Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jewish Weddings = Big Weddings

My South American co-worker, Paulina, is busy planning her wedding - and I have to hear every detail about it (yes I am happy about the wedding, no, I am not happy about having to hear about it).
She's dated her fiance, George, for ten years since high school, lived with him for five and has been engaged for two years. If they were Chassidish, they'd be grandparents by now. I'm not sure why she's getting married - something to do with wanting her kids to be born in wedlock to please the Greek Orthodox in-laws. But it's not like anything is going to change in her life besides immense debt.
She also has to go to all this trouble to "convert" to Greek Orthodoxy. I asked her what's involved and she says the priest is going to put some olive oil on her forehead and make her eat Tzaziki. (the kiddie pool in church is apparently a Big Fat Greek Wedding myth). I asked her what Greek Orthodoxians (is that a word?) do differently from other christians - but she doesn't have a clue. Apparently knowing a little bit about the religion beforehand isn't a prerequisite for joining. (What if I needed to make some salad dressing and I was out of oil? Could I become Greek Orthodox to save money at the grocery?) I think she was shocked when I told her that she couldn't believe in the Pope anymore or celebrate Easter at the same time as all the other Christians if she converted. I hope I didn't do any damage with that one....
Two years to plan a wedding seems like a long enough time to drive your friends crazy. Did I mention she doesn't have friends? Her bridesmaids are her future sister-in-laws. Nuff said.
I asked her how many guests she was having and she said it was going to be a "big" wedding - 250 people. When you're Jewish, 250 is the number of people in your wedding portrait - and that's just the groom's side of the family! How is it that although Jews account for less than 1% of the world's population, we seem to know more people than our fellow goyim? Shouldn't they all know eachother? If you're not Jewish, you have that many more people to know, don't you?


Alex said...

dear maidel! nice article!
i always tell myself i would have a small wedding.. being 30 already i might actually be able to pull it off!
i have a been to lots of weddings... (which jewish guy or girl do you know that hasnt been to at least 10x as many weddings as any goy..) and they are nice , beautiful, a day to rememeber etc.. but i disagree with the cost, the headaches etc...
I have seen a woman almost having a break down planning her daughters wedding.
so for me it all depends on the kalah! if she wants a big wedding (which she almost certainly will) than it will be a almost big wedding, otherwise, it will be a small wedding but one for us to rememeber!

re: colleagues
getting married i had an employee who invited me to his church wedding (i declined by the way, but went after the ceremony to congratulate them)and as you said, it is surprising to see the simplicity of a goyshe wedding, it is about the couple! not abough the neighbours and about what total strangers will say!

re: converting to greek orthox. It is amazing the ease of accepting chistianity, whether by holy water or holy olive oil... no questions asked!

gret BLOG

Benji Lovitt said...

If you think the average Jewish wedding is huge, you should see weddings in Israel. They are quite different from Jewish weddings in the States!