On Monday, we brought you Part I of the time line we suggest you follow while planning your wedding. Today, we continue where we left off and hope that the complete time line brings you peace of mind and excitement to the wedding planning process!
2 Months Before
- It’s time to order your yarmulkes. To personalize them, complete the order with your names and wedding date so guests have a memento of your day. This can be your Hebrew names and Hebrew date or your daily names and modern date. Consider the fabrics you’d like (shiny, suede, etc.) and color (black, white, blue, etc.) Something to think about when it comes to yarmulkes: in photos from the back of the ceremony, white or beige yarmulkes can make it appear as though all your male guests are bald. If you’re not married to a specific color, perhaps you might order blue, brown, or black yarmulkes since they are dark and will match most men’s hair.
- If you chose to book an aurfruf, start learning the Hebrew blessings. This could be anything from simple blessings before and after the Torah reading or more elaborate prayers. Check with your temple and rabbi.
- Order programs and benchers (prayer booklets) for your ceremony if you are including them for your guests. We believe that it is helpful to have programs available during your ceremony so that non-Jewish guests have the opportunity to understand the beautiful rituals and symbols of the Jewish wedding. You can order these premade, or you can design your own. We recommend designing and printing your own because it can be a fun project for you and your fiance to complete together!
6 Weeks Before
- If you are choosing to visit a mikvah (ritual bath), you should make arrangements for this event now. Also, you may plan a small party to follow the mikvah. This is a very traditional and beautiful Jewish event for a bride. Depending on your movement of Judaism, you may or may not plan to do this.
- Finalize any last minute vendors. Perhaps you decided after all to hire a videographer or to rent chair covers. This is probably the last chance you’ll have before you’re out of luck. Make sure to assess your vendor list and check off finished business.
- Make sure you’ve had a food tasting by now with your venue or caterer. This fun wedding-planning moment will give you an idea of what to expect on your wedding day. Giving your venue or caterer enough time to plan the menu for your day is key.
- Practice makes…pretty! Now is the time to meet with your hair stylist and make up artist – either together or separately – to have a trial of your wedding day look. Your hair should be grown out to the approximate wedding-day length by now and you should have an idea of what you want your makeup to look like. Bring magazine photos, hair accessories, and a clean face.
3 to 4 Weeks Before
- Meet with your officiant one last time to go over the ceremony.
- Make sure that those who are participating in the ceremony understand what is involved (this is especially true if you are not having a rehearsal).
1 to 2 Weeks Before
- Remind your caterer to order ritual foods like the challah, wine, and any other needed items. If you’re not ordering from your caterer, make sure to secure these items on your own or through other vendors. Challahs need to be special ordered for a party the size of an average wedding and you want to make sure you’ve selected your Kosher wine.
- Provide your wedding party with a breakdown of the wedding day and a time line of the wedding weekend so that everyone is on the same page about the times and locations of the festivities.
1 Day Before
- Hand over the important and valuable items to someone reliable who will also be near you and your partner the day of the wedding. This person, usually the Best Man, will have the rings, papers with vows, and any other items necessary for the ceremony.
- Depending on your venue’s contract, you may be able to “move in” the day before your wedding. On this day, bring all items you’ll need for your ceremony (ketubah, easel, pens, glass, wine, etc.) and for your reception (candles, table numbers, favors, escort cards, etc). Obviously you and your venue must be in agreement about this, but we suggest you pack ceremony things and reception things into boxes for ultimate organization and an easy “move in” day.
There you have it: A basic time line for a Jewish wedding. Now, there are zillions of other things you need to check off your list as the time tick-tocks away, and we’ll cover more specific items in the future. Use this as a reference to make sure you’re on the right track. Specific vendors and couples require slightly different variations of this time line, but we hope to get your mind jogging and headed toward the right direction: happy, wedded bliss!