My brother got married in an astonishingly lavishly produced wedding. It looked pretty much the way movie weddings/receptions do, with everyone looking like they popped out, ballgowned and airbrushed, of some wedding magazine.
The actual ceremony was a traditional Jewish one, and it was absolutely lovely. It may be that the reason I find it so much more interesting and heartfelt than the traditional Christian weddings I’ve attended is that it was my first Jewish wedding, and so, new and fascinating. The chuppah was made out of Brittany’s mother’s and grandmothers’ wedding veils, Brittany circled RJ seven times before entering the chuppah, RJ spoke vows in Hebrew (this was hilarious! the rabbi was very understanding), and when RJ smashed the glass, he shouted “Mazel tov!” — effectively congratulating himself. One of RJ’s groomsmen is an old teammate from college, who now plays for the San Diego Chargers. When the rabbi found this out, he was so excited about it, being a long time season-ticket holder, that he talked about it during the signing of the ketubah. When the rabbi again mentioned being from San Diego originally during the wedding ceremony, Brittany’s eyes sent rapid-fire “You better not talk about football during my wedding” messages in all directions, but it was unnecessary–he was just making a seafaring metaphor.
Brittany’s witness had been practicing writing his name in Hebrew for the ketubah, but the rabbi told us to sign in English. This disappointed Scotty, who’d spent weeks writing his name on things, but was a relief to me, because I don’t have a Hebrew name. Scotty offered to give me one, if I wanted. I said, “Are you just going to make something up?” I worried that he would just pick a word at random and give it to me as my Hebrew name. I’d walk around being called Sidecar, or Radish.
I have never liked weddings. Weddings are just trying too hard. What real love needs so much pointless decoration and pageantry? Still, I do understand that people like them, for probably the same reasons I do not. And while it’s just not for me, I am delighted to have been a part of this one–RJ and Brittany are so very ridiculous and lovely. And I am very glad that it’s over. And I am so happy to be home. Atlanta is just the worst.