I remember when my friend Ilana got married. The cantor talked during the Ketubah signing about how we were all there, witnessing, singing, and creating a community. And her wedding really felt like that, especially since the bridal party stayed at the estate where it was held for the weekend, hanging out with each other and with both families. I remember feeling sad to say goodbye at the end of it, not just to my best friends but to family members that I had never met before.
When my friend Candice got married, she and her husband rented a huge house in Bar Harbor for friends to stay in with them for the week. Even though I had just started a new job and couldn’t join them until the last few days, I was immediately welcomed in by her friend, who drove an hour and a half to pick me up at the airport and promptly took me out for lobster and to get my eyebrows done. I didn’t really know anyone very well at that wedding, but we all hung out together and it also really felt like a community.
This is what I really want for our wedding. We will not have a huge house on property or a beautiful estate for everyone to stay in. People will be spread out since there are no hotels really close by. Guests will be coming from far away; most of the guest list is out of state. But on the day, I hope everyone comes together. I hope everyone joins together for the hora, for lunch, for lawn games. But this is challenging. As I’ve mentioned before, we have a large guest list. So things like introductions or a ring-warming ceremony are not practical. So, how do we create a sense of community?
This actually isn’t something I’m even worried about because it is already happening. This blog is making it happen, which is an unexpected joy. I have gotten such an outpouring of support from the blog posts, not just from people reading, but from people mentioning how much they like it, giving suggestions, helping out. It really makes me feel like we are already supported by a community who is excited for our wedding. It already feels like people are coming together. Living so far away from most of our loved ones has made it difficult to share the wedding with them, but this blog has done it.
One last anecdote: I remember my brother Steven’s bar mitzvah. I looked around the room and realized how many people were there that I loved and who loved my family. It felt like being wrapped up in a warm blanket. Feeling that on my wedding day will add tremendously to the joy of marrying my partner; it wouldn’t be the same without it.