Just Married

The First Wedding After Ours

By Simi Lichtman

  • Print
  • Share Share

Jeremy and I recently went to the first wedding of our friends since our own. I expected it to be an incredibly different experience from all the weddings I attended prior to my own, but the only real difference was how aware I was of my smile. Jeremy and I happened to have watched our wedding video for the first time the night before, and I had never fully realized as a guest how everything you do is recorded for posterity. That subtle underarm scratch you think no one noticed? Years from now, your children will watch your awkward friend scratching away, and probably mock your outdated outfit as well. So I was hyper-aware of how I looked the entire wedding, making sure to smile whenever a camera passed.

Otherwise, the wedding was just as beautiful as every other wedding I’ve been to. The magic of the couple’s love, the romantic glow dusting the celebration, wasn’t at all dulled for having been through it myself. I sighed, I cheered, I danced like a fiend. The groom’s smile seemed to burst from his face as he watched his bride walk towards him, her face reflecting his. I felt myself smiling at their unabashed joy, and not only because a camera was nearby.

Simi and Jeremy at a wedding of their friends.

“This isn’t any less beautiful for having been up there myself,” I whispered to my friend as the groom slipped on the bride’s ring under the chuppah. I guess in some ways I expected to find it all less of a fairy tale, to feel more jaded now that I’ve gotten married myself. Instead, I was infected, as I always am at weddings, with contagious excitement at the prospect of the future and the joy of the moment.

I can’t pretend I felt exactly the same as I did at weddings before my own; for starters, I felt far more comfortable being involved. Previously, I was always worried about being too involved in the wedding. I would want to fan the bride as she sat in a brief break from dancing but was afraid to infringe. If you’ve never been to an Orthodox wedding, then a quick note: there is a LOT of dancing. Picture that dizzying dancing scene from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” just for hours on end. At this wedding, I remembered how hot I was at my own wedding, and how much I appreciated it whenever someone so much as waved a napkin in my face, so I fanned away. I remembered my favorite bracha some guests gave us, and I passed it on: “May you always be as happy as you are this night.”

And like I said, I smiled a lot. I danced a lot. I all but pulled out a top hat and tap-danced for the camera. (At least that couple will have an entertaining video.) Weddings are wonderful. They encapsulate hope for the future, love for another, trust and faith, family and community, tradition, religion, romance, fears, happy tears and so much more, all in five hours, served alongside stuffed chicken and arugula salads. Having been through my own, I know firsthand all those emotions, and felt them even more sharply at the wedding of two of our friends.

A part of me wanted to take the bride and groom aside and whisper to them everything I’ve learned from my marriage so far; I wanted to share all the emotions and the ups and downs and tips and secrets. But I know that soon enough, they’ll find out for themselves.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: brachas, weddings, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.