Music plays an important part in many people’s lives. And when it comes to choosing music for your wedding it’s just as important, so it’s only fitting that Jewish wedding music is important in the planning of a Jewish wedding.
As in many religious circles, today’s Jewish wedding music often includes secular and contemporary music, but most Jewish couples still choose to include some traditional Jewish wedding music.
Prior to the actual start of the wedding, music is often played to set the mood as the guests arrive and, behind the scenes, everyone is putting the last minute touches on everything. Many couples decide to include a mix of contemporary or secular and traditional Jewish wedding music at this time.
The first piece of music played during a Jewish wedding is the processional, when the bride walks down the aisle, usually accompanied by both her parents. Many couples use traditional secular processional songs such as the “Wedding March”, while others use this opportunity to set the stage for their Jewish wedding by choosing songs such as “Erev Shel Shoshanim.”
After the ceremony, following the breaking of the glass by the groom, it’s time for celebration! From that moment until the end of the night, most couples choose celebratory Jewish wedding music to keep their friends and family excited about celebrating the day.
In most Jewish weddings, even for couples who prefer secular or contemporary music, traditional Jewish music is included in the reception, with some traditional Jewish dancing.
After all, most people have seen or heard of the Hora, which is the traditional chair dance. In this dance, guests hoist the bride and groom into the air on chairs and carry them around to the song “Hava Nagila,” while friends and family dance around them.
Mitzvah dances are another Jewish reception tradition. In Jewish culture, it’s an obligation and a mitzvah (good deed) to entertain the bride and groom on their wedding day. So the bride and groom sit together while guests dance for them with masks, props, and costumes for their entertainment.
If the wedding is for the last child in a family, the Mezinke Tanz (also called the Krenzel) is another tradition. This dance honors the parents of the last child to be married in a family, and is one of the last dances of the night. In this dance, the parents are seated and the guests dance around them, kissing them as they pass in front of them. Often a crown of flowers is also placed in the mother’s hair during the dance.
A good resource for Jewish wedding music is your local temple. Your rabbi can help point you in the right direction, or give you the contact information of someone from the temple who can. Regardless of the type of music you choose, it’s important to speak to someone in authority at the temple to make sure you’re not choosing any music that could be considered inappropriate for your wedding. You can also find out more about Jewish Weddings on Wikipedia.
The music you choose for your wedding day will be the music you remember for the rest of your life. No matter what you choose, it will be perfect, and will help create lifelong memories.
All the best with your special day,