Log in

No account? Create an account
Mama Deb
.:::.:....... ..::...:
Mama Deb [userpic]

Last night, we went to the wedding of the daughter of friends of ours.

We were pretty much wrapped up in the dinner, so much so that we'd forgotten about the wedding entirely until I came home from Pakua at 5:30. And the invitation was for 6:30. So, we arranged a ride with people who were also going, and rushed to shower and get dressed. Since these were shul friends, I had to wear a different outfit. Fortunately, our dinners are semi-forma at best, so my good navy suit was available. I dressed it up with a silver dogwood blossom pin and a silver evening bag. I also wore a navy and silver headscarf layered over a black one. I don't have a choice about shoes and I don't wear makeup. My evening bags hold a single key and my pda, with Jonathan carrying the money and cellphone - I don't need a comb or lipstick.

We were only invited for the chuppah. This is not uncommon, and we've done this before. And those times I was more or less fine with it - exactly a year ago, we went to the wedding of a neighbor's son. Just being invited was enough of a thing - we'd hardly expect the reception. And I wasn't exactly counting on being invited to this wedding but.

But they'd invited the rest of the congregation (they're in our shul), and a fair number were given invites to the whole thing. And that part is...painful. Because I kept running into people we knew holding place cards or asking where I was sitting. Our ride to the wedding, who had not been members very long and who were not "regulars" at their table, were invited to the whole thing. I felt marginalized and,well, twelve. You know. Not part of the "cool" crowd. And I reacted very badly and childishly - to the point of tears. And as much as I told myself to let it go, and to get over it and all that, it only made it worse. Of course, a lot of people were also only invited to the chuppah, but that's not as easy to tell until afterwards. I mean "not holding a place card" means nothing.

It didn't help that we'd arrived late. There was a buffet for the kabbalt punim (bride's reception), but the salads and cold cuts were all gone by the time we'd arrived and I'd gone to the buffet table. That left fruit and cake.

I don't eat cake.

And, to kvetch further, the area was small and hot, even with a lot of men over at the chasan's tish (the groom's table) and full of people I didn't know and crowds can get very uncomfortable. I did get a lot of nice remarks about the dinner the night before, and praise for the journal, and that really should have helped. I ended up crying in the (crowded) ladies' room. Not a good thing, and it made me feel more childish.

But it helped. I was able to return to the room and chat comics with a friend until the groom arrived to veil the bride, and we could file into the room for the chuppah, and I was perfectly all right during the wedding. The bride was lovely, but I only knew that because I knew her and because I greeted her when I got to the room.

It's traditional for Jewish brides to wear a veil over their faces, as Rivka did when she married Yaakov. This is the veil the groom places on the bride at the bedeken. In some circles, this is a solid piece of satin. In others, it's a simple blusher that barely obscures her face and allows her to see. This is what I did at my own wedding. Miera wore layers of gauze - she looked like she had more veil in front than in back (it was attached to her hair in front of her tiara.)

When the chuppah was over, Jonathan arranged for a ride home (and I saw that a number of people, both known and unknown to me, were getting their coats and leaving, so, again, I felt both better and worse. Better for knowing it wasn't just us, worse for being so childish.) and we went to our favorite brick-oven pizza place for dinner - way overdressed, of course.


We were only invited for the chuppah. This is not uncommon, and we've done this before

Admittedly, I've mostly gone to family weddings, but I don't think I've ever been invited to the ceremony and not the reception. But my family is Catholic, and would obviously be doing things differently.

It does seem a little odd that the couple would invite such a large portion of the congregation, but exclude you from the reception. Was there an age split -- friends of the bride and groom invited, and friends of their parents not -- or something?

Jewish weddings can be rather expensive - you have a buffet (usually before the wedding) and then the sit-down reception. Also, Orthodox weddings tend to be on the large side. My own wedding of ~130 would be considered medium to small. This is a way to manage costs, so that you maximize the number of people who attend the ceremony, without bankrupting yourself. If the entire synagogue had been on the "chuppah only list", I would not have overreacted.

It wasn't age. Most of Miera's friends don't go to our synagogue. I did get some guidelines.

Some are regulars at their table - they're extremely hospitable people who always have full tables on the Sabbath, but there are some people whom they have over on a weekly or near weekly basis. These are mostly singles, but there are a few couples. We've gone several times, and even begged meals once or twice, but we can't be considered regulars by any stretch of the imagination.

Others - well, Saul's one of the gabbai'im, so we assume that's why Stu, the other gabbai, was asked to stay for the whole thing. The president and his wife - that makes sense. After that, I have no clue why some and not others.

Bride and groom get a say when it comes to their own friends. :)

I know it's not uncommon to do this, but I've never known anyone to invite people just for chuppah. And I wouldn't have dreamt of doing such a thing for my own wedding. It's just too hard.

I have to admit, I'd have been less hurt to not get an invite at all - just as they didn't invite us to their youngest daughter's bat mitzvah. (A wedding and a bat mitzvah in one month? Even given the small size of O bat mitvahs - oy.) This didn't bother me - especially after I'd heard they'd cut the guest list drastically.

I can understand your feelings. (I tend to be prone to a different kind of upsetness at some weddings, and always feel badly that I'm feeling that way at someone's simcha.) Kudos to you for not showing it at the chassunah proper.

Mmmm.... pizza.

I just wish I'd controlled myself during the kabalat punim.

And, yeah. There are other times that I know I should be happy for someone else, but.

Actually, it serves more than pizza. They're especially good with fish. I had grilled salmon and jonbaker had fish kebabs.

If you ever come to Brooklyn, we'll take you there.

If you ever come to Brooklyn, you're welcome to stay with us, too.

I vividly remember going to my college boyfriend's wedding, a couple of years after graduation, to his second girlfriend... not an easy time. But I definitely wanted to go, too. That one gave me the most specific sadness, but there have been other simchas, too. *sigh*

Sounds like an excellent restaurant. And I'd love to have dinner. And I appreciate the invitation to stay, too. (I might manage a weekend away once Shabbat ends later :-)

It seems to me to make more sense if you invite everyone for the whole thing -- but then, of course, you have a smaller wedding. Ours was small by most standards (60ish guests), so we certainly didn't invite our whole congregation; instead, we invited everyone to a gigantic kiddush after the aufruf the day before.

Our wedding was *just* immediate family, so the kiddush at my in-laws' shul was quite important. Conservative, not Orthodox, though.

No one feels left out of a small wedding.

And that's why there are sheva brachos. :)

We've been happy to attend sheva brachos for couples who had small weddings.

That part, technically, is difficult, since standard Ashkenazi O custom is for the bride and groom to not see each other at all for the week previous.

More common is to invite people to the sheva brachos instead. Since you have to have new faces each night, it works out nicely.

Probably just as well we're not standard or Orthodox -- and only three-quarters Ashkenazi between us. But, yes, that was the main custom we trounced all over (how else would we have been able to read for each others' aliyot at the aufruf?).

We only had one sheva brachos meal; several of our friends had expressed interest in doing one, but a ten-person dinner was more than they had time to handle, and that was before we moved into our house, so we didn't have room for them ourselves!

That part, technically, is difficult, since standard Ashkenazi O custom is for the bride and groom to not see each other at all for the week previous.

More like a standard Ashkenazi O custom - I've been to several mainstream Ashkenazi O weddings where that wasn't the case (as well as my own, but calling that one standard anything... yeah, right).

Gives you a big hug.

Hugs back.

I think you've just demonstrated why I threw my hands in the air and said, "I have too many close friends, I'm cutting it to just immediate family!" and had an acquaintance rather than a friend do the photos. Picking which friends to invite, especially when I would have had to invite cousins I don't like, was just too hard.

You absolutely made the right decision. Everyone understands small weddings. It's the big ones that cause the problems. It's one thing to add, say, a 21st or 51st person, it's another to add a 301st. Somehow, that last doesn't seem so bad.

Believe it or not, we have actually been invited to 'dancing only' at weddings and my husband has actually attended and enjoyed himself.

We'd been invited to a dancing only wedding (and didn't feel slighted - they were feeding relatives and out of town guests. We were local guests). As it happened, a number of the relatives left, so the rest of us got to stay.

It's a bit harder for the weddings that have the dancing between courses.

Well, I'm feeling more marginalized. One of the regular guests at these people's house sent me an email asking me to help him carry some tables into the synagogue for that family's private sheva brochos on Friday night. Private sheva brochos. Grr. I sent back that I don't feel like helping, since we feel so marginalized by that family - they're one of the founders of the shul, I've become something of a macher in a few years, he didn't bother to come to even part of the shul dinner I organized last Saturday night (understandable, the day before their daughter's wedding, but still...).

And out of the wedding this weekend and the bat-mitzva next weekend and the sheva brochos all this week (which they're having friends chip in on, of course) - all we got invited to was the wedding ceremony. Not the dinner, not any of the sheva brochos, not the bat mitzva.

So yes, I'm feeling pretty marginalized, and don't feel like extending myself on their behalf for something optional like this. If it was something real, like needing some money to make a rent payment, that would be different, but this sort of unnecessary voluntarism just...grates.

My correspondent sympathised, said he understood my feelings, and apologized for sending the letter.

I wouldn't say you need to consider yourself twelve, if you feel slighted.
I definitely feel slighted by HPMB, who was a witness at my wedding, but forgot to invite me to his. We didn't talk for many years, I called his parents and registered my disappointment. We sort-of made up a few years ago, but it hasn't been the same.

He didn't forget us - he was persuaded to only invite people who would be of influence for his later career. Since A. they weren't and B. he hurt a lot of people's feelings, he knows that was a mistake.

I have a feeling he knew that at his wedding.

Anyway, he lives in DC now, right? Kinda hard to pick up the pieces now.

As for...them. I don't know. I really don't. I don't want to carry a grudge. That's worse for us than it is for them.

No, he's actually in White Plains, AFAIK. Works in the City. I don't think he has lived in DC since the early Clinton administration, when he worked for the National Service Initiative.

Seems to be a lot of this going around. Even when I am invited to the whole chasunah, there's always someone around who makes me feel like running to the bathroom to cry, too.

I'm sorry to hear that. This is not something that happens to me often at weddings. I don't always socialize, but that's why my PDA goes in my evening bag. :)

Personal digital assistant.

My Palm Pilot. My Tungsten C, which goes everywhere with me. At the very least, I have something to read, something to write with and something to play games on (not to mention a full siddur and tehillim.)