R5 Firsthand Experience

How serendipitous was it that I became Executive Editor of Westchester Weddings just as I was preparing for my son Jason’s big day—his June 23rd marriage to Matti Lieberman. Although the bride’s mother did much of the planning, leaving few loose ends for me, and the wedding was certainly more practical than glitzy, I learned a valuable lesson about what makes every wedding unique.

As my son was married in Orthodox Jewish fashion, he didn’t see or speak to his bride for one week prior to the ceremony. I brought him to the catering hall (with only one trip back to his apartment—to retrieve the ring he had almost forgotten–oops!) and took special pains to keep him out of sight of his bride, who was being photographed in a room downstairs. As I watched my son pace like an expectant father and listened to him howl as he wondered what could possibly be taking so long, I tried not to laugh at his impatience. “I promise you, Jason, no matter how long it takes, you will be married by the end of this night.”

He didn’t seem convinced by my “prophecy,” even though I had a wedding invitation to back me up. Admittedly, things did seem to drag a bit as the photographer finished up family portraits. But when Matti’s mom and I finally escorted the beautiful bride through the standing-room-only crowd and down the aisle to my son who waited for her under the chuppah, I was happy to see the anxiety gone from Jason’s face. His eyes were locked on his prize—my beautiful daughter-in-law—who returned his glowing gaze.

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The love that was in that room was so palpable and electric, that the late hour, last-minute panic, and all the stressors that led up to those magic moments melted away when Jason stomped on the glass, a Jewish tradition, amid shouts of “Mazel Tov!” The couple was finally escorted to a quiet room—together at last and, G-d willing, forever!

So, Brides, Grooms, Mothers, Fathers, and everyone else planning a wedding, whether it’s large, small, fancy or plain, traditional or secular, I wish you the incredible excitement, elation, and joy that I was blessed to experience at my son’s wedding. While flowers, gowns, invitations, seating arrangements, and music are all crucial to the atmosphere, excitement, and peripheral beauty of the event, remember–it’s the love in the room that we are celebrating!

Judith Lederman
Executive Editor



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