We got married on Rosh Chodesh Marchesvan and had a small and simple yet tasteful wedding. There were no huge floral centerpieces, nor was there an ornately-decorated chuppah, a Viennese table, a seven-piece band, a Vera Wang wedding dress, a team of multiple videographers and photographers. There were no benchers costing $20 a piece for hundreds of guests, no teams of makeup artists and hairstylists.
So what was there? There was peace of mind from not going into long-term debt. There was gratitude that our elderly parents were well enough to travel and have nachas among our close friends and loved ones. There was an intimate feeling of about 65 people sitting together in a U-shaped table arrangement, able to see and converse with and hear one another. We had one photographer, one videographer, and one keyboard player – and that sufficed. My beauty expenses (hair, nails, makeup artist at a beauty supply store) were about $100. The only flowers were the white and pink-tipped roses I carried.
I wore the same wedding dress I’d worn to my last wedding; it was handmade with a lot of love by my friend, Esther: white, beaded French-lace bodice and taffeta, tea-length skirt. (I had promised myself I would wear that dress again and be happily married the next time!)
I didn’t need a $500 dollar veil: I wore a scarf I bought in Israel just a few weeks before the wedding that was long enough to cover my face: white tulle with silver sequins in a swirl pattern to match my silver shoes. I felt and looked regal! Everyone gathered together in a small group for the chuppah, which was held up by our friends and conducted at the end of a cul-de-sac street under the stars, adjacent to the quaint, 1800s-style decor of Brooklyn’s Avenue H subway station.
We didn’t need to invite the world. Our friends understood we were on a tight budget. What wasn’t tight was the love among ourselves and our loved ones. The end result was the same as a more elaborate wedding: We came home as husband and wife consecrated to each other with a ring and a ketubah, along with joyous memories and the promise of a new beginning.
And here’s a little vignette to inspire singles:
Last year as I walked past a certain shoe store on Kings Highway, I saw stunning silver pumps with a net fabric and a low heel. It’s unusual to find dressy shoes with low heels that aren’t flat. Now, I am not a clotheshorse and I don’t care for fancy shoes, but that pair called out to me. And the price, $69, was reasonable.
Before splurging, I walked away and considered the pros and cons of purchasing them. I returned a few days later and bought them. The saleslady asked me, “When’s the simcha?” I replied that I was buying the shoes now and the simcha will come.
I left the store with emunah and a pair of shoes that was out of character for my simple, elegant taste. Within six months or so I met my husband, Boruch Berman, at a Shabbat table. I wore those shoes for the first time to our vort on Chol HaMoed Sukkot as well as to our wedding.
May all singles find their soulmate b’karov mamash, clearly and easily, and build a bayit ne’eman b’Yisrael.