~Friday, October 25, 2013

Wedding Dating

During the very first Intro to Judaism class, the rabbi addressed conversion, making it very clear that this was not a conversion class and we would not be Jews in five months when the class was over. That was up to our converting rabbi, who was not him.

"How many of you have converting rabbis?" he asked.

The entire class raised their hands but me. This was why I had tried scheduling the meeting months ago. The woman stood me up, and the rabbi had seemed very nonchalant when I had asked him, choosing instead to give me a brief overview over email.

Conversion takes a year, he had written me.

I'm not waiting another year from August, I had told Abraham.

"And I don't convert by wedding dates," he told the class. "It's too hard to plan a wedding and convert at the same time. Some of you may take the class and choose not to covert, and that's okay too. Just get married and finish converting when the time is right. You'll have to have a second ceremony to be officially wedded in the Jewish faith."

Abraham and I headed his advice, mainly because we were at his mercy, and removed conversion from our wedding date factors. There were plenty of remaining factors:

  • Finding a rabbi who will perform an interfaith wedding. Our rabbi made it very clear he would not.
  • Finding a Saturday during Daylight Savings Time when the sun sets early and thereby ending the Sabbath at a reasonable hour. Rabbis do not work or travel on the Sabbath. This alone eliminated 6 months out of the year, including spring and summer, when the sun would set close to 9:00 p.m.
  • Abraham was not getting married during football season, eliminating autumn.

Our other options were getting married on a Friday or a Sunday, but Abraham hated Friday weddings and didn't want to make people take off work. We tried Sunday of Memorial Day, but venues were already booked by people who had planned ahead. Sunday of Labor Day was too far away for me and too close to football season for Abraham.

That left us with January and February, the two cheapest months of the year to get married. The sun would set 6:00ish, so we could have a Saturday night wedding.

The ceremony would be Jewish, but I needed some of my culture reflected in the wedding too. I didn't want everything dictated by Jewish law. So I found the biggest, whitest antebellum home I could afford. It was built in 1870 and has 2-story white columns and a porch. It's everything I wanted, down to the green velvet curtains and working fireplace. It is so very southern. My heart was set.

It's booked for February 22nd.


  1. So excited for you about setting the date, and the house sounds sooooo dreamy. But all these rules? Ugh, no. And not even Abraham's not wanting to get married during football season, but the Jewish rules just seem ridiculous. Although I'm a non religious person, so there's that.

  2. Wheee! So excited for you guys! Having experienced all of this for the last 7 years (when my BFF married an Israeli man), I would just like to say that this all becomes very second nature. Not only for you (obviously, you're converting!) but for your friends and family, too.

  3. So soon! I'd rather get married in winter, personally, if I ever find someone.

  4. Wooooooooooo! Can't wait to read all your wedding realted posts. Again so pleased for you both Sarah! :)

  5. 2/22/14
    He may forget the year, but forgetting "2/22" should be pretty difficult!!! Mazels.

    If you want to talk at all about planning an interfaith ceremony, you have my email. I'm partial, but I loved how mine and Aaron's ceremony worked out.

  6. Wow, please don't loose the importance of what you are doing, in the turbulence of what you are going through. You are committing yourself to someone for the rest of your life. If it is the biggest decision you will ever make regardless of the place or the time. Keep that for most in your thoughts and in everything you do along the way.

  7. That is so soon! But still exciting, glad that things are coming together.

  8. Wow, so much to do in so little time!