On the Shabbat prior to the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom-to-be traditionally come before the congregation for a special blessing. The blessing and announcement of the upcoming nuptials are known as an aufruf — Yiddish for proclamation. Following the blessing, it is customary for the congregation to throw candies at the couple, symbolically wishing them a sweet future together. Whether the wedding will be solemnized by Shir Hadash clergy or by a different officiant, all couples are invited to celebrate their upcoming nuptials with an aufruf in the synagogue.
A Jewish wedding is rich with traditions, including most famously the chuppah (wedding canopy) and the breaking of a glass at the ceremony’s close. In addition to these minhagim, or Jewish customs, important elements of a Jewish wedding include: the ketubah — Jewish wedding contract; birkat erusin — betrothal blessings; the exchange of rings; and the Sheva Brachot — seven wedding blessings.
Traditionally, Jewish weddings are not held on Shabbat or Jewish holidays. Those with more traditional family members may want to be aware of further restrictions on wedding dates in the spring and summer. If you have questions about a particular wedding date, please contact Rabbi Aron or Rabbi Lobel.
Congregation Shir Hadash clergy officiate at the weddings of members and those of their adult children who are themselves members of another congregation or active in Hillel. Because of how they understand kiddushin, Rabbi Aron, Rabbi Levenberg, and Cantor Devorah Felder-Levy do not officiate at interfaith weddings.