weddings, marriage, & divorce

My favorite parts of wedding planning

3. Creating our song list

It was challenging. Actually, quite challenging. There was probably more yelling than necessary, and some tears of frustration might have just about surfaced. But let’s face it, my partner and I love music, and we totally love dancing. We wrote the first draft of our song list within a week of getting engaged and then, a year later, when we actually needed it for practical purposes, could not find it. No problem; we started over. I think that creating the songlist was quite emblematic of a lot of the wedding planning process because it required an extremely delicate mix of considering my tastes, my partner’s tastes, what will please our parents, what will rouse our guests, and what will be most in line with our values (which in this case, include dancing, and lots of it). I think I am also still quite nervous to see how it will play out since, now made, this list is literally in the hands of our DJ.

2. Making the seating chart

Seriously, the seating chart was one thing I have been most excited about since the beginning of the process. I just couldn’t do it until now because I didn’t know exactly who was coming and who was not coming. I love making the seating chart because I love all the people who are coming to the wedding. I am having the wedding in the first place because I want these people to come celebrate with us. Making the seating chart is the one task in which I get to bask ahead of time in the glorious presence of all these friends and relatives. Each person matters, each person needs their seat. Furthermore, I can see the networks that we have supporting us, the webs of people that become so important to my decisions about who will sit where and with whom. It appears a pretty easy task of counting to ten (as in, ten seats at a table), but as I complete this task I am filled with joy at the physical promise that all of these people will be in the same room together, dancing with me.

1. (Re)writing our ceremony

Tonight we met with our friend the rabbinical student who will be officiating our wedding ceremony. Designing the wedding ceremony has been by far my favorite part of the entire wedding planning process. My partner and I are very verbal people—words mean a lot to us. Jewish tradition and liturgy also has meaning for us, but in a very complex way. In planning the ceremony we have carefully and critically considered each gesture, each blessing, each process. We are taking into account Judaism, feminism, humanism, our families’ tastes and our personal styles. It feels like us, like the core of what all this fuss is about. (Re)writing the ceremony is the one part of the wedding planning process that draws on our strengths as writers and as people actively engaged in reimagining spiritual and symbolic practices.

Published by Mimi Arbeit

applied developmental scientist, antifascist community organizer, sexuality educator

One thought on “My favorite parts of wedding planning”

  1. Nina says:

    Can't wait to dance with you at your wedding!

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