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The Wedding

July 9, 2021

I have been married nearly 40 years to my exquisite wife. We both remember our wedding day with extreme fondness and nostalgia.

We did not rush into marriage as both of us had made that mistake, albeit for different reasons, years earlier. We had lived together for about a year and had gradually moved into my apartment after a “trial run.” Before the actual marriage we were counseled heavily by the Rabbi who was to marry us. We had chosen a Rabbi instead of a priest as my wife was Jewish and it seemed the natural thing to do.

We invited a very small group of people to our wedding, perhaps ten plus out parents. My son did not attend because his natural mother did not want him to. We chose January 1 as the big day and my wife worked feverishly to put the whole thing together on out miniscule budget. She made her own wedding dress and we took all of the photos ourselves. A client of my wife’s employer supplied the reception site and we were finally all set.

When New Years arrived, it started to rain like hell. Then came a frantic call from the Rabbi. It seemed that the new temple had not been completed in time and lacked carpeting and lighting. He asked if we wouldn’t mind having the ceremony at his house. I informed him that our guests were probably already heading for the temple so we decided to go ahead as planned.

In a frantic last move, I vainly decided that my mustache was too light. I applied a generous amount of my wife’s henna and found that I looked like Tony Orlando. I hurriedly washed it out with Clorox bleach and with a blistered mouth lurched off to join our guests. On the way to the temple, the sky opened up with a full sun and the rain suddenly stopped. It was a good omen.

The whole affair had us both a little spooked. When the Rabbi asked my wife for the traditional “I do,” there was a long pause whose silence filled the temple. For a moment I thought she had actually chickened-out of the whole affair. Then came a weak response. I then stepped forward and delivered my “I do” in a booming voice that echoed throughout the building as to offer compensation for my new bride’s hesitation. That was it. I kissed my bride and we were married. I also made a promise to myself that instant: She would always be loved by me no matter what life threw in our path.

At that juncture, the groom breaks the wine glass that both have drunken from in the marriage ceremony. It is a tradition in Judaism that is timeless. Not being a Jew myself and out of worry that I wouldn’t be able to break the glass, I came down upon that vessel with the force of God. Blam! The explosion’s echo bounced off the walls of the unlit temple. The deed was done. I looked down and to my utter surprise, my mother and now mother-in-law were bawling like a couple of schoolgirls,

We then all went off to the wedding reception in Topanga Canyon to cut the wedding cake. For the next four decades we have both tried to strictly adhere to the Rabbi’s advice: “Don’t ever go to bed mad at each other and never fight about money.” It has worked for us. When we have attended other weddings over the years, I always offer one wish: “I wish for you the same happiness we have known in our marriage.”

PS – We still have that shattered wine glass in a shadow box in our bedroom. What a keepsake!

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From → America, Family

9 Comments
  1. Beautiful photo e great memory!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for those beautiful memories. I made my wedding dress, going away (we didn’t) dress, and the one bridesmaids dress. Yes, we were on a tight budget and had the reception in our home. I miss the love of my life so much 💔

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a great memory, Allen, and it’s grand that you’ve stayed together. My elder daughter was married in a Jewish ceremony, which I thought was real nice. Mazel tov! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations. What a wonderful story. Becky and I wish you both many more blessed years together. L’chaim!

    Liked by 1 person

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