Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I feel so lucky to be engaged to someone so wonderful! We both feel especially blessed to have met and dated during Covid-19 because this has been such a hard time for daters to connect. I have made peace with the fact that I will no longer be having my dream wedding. The big hall and hundreds of guests has been whittled down to close family, a couple or friends, and a large outdoor space that can accommodate social distancing. However, I have always loved music (I play a few instruments) and the band was always what mattered most to me. Even though I can’t have the wedding of my childhood dreams, I still want a proper band! My siblings and parents think I’m being silly – that a band will look out of place at what will essentially be a backyard wedding. They think a one-man band fits the new theme and I should leave this alone. I really want the band – am I out of tune on this?


Musical Marriage


Dear Musical,

I have an extraordinary friend who admires the beauty in all things. A lovely scent, a vibrant color, or an intriguing texture. She notices small details that others tend to overlook and her memories all live in technicolor forever. Her lipsticks come in many shades, each one chosen to suit a mood or feeling. They line up like patient soldiers in her makeup drawer ready to battle the day, night, or unexpected surprise. Don’t be surprised if you find her curled up with a book wearing her favorite shade of red simply because. The lipstick is for her, and never requires a special occasion, or the perfect dress. But one swipe of the right shade and she is happy – because she knows that the secret to true beauty lies within your own joy.



Mazel Tov on your engagement and upcoming marriage. Kudos to you both for forging ahead during Covid-19 and finding each other. You are clearly thrilled to start a life with your bashert and have accepted the changing landscape of the traditional weddings of the past. All those days spent dreaming of walking into that banquet hall filled to the brim with family of friends are gone. All those moments where you pictured the décor, the first dance, and the mile-long buffet are lost. A new dream had to be drawn that focused solely on the simcha and the union of two people ready to make a life together.



You love music and you want a full band. You have now added masks to your musical vision, but you simply cannot accept anything less. Your family feels otherwise and have not been hesitant to let you know that they believe that a full band simply does not belong in the new smaller wedding plan. You have already given up so much, and they don’t understand why you refuse to let go of just one more thing. A large band doesn’t fit into their vision and they want you to fully conform to the situation and the venue.



You have been a trooper, letting pieces of your dream fall to the ground, like pages torn from a book without complaint. But now it is time to stand up for something that is meaningful to you – not because it conforms to the norms of a large venue or a backyard, but because it will bring you joy. When you think back to this time and the wedding you had, you will picture this band and you will be filled with happiness as you recall the beautiful notes that they played to celebrate your mazel and bracha. The drummer, the violinist, the bassist may be more than you “need”, but the meaning that they offer matter more than anything.



Tell your family that you appreciate their message. Weddings are about the union of two people and perhaps Covid-19 has reminded us that we may have previously gotten caught up in the pomp and circumstance. Perhaps in the past, we made choices for what others would think, and for how the partygoers would judge our special day. This band however, is not about those who have been invited. This band is for you, the kallah. Your band will showcase that you do understand that a wedding is about a marriage, and not about the extras – because the band and the music are deeply meaningful to YOU. The band doesn’t have to fit the venue or match the occasion – because YOU are the wedding, YOU are the purpose of the day, and this band is for YOU.


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Henni Halberstam is a Dating and Marriage Coach whose expert advice will help you navigate dating and relationships in order to ensure a successful marriage. You can contact her at to schedule a phone session.