Helpful Hint: Ushers for the Wedding Ceremony

Ushers greeting your guests and helping them to get seated for the ceremony is a welcoming touch for wedding.  I always like to make sure that the ushers know to encourage guests to fill all the seats by the aisle and the first few rows.  I never like to see empty seats in the first row.  I often ask the bride and groom to list out exactly how many seats they want setup in the first row for important family members.  We reserve these seats and make sure those family members know that they should be in the first row to witness their loved ones exchange vows.Here is a dapper usher from one of our weddings at New leaf Restaurant.

Photography by Jen Huang Photography

Put Away the Camera Phones

At one of our recent wedding ceremonies, the church requested that guests refrain from photography during the service.  I was pleased to comply with this request.  The ushers mentioned this quietly to guests on arrival.  

The bride and grooom spend thousands of dollars on hiring a professional wedding photographer.  Someone who is experienced in capturing this special moment and will know how to deal with lighting and positioning.  It makes me sad when wedding photographers are prevented from creating their best work when guests pull out their iphones, androids, blackberries, point and shoot cameras and start snapping away.  This is not a moment that can be recreated.  Isn't the wedding photographer with their fancy slr equipment going to take much better pictures than a smartphone?  Facebook can wait.  I have seen pictures of the bride walking down the aisle and almost every person sitting next to the aisle pointing a camera at her.  They get in the way of the photographer's frame and all you see is a sea of cameras.  I am sure the bride and groom would prefer a sea of smiling faces of their loved ones on their special day.  

A wedding ceremony is often a sacred and spiritual event.  Live in the moment, put the camera phones away and leave the pictures to the wedding photographer.  

A Jewish Wedding

I had the pleasure of doing the month of coordination for a wedding where the bride and groom were clearly so much in love.  It was my first Jewish wedding and I was so touched by the many symbolic traditions that took place.  I did not understand the words that the Rabbi was singing as he walked down the aisle to begin the ceremony, but I do know that it was beautiful.

  • The Ketubah - While the guests were waiting for the ceremony to begin, a small ceremony took place behind the scenes with the Bride and Groom signing the Ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract.  The Ketubah specifies their mutual promises and commitments and is one of the oldest elements of a Jewish wedding.
  • The Chuppah - The marriage canopy under which the ceremony takes place.  It dates back to the Jewish nomadic days in the desert.  The temporary nature of its construction reminds one that the most important thing about a home is the people in it who love one another and choose to be together, to be a family.  Since the chuppah represents the couple's new home together, having no walls, it signifies that their home is open to all.  The couple integrated a tallis - a family heirloom - into the chuppah.
  • The Breaking of the Glass - Depending on whom you ask, you will get many answers for the meaning of this ritual.  It signifies the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.  It also serves as a reminder that the bonds of marriage are fragile and can easily be shattered.  The hope is that the breaking of the wedding glass will be the only thing shattered during the marriage.  It is the official signal to shout "Mazel Tov" and start the party!