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how we chose our ketubah

A ketubah! theketubah.com


Happy Passover, everyone! Or: חג פסח שמח
BAM.

Thanks, Google.

I hope that actually says Happy Passover. It's probably like those shirts that everyone used to wear in middle school with the Chinese characters. You thought it said, like, "Peace. Love. Hope." but it actually read "Chicken. Purple. Happy."

Moving on.

As you may know, I am marrying a Jew. Jews celebrate Passover starting today, which, long story short, means no carbs for eight days. (Lest you fear I know more about my own religion, when Mike asked me why Catholics put ashes on their foreheads for Ash Wednesday, my answer was "..." Aren't you so proud of my Sunday school education, Mom? You should at least be proud that I didn't actually get kicked out, just came close. A lot.)

Anyway, the point is that I am equally open to celebrating all religions -- especially when there is feasting involved -- but I don't really adhere to any particular set of scriptures. I like Richard Dawkins, can we leave it at that?

But as mentioned in earlier entries, religion for both of our families is truly more about the tradition. That's why we'll have sponsors and why Mike will likely wear a yarmulke (spelled that right on the first try, HATERS) and we'll get married under a chuppah (that one too).

theketubah.com


Another elemental piece of the Jewish wedding is the ketubah. The plural of this is ketubot, which will be the name of the artificial intelligence creature I'm building to deliver condiments to my french fries.

A ketubah is essentially the Jewish wedding contract. In the olden days, it would stipulate that the wife was worth something like 400 sheckels, two cows and 50 bales of hay. If I were writing my own contract, I'd like to think that I'm worth my weight in (WHITE) truffles, 17 long-haired kittens and, let's call it 20 Birkins to be safe. What is the Hebrew character for Italian leather?

Luckily, there are many ketubah makers and they have scripts that are made for interfaith marriages like our own, Birkins or not. As you might imagine, many of the more traditional texts have the couple vowing to raise children according to Jewish law and, like the Catholic vows that talk a lot about Jesus, we are eschewing any mention of God/Jesus/Dumbledore from the ceremony.

But I like the idea of a written marriage contract, Mike had always planned on having one, and ketubot these days can be customized however you like. Most people frame them like artwork and many feature gorgeous detailing and colors. My lovely and married friend Liz passed on the name of the ketubah maker that her planner recommended and I have since learned from my other lovely and married friend Alexa that this chick is apparently the only game in town. By that I mean EVERY single (at least partially) Jewish couple has also used her. For good reason:

Here name is Stephanie Caplan and you can find her website here. You can choose from prints or have one totally customized, which is what we're planning on doing. The big reveal will have to wait until after our wedding day, but I liked being able to choose our colors, shape and size of the document. She's very talented and can take on a range of styles. I already have a spot picked out on our bedroom wall for it, in fact.

Stephanie was also able to provide us with many different texts to choose from and we were able to agree on one that was both beautiful and totally non-demoninational. If I want, I can even pick out a Jewish name! This is a little hard, however, considering there is no Hebrew "J," so I might just stick to transliteration.

But for all your brides out there, Jewish or not, I definitely recommend looking into this. It's a lovely keepsake from a very important day.

lori fradkin: 21 things i've learned from attending 21 weddings

the hangover: the sequel