North Coast Weddings
You are getting married on the beautiful North Coast of the Dominican Republic, MAZAL TOV!
You'll find me fully versed in the traditions of our storied Jewish past (read about some of them below). But if you have different ideas, I am also familiar with the many styles of our present.
Not only that, I have written and conducted all kinds of wedding ceremonies in the traditional, spiritual, and non-denominational way. I can do the same for you at your North Coast destination of choice, such as Hideaway Beach, a favorite among those who choose to marry on the North Coast.
I perform each ceremony with the needs and desires of the couple getting married. I pride myself on my flexibility in creating a wedding specifically for YOU in any locale or venue.
Living here in the Dominican Republic has, of course, made weddings on the beach my specialty, but I am also available to travel anywhere in the country, such as Santo Domingo, Santiago, Punta Cana, anywhere on the Samana Peninsula, such as in Las Terrenas (nous parlons français). I'm also available to travel to Cuba (I hold a Canadian passport) or to other surrounding islands. Whether small or large, intimate or extravagant, I will help you create a memorable occasion.
Traditionial Jewish Wedding Rituals and Customs
Jewish wedding rituals and customs are rich in purpose and significance to marriage. They are among the most soulful and touching marriage traditions. In fact, many of them date back millennia, as they have resulted from established practices described in the Hebrew Bible, many parts of which were written down as early as 922 to 586 BC.
The rites that take place during a traditional Jewish wedding include:
Ketubah: The traditional marriage contract, which is written in ancient Aramaic. It details the obligations of bride and groom and shows that they are mutually supportive. It is signed by the bride and groom and is considered legally binding under Jewish law. The Ketubah is often framed and displayed in the couple’s home.
Bedeken: The bride’s veil is believed to refer specifically to the first meeting of Rebekah and Isaac in Genesis 24:64-65. In this pre-wedding ceremony, the groom covers the face of his bride with her veil, which then legally confirms that she is the woman he will marry.
Chuppah: The cloth wedding canopy, held up by a pole at each of its four corners, dates back at least to the Middle Ages, when weddings were held outdoors and the canopy was used to create a special, separate place for the exchange of vows. It has come to symbolize the new home created by the joining of bride and groom.
Hakafot: The circling of the groom as the bride walks around him seven times represents not only his central role to her life but also the circle of sheltering love she will provide.
Shevah Berakhot: The rabbi recites seven traditional blessings over the newlyweds.
Breaking the Glass: To conclude the ceremony, the groom smashes underfoot a wineglass wrapped in a cloth, after which guests yell “Mazel tov!” (Good luck!). This act may be taken to recall the destruction of the old temple in Jerusalem or the sorrow of Jewish exile; or to represent the fragility of life or the ending of old ways of life for the newly joined couple.
Chair Dance: During the wedding party, it is traditional for strong guests to dance while lifting both bride and groom, each holding one end of a scarf or napkin, into the air seated on chairs. This interpretation of the Talmudic teaching that guests must bring the couple joy literally elevates the couple to the status of queen and king at their celebration.
All of the above symbolize the importance of the husband-wife relationship and their obligations to the marriage union. The Jewish people value their culture of Judaism, and this is reflected in the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony.
Renewal of Vows and Reaffirmation Ceremony
There are many reasons why some couples choose to reaffirm their commitment to each other through a “Renewal of Vows” or “Reaffirmation” ceremony. Maybe you eloped and now want your family and friends to celebrate with you or you want to commemorate a wedding anniversary, or you wish to remind yourselves of what you promised all those years ago.
Or, as most couples who come to Punta Cana to get married do, you got married quietly at home to avoid all the confusing and demanding legalities of getting married here and now wish to have your real ceremony for yourself, your family, and your friends. Shhh...we won't tell and they won't know the difference!
Whatever your reason might be for renewing your vows, I'll be more than happy to work with you to make your special day a highly memorable event indeed!
What the Rabbi Offers for your Dominican Republic Wedding
You'll find examples of wedding ceremonies here on my website, but know that I will perform your own wedding ceremony according to your deepest wishes and dreams for your special day here on the North Coast or elsewhere in the Dominican Republic. We will work together, conversing on the phone and by email until, together, we come up with the perfect words, the ones that truly represent what you wish to convey in your wedding vows. You'll find me very patient with this process. Of course, if you find that one of the sample ceremonies here fits you perfectly, then, that's what we'll use!