done this a few times on the day before the wedding). This adds an "extra anniversary" and can take a lot of stress out of the wedding day.

    2- The bride and groom can be in separate rooms and the witnesses and rabbi (and anyone else who wants to be present) go to both rooms. One partner signs the kettubah and then the other partner signs and then the witnesses (and clergy) can sign attesting to having seen both the bride and groom sign the Kettubah.

    3- Another option is to sign the Kettubah DURING the ceremony. This is a great way for EVERYONE to witness the Kettubah signing. Normally this could be done in the very beginning after the first few blessings or it could be done after the exchange of rings and vows.

    Mazel Tov- Rabbi Emily Losben-Ostrov  ([email protected]
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