Nicole and Sinan were married at the Warwick, in Philadelphia, PA in mid-October.  Nicole found me through Weddingbee, and I was more than happy to make the trip down to Philly for her wedding ceremony.  Nicole is American and Jewish, and Sinan is Turkish and Muslim, so I worked with them to create a multi-cultural ceremony with a few elements that reflected each of their backgrounds – combined with their incredibly Love Story and lots of laughter.

A few days before the wedding, Nicole emailed me and said that there was a Turkish tradition they wanted to include – the bestowing of jewelry on the bride!  Just after being declared husband and wife, the groom’s family were invited up to the chuppah, where they SHOWERED Nicole in beautiful jewelry (gold is traditional).  Necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings were presented from her new in-laws.  It was a wonderful way to show their happiness and excitement to welcome Nicole into their family!

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The couple was married under a chuppah, the Jewish wedding canopy, and this was the explanation I gave:

Our bride and groom stand under the Jewish marriage canopy, the chuppah. This represents the home that they will create and share in their married life. Just as Sinan and Nicole are opening their hearts to each other today, so are the sides of the chuppah open, to let in the love of their beloved guests today. So will their home always be open to all of you. The heart of every home is the family the resides within – today, our couple will become each other’s family.

We included two other Jewish elements – the breaking of the glass at the end, and bestowing the couple with (non-religious) seven blessings at the end of the ceremony.  The Seven Blessings are a favorite of mine to include in an interfaith or non-religious wedding with Jewish elements, because, though the ones I have written capture the ideas of the original Seven Blessings, they are much more about seven ideals or thoughts that I hope my couples keep in their marriage together.  They don’t mention God, or a higher diety, but are still a nice Jewish touchstone to include in the ceremony – and a wonderful way to conclude it as well!

Dan and I had so much fun with our mini-road trip down to Philadelphia, and I was so happy that I got to meet Nicole and Sinan (one of the rare times I don’t meet the bride and the groom prior to the wedding!) and be a part of their incredible day.  Congratulations again!