When an Orthodox bride and groom get married, there are seven blessings said beneath the canopy. Those same blessings are said after the grace following the wedding meal, if a minyan is still present. Sheva = seven. Brachot = blessings. But there's more. For the week following the wedding, the new couple go to seven dinner parties in their honor, given by friends and family, and at the end of the meal, they say those same blessings It's required that there be at least one new face as part of the minyan required to make sure the celebration is extended as far as possible.
In this case, the wedding was in Chicago on Tuesday, but the groom's family lives in Brooklyn - he's the oldest child of our former rabbi. Oldest, btw, of thirteen. I can't even name all nine girls any more, but I can say they're all beautiful.
We got there late - in time for the first dancing - but that was fine. I found a seat and there was an appetizer right there (salmon and spinach in puff pastry crusts, with a mustard sauce over field greens. Very nice) and I had a shot of scotch, so all was well. The groom's younger brother (also a rabbi) emcee'd the whole thing, just as he had his brother's bar mitzvah. We will go to HIS wedding if we can. See, his bar mitzvah happened while I was in the first thirty days of mourning for my father, and Lubavitch custom is to have the bar mitzvah party on the boy's actual Hebrew birthday, no matter what day of the week. I could go to the Shabbos Torah reading, but not the weekday party. As his mother said to me, "You missed the bar mitzvah, you'll go to the wedding."
It was so nice - not only did we celebrate this fine young man's wedding, we also saw so many old friends. Most had also moved away, but for Mendy's sheva brachot we went back. And the bride, whom I'd never met before, danced with me. It...wow. I've danced with a lot of mothers in the past few years, but not brides anymore. Nice.
And the icing on the cake? They had Jonathan lead the opening psalm to the grace after meals. This was an honor we did not expect. It was all wonderful. And the food was delicious.