Ever been told you’re acting like a Jewish American Princess? (But you really DID need to have the new Louis bag!)
One great perk to getting married: It’s OK to be a Jewish princess. In fact, on your wedding day, you’re a real and true queen!
Did you know that on the day of your wedding, the couple is considered royalty? It’s true! Finally, your chance to be Kate Middleton!
So here’s how this breaks down: A Jewish wedding is a sacred event. It’s basically like the couple’s own personal Yom Kippur day; there’s spiritual atonement, forgiveness, and that whole turning-over-a-new-leaf feeling as you start a brand new life. All sins from before are forgiven and since the vows the couple take bind them together, they take on a new life and everything begins fresh and they start over, with all past transgressions null and void. Good deal, right? Just like a new baby, the lovebirds have no track record or file of wrong doings, and they are truly righteous. Because of this, Jewish law actually mandates — MANDATES! — that the couple be treated like royalty. Aw sucks, do we have to? YES!
This royal treatment goes on from three days before the wedding until one week after. A girl could get used to this.
A traditional bride will spend time with the other women of the wedding before the chuppah ceremony. She receives her guests while sitting in her own kind of throne. As they celebrate her and sing to her, she relaxes in comfort in a large and ornate chair. Sometimes it’s even decorated with ribbons and flowers. This is a special way to acknowledge that the bride is the queen and that she is to stand out as such.
Meanwhile, in a man cave far, far away that I always picture to be laden with maroon leather-bound books and the smell of dark beer wafting in the air is a groom and his loyal subjects who treat him like a king. They sing and dance and cheer. They might even be reading Torah. They do really fancy, Jewishy things because — on this day, a wedding — everything is sacred.
Later, at the reception, the finest food is served for the couple’s kingdom and the guests entertain and dance for them during merrymaking. It’s spirited. It’s rambunctious. It’s a par-tay! All the guests want to be sure that the newlyweds are having the time of their lives as they are the ones to be treated like royalty.
And those famous chairs that the newlyweds go up in? That’s no coinkidink. That’s not the doing of a wedding DJ who also likes skydiving. When the couple goes up in the chairs, their guests are raising joy. Literally. They are saying that the individuals who, moments before, united as one are royalty and no one can reach their level of joy. The guests are thrilled to look up at the faces of truly righteous people. It’s like they are sitting on pedestals made with pogo sticks, going up an down, above the crowd, all to the festive soundtrack of music and cheering.
So, Kings and Queens-to-be, you may feel like a slave to your wedding day as you work hard to make it all that you want it to be. But just remember, no matter how traditional or mainstream your Jewish wedding day is, YOU are the beautiful Queen and you must enjoy your reign!