liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
[personal profile] liv
I've known [personal profile] lethargic_man for half my life, and all that time he's talked about wanting to get married. Whereas I never had any interest in getting married, and assumed I probably wouldn't. I would never have believed you, if you'd told me back in the late 90s, that [personal profile] lethargic_man would get married five years after me. But this is in fact what happened, so many many congratulations to [personal profile] lethargic_man on finally achieving that ambition, and to [livejournal.com profile] aviva_m on celebrating your partnership by means of a fantastic wedding.

[personal profile] lethargic_man asked me to be his best human, which I was really excited about because I've never been in the bridal party before except when I was the actual bride. Well, I gave a reading at [personal profile] angelofthenorth and [personal profile] gwyddno's wedding, but that's the biggest role I'd played before now. But it turned out not to be the best timing to receive this honour, because the wedding date was set for a week before I started my new job, and the same weekend that my parents celebrated their Ruby (40th) anniversary, and in the middle of [personal profile] forestofglory's long-awaited visit. So it was all a kind of ridiculous rush, but a wonderful celebration anyway.

I missed the civil wedding which took place in Germany a few days before the religious wedding, because I didn't have any spare annual leave to travel. And I missed the Friday night Wandering Jews celebration which kicked off the wedding weekend; instead [personal profile] forestofglory helped me to host a proper Friday night meal for the first time in ages. We baked challah, which went really well; we used the Smitten Kitchen recipe, more or less, though keeping the rising times to the bare minimum since we were a bit rushed. I felt more comfortable than before just estimating how much flour to add to give the dough the right consistency. And [personal profile] forestofglory's one-year-old helped quite a lot, a little bit of stirring, a little bit of kneading, and especially with punching down the dough between risings. She said "punch? punch?" very quizzically but accepted that that was what we were asking her to do <3 I realized I didn't have time and oven space to make bread and a main course and dessert, so I defaulted to just icecream. And [personal profile] cjwatson and [personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait and the littles and [livejournal.com profile] fivemack all joined us and we made kiddush including parents blessing children and then we ate all the tasty food and it was wonderful. Although the toddler ran out of energy a bit earlier than we'd hoped so she and her dad had to leave early and miss most of the meal.

Then I got up really painfully early on Saturday to head to Assif, [personal profile] lethargic_man's old community, for the couple's ufruf, when they are called to the Torah in honour of their upcoming wedding. It was really lovely to be present while all [personal profile] lethargic_man's old friends welcomed him back and made a fuss over the couple. But a 9:30 service the other side of London is not exactly sensible travel-wise. And I ended up not having much time with [personal profile] forestofglory and family; we did have a little walk in Milton Country Park and supper in the Milton Arms.

And Sunday was my parents' anniversary. [personal profile] jack and I arrived a little early to help with the tail end of set-up, though most of the work had already been done by P'tite Soeur and Mum. It was a really really nice party though, with lots of excellent family and old friends. And everybody was entirely welcoming to all my partners, and OSOs' kids had a good time with the little cousins who are about their age, and got to enjoy my parents' excellent garden in the sunshine. I am so glad I am at a point in my life where I can bring them to a family simcha.

[personal profile] jack and I headed down to London that evening to avoid another painfully early start on Monday. We had really good Turkish food in Likya, which is one of the few restaurants on Golders Green road that isn't certified kosher, and stayed the night in a small hotel which in fact is kosher.

And then there was the wedding. I turned up early as requested to help with set-up, but actually there wasn't much that needed to be sorted out and [personal profile] lethargic_man's sister-in-law handled most of it. I was very pleased to see that [personal profile] lethargic_man had found an exciting outfit, not just leaving the dressing up part to the bride, though [livejournal.com profile] aviva_m looked amazing in a traditional white frothy dress too. They'd been worried about the traditionally awful bank holiday weather, but in fact it was about the sunniest day of the year. And I had a bell with which to usher people from one part of the celebration to another, which definitely added to the fun.

The ceremony was wonderful, really beautifully conducted by the couple's rabbi from their Berlin community as well as M's old rabbi from New North London. And of course [personal profile] lethargic_man had put thought into making a ceremony both personal and fully traditional, because he's a liturgy geek. Lots of helpful explanations in the custom-made service booklet. I almost cried at all the ways they'd made it egalitarian while still fitting with the distinctly gendered requirements, and I did cry a bit the first time we got to the traditional song about the voice of the groom and bride heard again in Judah and Jerusalem.

And then there was 'simcha dancing' ie traditional klezmer music and Ashkenazi / Israeli folk dance and carrying the couple on chairs (but holding hands, none of this cutesie but sexist handkerchief nonsense). And lots of socializing and celebrating while we ate, and the speeches including my best human one went off well, and they asked different friends to recite each of the seven blessings. And then there was a little ceilidh, with a caller who was very good at simplifying things for non-Scottish guests. Also made a clear effort not to be gender essentialist, which is always appreciated. I'd agreed in advance to dance as [personal profile] lethargic_man's second woman for Dashing White Sergeant, and the caller trolled the dancers by asking them to pick their 'favourite' and 'least favourite' partner, so of course the groom picked his bride over me, and it was good-humoured and felt somehow right.

And then I had to dash back to Stoke to pack up and finish everything off in my last three days there; I wasn't able to go to any of the subsequent seven blessings meals. I wish I'd had more time to celebrate with them (and more time to spend with [personal profile] forestofglory and more time to help my parents with their party), but even so. I couldn't be more happy that [personal profile] lethargic_man got the wedding he's been dreaming of, though, and if the marriage is even a fraction as happy and successful as the ceremony they'll be doing really well.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-06 09:59 pm (UTC)
angelofthenorth: Sooffocles with me in background (Default)
From: [personal profile] angelofthenorth
That sounds wonderful. Mazel tov

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-06 10:29 pm (UTC)
green_knight: (Happy Penguin)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
Awww.

(I thought I'd never get married. It happened anyway.)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-07 02:48 am (UTC)
anais_pf: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anais_pf
I've just googled around to try to figure it out, and I think it may have to do with the men and women dancing on separate sides of the mechitza (which I have never seen), but I really am not sure at all. So I ask: why is the handkerchief-holding sexist?

(no subject)

Date: 2017-09-07 01:50 pm (UTC)
atreic: (Default)
From: [personal profile] atreic
Wow, that's a _lot_. Well done you for managing to be in all the places with all the people you love! Hope you get some downtime soon :-)

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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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