A Jewish wedding is much more than a simple exchange of consent between spouses before a representative of the civil authorities. A wedding celebrated according to the rites of the Jewish religion is also, and above all, a spiritual, family and community connection based on traditions handed down from generation to generation. As your child prepares for his or her wedding, you too, as parents, will play an important role in the unfolding of this long-awaited big day. To help you prepare, we offer this non-exhaustive article in the form of a practical guide to the roles and responsibilities of parents at a Jewish wedding.
The symbolic role of guardian of traditions
It is you, the parents, who have passed on the customs of the Jewish religion to your children. Your duty now is to pass on the values and precepts associated with their union by taking on the responsibility of guiding them and advising them on various aspects of preparing for their wedding.
Your role will not end once your children are married! On the contrary, you’ll be the guardian of traditions and will do your best to ensure that they continue throughout the building of your children’s home. You will pass on family values to new generations, and ensure that Jewish customs are honoured and respected.
The practical side of wedding planning responsibilities
You have a vital role to play in planning your children’s wedding. Of course, the ceremony and reception will be in their image, but that doesn’t mean you should be excluded from the preparations!
Parents usually play an active role in planning a Jewish wedding. They help choose the venue, organise the reception, and participate in other logistical aspects, including a financial contribution to help the bride and groom make this their big day.
Your role on the Jewish wedding day: at the heart of emotions and tradition
The big day of your children’s wedding has finally arrived. Today is the day you’re going to let them fly with their own wings and leave them to their own happiness!
You may have helped to decorate the chuppah to give it a sacred and spiritual character. Now you’ll take your children there to celebrate their union and perhaps even give them your blessing. This is a very emotional moment, from which you give them the responsibility of building and caring for their parental and marital home.
Your role will also be important at the wedding reception, which you will have carefully prepared with the couple. It will be up to you and other guests such as the witnesses to give speeches and toasts in honour of the newlyweds. Why not prepare this with a few accomplices in the greatest secrecy and create exceptional memories for everyone?
Offering emotional support, your role as caring parents continues!
Preparing for a wedding is a special time of joy and stress. The bride and groom will be on edge and their emotions will be heightened tenfold. There’s no doubt that they can count on your unfailing support and kindness! The newly engaged couple need to know that they’ll always have your shoulder to lean on when things get tough.
Once they’re married, they’ll discover the joys and worries of building and maintaining a home. Here too, they can count on you, your experience and your love. You’ll be a role model for them, as well as a source of inspiration and comfort. Be there for them, welcome their emotions and support them when they have to overcome difficulties.
As you will have realised from reading this practical guide, your role as a parent is essential for the engaged couple. You’ve been guiding your children since they were born, and their leaving the parental home in no way means that you’re leaving their lives. As soon as you become engaged, you will take on different roles, but these too are part of the roles and responsibilities of a loving parent in accordance with Jewish religion and traditions.