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GOING WITH GRACE – HOW TO BE YOUR BEST AS A WEDDING GUEST

By: Miriam Sasson



Mabrouk! Mazal Tov!The date on that wedding invitationposted on your fridge is finally here! The happy bride and groom are about to be married and you’re all set to go. When you do, bear in mind the wishes and needs of your party hosts by considering these pointers.

Be Present for the Whole Ceremony

The hour or so from when the hazzan, with his powerful voice, welcomes all to the huppah ceremony until the breaking of the glass is a most auspicious and special time. The hattan and kallah are joining as one, and that is serious business. It is no secret that the esteemed guests (you!) help create the atmosphere during these moments. It’s important to show respect at the ceremony, whether in a synagogue or hall, by saving the schmoozing for later, refraining from checking emails or texts until afterwards, or even powering down those phones altogether. There is a beautiful custom to pray for the bride and groom’s welfare and for yours, too. (And who can’t use an extra prayer or two?) Don’t worry; there’ll be plenty of time to catch up with family and acquaintances later!

Is Anybody There?

Mom, you worked hard to get out to that wedding. We won’t even ask about the mound of clothing and shoes left in disarray on your bed. Or about how many calls you made till you found an available babysitter. Or about what you gave the kids for dinner tonight. Therefore, when you’re there, really be there. That means, when you’re dancing with the bride, mother of the bride, or whomever else you are there for, give them your full attention. You are there to make them happy, so by all means, do so! Remember, you are creating the memories for your friend’s or family’s party. Oh, and one more thing while you’re at it, put your phone and keys down before you dance, so as not to give over the feeling that attending this wedding is just one more thing to cross off your to do list.

Respect the Wishes of the Families Making the Wedding

When attending weddings, we sometimes take for granted all the time, effort and expense that went into throwing that grand and special event. From the invitation to the food to the music, your wedding hosts did a fine job making a pleasant evening for you, their guest, and it’s only right for you to respect any wishes they may have, be it regarding attire or how “on time” the huppah will “go off.” Meaning, if the invitation says “Kindly dress modestly,” then kindly do so. Or, if rumor has it that they want the huppah to begin before sunset or at any specific time, try to show up on time.

Keep your Eyes Open
for the Bride’s Needs

Making a debut as Mr. and Mrs. is a physically taxing feat for the bride and groom. From early morn’ they’ve been preparing for these few hours of their wedding. Try to recognize the needs of the bride during the dancing. Though for the most part, she goes strong when that music is pumping, she may need some type of break. Does she need to sit? Is she thirsty? Does she need space or air? All of the above? Probably. On the other hand, sometimes there is a lull in the dancing and you, as a close friend or relative, may need to gather your buddies to keep things lively on the bride’s special day. Whatever it is, be on the lookout for the needs of that lady in white.

Order on the Dance Floor

At all weddings, there is (or at least should be) a dancing hierarchy, beginning with family first. Mothers and fathers of the bride and groom, your years of uncompromising effort earned you your rightful place to shine with your child first. Grandparents, sibs, and extended family, you’re up next, so go ahead and dance away! The bride and her mother then go on to dance with close friends and the like. Dear friends of the bride, you may be feeling really psyched up to greet your newly married pal in all her glory, but just be sure first that the time is socially ripe to whisk her away into your excited circle of girls.

Bottom line, you came to join in on the simha of your wedding hosts, and it’s best to do so with grace. And I part with one last message: If you’re wearing high heels, watch out for toes, please!

Enjoy!