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How To Officiate A Jewish Wedding

Wedding Officiant Honorarium Guide Wedding Guidance

How to have a Great Jewish Wedding Ceremony by a Rabbi in Los Angeles and Orange County

August 15, 2016 By jwrdirector

Note: Wedding Officiant Honorarium Guide does not only apply to a Jewish Wedding. Life cycle events such as Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Bris, Baby Naming for newborn boys and for newborn Girls, Funeral, Unveiling, and any other Jewish life cycle ceremonies.

The Wedding Officiant Guide for Rabbis Costs

A Marriage is a Beautiful thing you Build Together!

This guide provides information on why the Rabbi costs are where they are today. A few examples of Rabbi Wedding Officiant Services are included in this guide.

To have a Ceremony, it is required by law to have a Marriage License. They are issued in the State each couple plans to marry. A Rabbi Wedding Officiant is giving the Authority by each State. This includes Destination Weddings.

The Rabbi will guide all couples on the above in regards to a legal marriage per Marriage Laws of each State.

KetubahThe Ketubah is not to be mistaken for each States Marriage Laws. It is the Jewish marriage contract. It is the original marriage license from Ancient times. A Rabbi will guide each couple on how to obtain their Ketubah with all that is needed.

Choosing a Rabbi Wedding Officiant is #1 priority!A Rabbi Wedding Officiant will have the knowledge to guide all wedding couples.

Your Officiant is a vital part of the Wedding Day!

A small percentage that has the greatest impact to a lifetime of happiness as husband and wife.

Rabbi conducts the Jewish Wedding for the Jewish connection to heritage!

Give A Nod To Your Faiths Directly In Your Vows

Include statements about how youll respect, honor, and incorporate your partners religion in your own life, says Greenfeld. If religion is important enough in your life that its guiding your wedding service, then its important enough for each spouse to acknowledge in the vows they declare to uphold in the marriage going forward.

Can My Friend Or Relative Get Ordained To Perform A Ceremony Of Any Religion

Though some online organizations are for specific religions, many are either nondenominational or interfaith. The American Fellowship Church, which has been ordaining people since 1975, ordains people of any religion, and those who go through the process are also able to perform nondenominational services.

Read Also: What To Get Your Parents On Your Wedding Day

Birkat Hamazon And Sheva Brachot

After the meal, is recited, followed by sheva brachot. At a wedding banquet, the wording of the blessings preceding Birkat Hamazon is slightly different from the everyday version. Prayer booklets called bentshers may be handed out to guests. After the prayers, the blessing over the wine is recited, with two glasses of wine poured together into a third, symbolising the creation of a new life together.

Another Option: Wedding Ceremonies Without Jewish Clergy Officiating

How to officiate a wedding: Jewish wedding tradition ...

You can choose to get married without having a rabbi or cantor, or any other clergy for that matter. Hiring a justice of the peace, judge or non-denominational officiant are all options. You can also arrange to have a friend deputized by the state to act as your officiant. Good communication is key when working with officiants who may be unfamiliar with the family dynamics or other issues sometimes in play in interfaith weddings.

If you decide to go this route, there are many resources you can consult to incorporate Jewish ritual and cultural elements into your ceremony. See the section Sample ceremonies and definitions for wedding programs, for some good ideas.

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Know What Traditions To Expect And What They Signify



Heading to your first Jewish wedding? Whether it’s Reform or strictly Orthodox, there are some Jewish wedding traditions that you will definitely see. Some may sound familiar, but knowing what to expect will make you even more prepared to celebrate.

“A Jewish wedding ceremony is a little bit fluid, but there is a basic outline,” says Rabbi Stacy Bergman. “The ceremony can also be personalized by having the officiant really speak to the couple and tell their story.”

Meet the Expert

Rabbi Stacy Bergman is an independent rabbi in New York. She received her Rabbinic Ordination and a Masters Degree in Hebrew Letters at Hebrew Union College.

Read on for the most common traditions you’ll see at a Jewish wedding.

How Do You Become Ordained To Officiate Your Best Friends Wedding

Definitely, you need to be a legal officiant to officiate your best friends wedding. Each state has its own say on who can and cannot officiate marriage ceremonies even legalities in individual municipalities within states vary as well.

Overall, its a simple process that can take place online. But most states do require marriage officiants to be over 18 years old.

Next, call the registrar in the township hosting the wedding and find out the criteria for legality. The internet is your buddy. Check online to get the rules and policies that apply to your state.

Be creative when officiating a friends wedding. This alternative unity ceremony will help love grow.

Have the officiant wear a GoPro during the wedding and get a whole new perspective on the ceremony.

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Don’t Forget To Make It Official

A quick final note after performing the ceremony, make sure to fill out the marriage license! IMPORTANT: Laws vary by state, but marriage licenses are generally only valid for a period of 30-90 days. Visit ourState Marriage Laws page for more information. Communicate with the couple and do your homework the license should not be obtained too far in advance, and should be returned promptly to the correct authority after the ceremony to ensure that it doesn’t expire. In a majority of states, this is the officiant’s responsibility. While it is acceptable to mail the license, dropping it off in person is preferred in order to avoid any unforeseen complications.

Once the paperwork has been submitted, you have officially completed the wedding ceremony. Congratulations!

Note: this guide provides a basic overview of how to perform a wedding ceremony. More in-depth information and guidance can be found in the literature shown below.

How Do You Choose An Officiant

OUR JEWISH WEDDING! How We Planned a Jewish Wedding (Ceremony, Ketubah, Traditions and more!)

If religion is important to you both, this is likely not the time to ask a friend to officiateit takes a professional to navigate the tricky waters of honoring more than one faith in a single ceremony. Still, youll want an officiant who is open to performing a blended marriage, willing to offer spiritual counsel before and after the wedding, and, ideally, is familiar with the second faith theyll be incorporating.

Another option: asking two officiants to conduct the ceremony in tandem. Ive officiated a couple of weddings where the couple has brought in a priest or a pastor, she says. Its wonderful because I realize how similar the ceremonies are and where the crossover is. When were what we have in common, it brings more love and more understanding into the marriage.

Also Check: How To Find A Hair And Makeup Artist For Wedding

Keith & Faiths Wedding Ceremony

Keith and Faith were married at the most magnificent villa on St. Maarten. One of my all time favorite wedding experiences, the weekend I spent with themwas beyond words. They are one of the nicest, most down to earth, authentic couples I have ever met, and so were their family and friends. We had the best time in St. Maarten, and I will always cherish the memories that were made there.

Watch an Interview with Debbi


Advice For Couples Working With Two Officiants In A Co

Most rabbis and cantors who officiate at interfaith weddings are not willing to co-officiate with clergy of another faith, though the number who will do so is growing. If youre using the 18Doors clergy referral service and youre looking for a rabbi to co-officiate, please check the appropriate box on the online form.

Good clear communication is essential when working with two officiants. Many clergy who are willing to co-officiate may have conditions for doing so, and some will want to make case-specific decisions about what they are comfortable doing. Good communication between the officiants, and between you and both officiants, is crucial so that no one feels blindsided or misunderstood. Some rabbis who co-officiate will recommend specific local clergy of other faiths with whom they enjoy working.

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What I Learned From Reading The Sunday New York Times Styles Section It’s Not Pretty

I was talking to a young friend the other day. She told me that she had just attended a Jewish wedding two thirty-something Jews getting married.

Which rabbi performed the wedding ceremony? I asked.

Her response was telling.

A rabbi? Who does that anymore?


Apparently, my friend was not wrong.

Over the last few months, I have been reading the Sunday New York Times wedding pages um, religiously.

I have been doing a silent survey seeing how many wedding ceremonies were performed by clergy, and how many were performed by friends of the couple and/or people who had gotten instant ordination as, say, Universal Life ministers.

On the average, non-clergy/instant clergy do about a third to a half of all weddings in the New York Times.

So, yes this is a trend. Dorothy Bush Koch, the non-clerical aunt of Barbara Bush performed Ms. Bushs wedding earlier this month. I would imagine that there were any number of clergy people available to do this state wedding. But, that didnt happen.

You would probably say: Sure, Jeff, youre a rabbi. No wonder this troubles you. Your livelihood depends on it!

Not so fast.

For me, and for many of my colleagues, the issue is not livelihood. Most Jewish clergy do not set fees for weddings or other life cycle ceremonies for their members. . Most of my clergy friends in congregations are not out chasing weddings or funerals or whatever. We have enough to do, thank you very much.

For me, there are two essential issues.

Why not?

What Makes A Wedding Jewish

How to officiate a wedding: Jewish wedding tradition ...

Return to the Guide to Wedding Ceremonies for Interfaith Couples.

There are many answers to this question. In its most basic form, a Jewish wedding simply codifies a contract between two individuals. From the standpoint of Jewish law, all that is required for a Jewish wedding to occur is either the signing of a ketubah in the presence of two witnesses, or the groom giving the bride a simple metal ring, with words of promise of a life together, in the presence of two witnesses. The rest of the rituals people commonly associate with Jewish weddingsthe huppah, the breaking of the glass, the presence of a rabbi or cantorare all traditions, and are lovely, but not required for a wedding to be a Jewish wedding. It should also be noted that a cantor, the one who mainly leads prayer through music, is as qualifiedand legitimate-a wedding officiant as a rabbi. Many rabbis are also singers and many cantors are also orators.

Modern progressive and secular Jews may have a more elaborate conception of what a Jewish wedding entails. For modern Jews, a Jewish wedding usually includes, at minimum, the presence of a rabbi or cantor, a huppah, a ketubah, breaking of the glass, a ring ceremony and recitation or chanting of the seven blessings.

Modern-day Orthodox Jews may have a different view of a Jewish wedding. While a rabbis or cantors presence is not required, many Orthodox weddings include a rabbi or cantor.

Read Also: How To Plan A Really Cheap Wedding

How To Officiate Your Best Friends Wedding: Make It Legit

For a marriage to be legally binding, the ceremony must include two key elements. The intent and the Pronouncement. The intent is where you ask the couple if they take this person to be their lawful wedding partner. The Pronouncement is where you get to say I now pronounce you. Make sure these two elements are included in your wedding ceremony script!

After performing the ceremony, comes the most important paperwork: filling out the marriage license. Properly and fully fill the application and make sure you bring it to the wedding. The license should be returned promptly to the correct authority after the ceremony to ensure that it doesnt expire. Marriage licenses tend to have a 30 to 60 day validity. This is the officiants responsibility in the majority of the states. You can mail the license, but dropping it off in person is preferred in order to avoid any unforeseen complications.

Three: Meet With The Couple

Undoubtably, what matters most during this process is fulfilling the happy couple’s vision and dream for their wedding day. The best way to ensure you are creating a ceremony that will make those dreams come true is to get inside their heads.

  • Homework. Have each of them fill out acouples questionnaire before you meet with them. Ask them to be sure to do the questionnaires individually and not to share them with each other. These responses give you amazing insight into their story and wishes for the future that you can use to guide your ceremony script.

  • Vibe. When you meet with them ask questions that uncover the experience and feel of their ceremony. Things for discovery

  • Formality. Would they like to be referenced by their full names, ie Mike vs. Michael. Do they have a preference on your clothing choice on the wedding day?

  • Family Dynamics. Is there anything you should know about the expectations of their parents, grandparents, ie family traditions, religious preferences?

  • Wedding Party. How many people will there be in their wedding party. Will they include their dog, flower girls etc. Wedding party make-up can create more complications that you should be aware of or it can simply things.

  • Rehearsal. Do they want you to run the wedding rehearsal?

  • Read Also: How Much Is A Destination Wedding In Punta Cana

    Hora Hava Nagila Song

    The Horais a traditional circle dance that is accompanied by the Jewish folk song, Hava Nagila. Guests join hands and dance in circles around the wedding couple. The couple is hoisted up in chairs in the center of the circle as the rest of the guests dance joyfully around them. This lively celebration has been known to last for several minutes! But dont forget to use supportive chairs with arms!

    There is nothing like a hora to get the dance party started!

    Hora, Hava Nagila Song, at MountainGate Country Club, Photographer: Steve Cowell

    Hora, Hava Nagila Song, at MountainGate Country Club, Photographer: Steve Cowell

    Hora, Hava Nagila Song, at MountainGate Country Club, Photographer: Steve Cowell

    Hora, Hava Nagila Song, at LA River Studios, Photographer: Our Labor of Love

    Hora, Hava Nagila Song, at Ruby Street, Photographer: Mandee Johnson

    Hora, Hava Nagila Song, at The Classic Club, Photographer: Kathleen Geiberger

    Hora, Hava Nagila Song, at The Ebell Club of Long Beach, Photographer: Casey Brodley

    Hora, Hava Nagila Song, at The Ebell Club of Long Beach, Photographer: Casey Brodley

    Hora, Hava Nagila Song, at Bel Air Bay Club, Photographer: Laura Ford

    Hora, Hava Nagila Song, at Bel Air Bay Club, Photographer: Laura Ford

    Hora, Hava Nagila Song, at Bel Air Bay Club, Photographer: Laura Ford

    Hora, Modern Jewish Wedding at The Paramour Estate, Los Angeles, CA. Photographer: EPlove

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