I was just reading Meg’s blog, A Practical Wedding, and loved one of her most recent posts.
First, she shared a new perspective on the glass breaking in a Jewish wedding, and that was that an old Moroccan saying was related to the broken glass of a Jewish wedding, in that “A difficult beginning is a good sign”. It really is true in so many ways. We are an instant gratification, disposable society sometimes. We expect our life’s path to roll along smoothly, and often get derailed at the first sign of trouble. It really isn’t about the trouble at all, though, it’s about our perception of it, so if we start out with a little tzurres, perhaps that helps frame the perspective, and helps us appreciate the peaks that the road of life will certainly bring us to, while remembering that the valleys are not so long lived, and give meaning to the experience.
The other topic of her post was our current economic conditions, and its impact on today’s Jewish wedding experiences.
Meg – I have one additional perspective to share with you, in response to your sentiment of mild envy at last year’s crop of brides, who were planning well before the onset of layoffs, closures, and the like….Fast forward those brides to today. They planned without worry, but they were the most unfortunate, because they also most likely incorporated a whole lot of expense and debt into their plans, and guess what they’re thinking today? I’m sure many are wishing they still had the $10, 20, 30, 40k or MORE they spent on the wedding, because it sure would have helped them get through the difficult times, now, because they possibly lost their jobs or have just been hit financially.
Knowledge is power, and you have much more knowledge today than they did. You have been given the gift of perspective, so today you can CHOOSE to be more economical, simple, realistic, and responsible. And in the end, what you will most likely end up with (especially based on the sentiment of your readers) is a more personal experience, knowing that those who surround you on that day are there because YOU are one of the most important people in their lives. If that’s not a gift, I don’t know what is.
Last year’s brides are not feeling like they got so much of a gift. I hear many lamenting that they wish they had created a more intimate, personal setting, and not felt so compelled to pay $200 a plate for someone they barely knew. They (and/or their families) are saddled with debt they really didn’t want nor could afford, and while the memory of the experience begins to fade, the credit card balances are mounting, as finance companies raise rates through the ceiling. Not so much of a blessing, and certainly not much to envy.
One of the reasons I absolutely LOVE my destination weddings, is because I am always so touched at what every person experiences through them. Certainly, the wedding guests are the MOST important people in the world to them. They made it a life priority to take that trip with them, and share in their joy. They got FAR more than a 5 hour party, they got a life-long experience, of sharing the most relaxing time and special moments. The final bill is far more palatable than that of a grand-wedding-experience, and provides so many more special wedding memories to look back on. This year more than ever, we are returning to simpler values, and that is the TRUE blessing of this economy.
I’m actually thankful for it, and while I wouldn’t wish a single hardship on anyone, I suppose that it was, is, and continues to be necessary to re-align our values, to re-think what is important, and to re-define what we consider to be our blessings. Those brides that are planning their upcoming weddings in this downturn economy – rejoice! You have the gift of knowledge, perspective, and POWER to choose to do what’s right for yourselves, your families, your friends, how you want to celebrate your Jewish-Interfaith wedding ceremony, and the economy over all.
Life is not about broken glass, it’s about the meaning you give it.