Today, May 25th, is my wedding anniversary and the traditional gift for a third wedding anniversary is leather.
Hmmm. Well, I Googled ideas for leather-themed gifts and my search turned out to be pretty unfruitful. A new leather wallet? Nah, he already has one that’s fine. A leather belt? Not very exciting. A leather bound journal? Please, I didn’t marry Shakespeare. Thanks a lot, Google.
So then I tried to think outside the box. For a split second, my mind did go to some cute-and-sexy leather outfit, but I’m 8 months pregnant and that’s never a good idea even when I’m unpregnant. Then I gave myself a chuckle and thought, well, darn, I’ll just go big and buy him a cow. That’s kind of leather, right? No, no, I was getting silly.
Then I thought to myself, why do I need to follow this tradition at all? Why stick to a rule or follow a guideline when the outcome wouldn’t be personal or sincere? I then thought about all of the traditions we did follow on our wedding day, and felt proud to be Jewish, knowing our wedding day was filled with traditions that were meaningful to us and our marriage ahead.
Prior to the chuppah ceremony, we signed the ketubah with our rabbi, in the presence of our immediate families and witnesses.
During the processional, Bryan and I were escorted by both of our parents as we walked down the aisle.
We stood under the chuppah with both sets of parents, and the mothers wrapped us in Bryan’s tallit, which symbolically brings the bride and groom together. This was one of my favorite moments.
We exchanged rings! We updated the tradition and I gave him a ring (which isn’t mandatory), and he placed my grandma’s solid gold band on my pointer finger per the original custom.
With a hearty stomp, Bryan stepped on the glass as the guests shouted out a spirited “mazel tov!” This is always a crowd favorite when it comes to following Jewish wedding traditions!
When we entered the room for the reception, the guests jumped onto the dance floor and a loud, rambunctious, festive hora took place with family and friends joining hands in dance!
And then we were vaulted into armchairs and lifted by strong men who bounced us around as we laughed and enjoyed the moment. It was so fun to look out and see all of our favorite people.
Before dinner, my grandpa came up to our 10-foot long challah and recited the blessing, the Ha-motzi. As the oldest member of my family, it was touching to have him as part of our series of wedding day traditions.
Taking a walk down wedding memory lane has become its own tradition. Bryan and I relive our big day each year by revisiting our photos and watching our video, and I realize we’ve made our own annual tradition. Sure, many couples probably do this, but I’m not looking to be unique. I’m also not trying to create a mold. We just do what works for us and we know that’s how we’ll live happily ever after. And that’s what I suggest to all brides and grooms: do what works for you as individuals who are becoming a team and focus on what’s actually important to you.
Bryan, I love you. Thank you for allowing me the privilege to be your wife for the past three years. Our wedding day was the most perfect day I’ve had because, yes the flowers were gorgeous, we cleaned up nicely, the weather turned out to be beautiful, the music was jammin’, and the food was delicious, but really, it’s because you were at the other end of the chuppah. And having you at the other end of my life journey is no different — it’s perfection.
Happy 3rd anniversary to you, my love. May we grow old and, well, leathery, together.
*All photos by eight20 photography.