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Mama Deb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]

Okay, you have to know this. I *hate* cutsey-poo things. I really do.

And this, to me, is really cutsey-poo. I know some of you will disagree, and maybe think it's lovely. I just. Ick.

My brother-in-law's future sister-in-law just sent us a square of fabric to decorate to be part of a personalized chuppah (wedding canopy.) She thinks it'll be great because she had a girlfriend who did this.

And - my goodness. How *twee.*

And, well. We were hoping they'd use the same chuppah we did.

Their grandfather's tallis. You know. Family. Continuity. Tradition - something that will be sadly missing from this wedding otherwise. We haven't suggested it, of course.

It *is* their wedding and they have the right to decide what to use.

Except - they will now HAVE to use this chuppah because it'll be made by all their friends and family. Whether they want to or not. And. Foo.

Edit: M does know about it - he told Jonathan they were going to do what he called an "AIDS quilt" sort of thing, but Jonathan didn't realize it would include us, so he never said. So. Well. And he doesn't think it's so bad, either.


On the one hand, it's a shame they're not using the "family" chuppah and continuing tradition.

On the other hand, this is also a way of expressing how much their family means to them. A different sort of tradition, if you will, of inclusion, and reaching out to ensure that everyone has that little thrill on the wedding day that says "I helped their wedding to be something special. And they asked me to help!" It's a more modern way of thought, admittedly.

On the gripping hand, I hope at least the fabric they provided wasn't too cutesy in and of itself. That would throw the whole thing right back into the Ugh Corner.

It'll probably be just fine, and you can see what I've edited, so it's not so bad.

Still too cutsey for me, but I have no say in the matter.

*nod* Primary rule of weddings: the wedding is ultimately about the bride and the groom. Regardless of what the parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends etc. of those two think. And wise are the relatives and friends who remember that (as you demonstrate in your second sentence).


But it doesn't hurt to be considerate of your family, either.

Only I think they've expressed how much the family means to them by NOT INVITING THEM, other than the immediate relatives. Mitch and I have a fair-sized family for not-heavy-Orthodox, about 45 relatives out to 2nd-cousin range that ought to be part of the wedding. But they're not. He's going to make a separate party for the family a week later.

So the "family" on the chuppah will be us immediate relatives who are already annoyed that they're doing the wedding out in the boonies and not inviting the rest of the family, and some of their friends.

Inclusion is one thing. An inclusive symbol when you're practicing exclusion is quite another.

Ow. Yes, that does shed a different light on the matter. Is there a specific reason the family's not all invited at once? ISTM that unless there is one (such as hall size [especially if it's a shul hall], for example), then there ought to be one party, for everyone. Not two, which implies strongly that there's an A-list and a B-list. As you say, exclusionary.

The wedding will be held in a friend's backyard in Amherst, MA. Five hours away from where anyone lives, *except* those friends, on a weekend where hotel space there is rarer than gold - Labor Day weekend in a college town.

It's there specifically so that the wedding can be small, since her relatives live in Florida. M did his postdoc in Amherst; J's only visited.

Those of her relatives who will come (group does not include her parents)will have a two-three hour drive from a small airport, which will therefore cost them more money to go, thus reducing the likelihood of their attending.

And it will NOT be religious. M is making a big deal about how he is making concessions for us - having it on a Sunday and with kosher food (of a sort).

The wedding will be held in a friend's backyard in Amherst, MA. Five hours away from where anyone lives, *except* those friends, on a weekend where hotel space there is rarer than gold - Labor Day weekend in a college town.

It's there specifically so that the wedding can be small

I really don't wish to be rude or to pass judgment, because these are, after all, members and members-to-be of your family. But this does remind me of an expression my sister loves to use: "I cried because I had no shoes, till I met someone who had no class."

We're dealing with a number of factors. One is that J's family is very acrimonious, so she had to figure out who would attend with whom. Her parents are *both* out, which is sad.

Another is that M and J are in their thirties, and as such want to bear the expense of the wedding themselves. The problem is that they haven't figured on how much it will cost the rest of us to get there. As we're the only shomer shabbat people, we're the only ones who'll have the extra expense of Friday and Saturday night.

They have been offered very pretty and fairly inexpensive places closer to New York City, but M wants this. He has that right. Unfortunately, we don't have a choice - Jonathan really wants to see his brother married.

The other bit is that M has tremendous driving stamina and doesn't seem to realize that the rest of us don't.