Late Weddings: why do they get so late?

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  • #1461008

    takahmamash
    Participant

    We went to a wedding recently, and for some reason, the schedule got so off that we ended up leaving before the main course.

    The invitation stated the kabbalat panim was at 6:45, and the chupa was to be at 7:30. It even stated 7:30 בדיוק. The mesader kiddushin was there on time.

    The bedeken didn’t begin until 8:20. The chupa began around 8:35. The first dance began after 9:30. Since we had a 90 minute drive to get home, we left at 10. The first dance was still going on.

    Why are people so casual about wasting other people’s time?

    #1461085

    Joseph
    Participant

    Maybe the Chasuna was based on Chasidishe Daylight Savings Time.

    #1461098

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Many factors besides the Mesader Kiddushin can cause the badeken to be delayed. The caterer may not have been watching the clock. Close relatives (uncles and aunts of the chosson/kallah) being late due to traffic and the parents wanted to wait for them. Other Rabbanim who were to receive kibudim did not arrive. Mistakes found on the kesuva that had to be redone (was at 2 chasunahs recently where this happened).

    #1461174

    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit
    Participant

    My own wedding ran exactly on time. Many people who planned to be there for dancing came by mitzva tanz.

    #1461288

    takahmamash
    Participant

    For my daughter’s wedding, we hired a wedding planner. She had a schedule, down to the minute, and went over it with everyone – the families, mesader kiddushin, caterer, hall, photographer, and band. Everything ran like clockwork and went off without a hitch B”H. If people left early, it wasn’t because we ran behind.

    #1461449

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    We married off two daughters within the past 22 months.
    Both weddings ran on time.
    I am a stickler for detail and punctuality (Yekke on maternal side).
    Time schedules for performance with monetary penalties were written into contacts for caterer, florist, photographer and band (yes, I’m an attorney and never accept a contract handed me by a supplier…it will be construed in their favor).
    Typically a wedding gets behind schedule in the photography session. Mrs. CTL and I went over the shots to be taken with daughters, SILS and photographer. NO additional shots, setups, locations were permitted. Photographer could take all the candids he desired during the meal, dancing, etc. but not delay the affair.
    My next door neighbor’s wife volunteered and was put in charge of making sure all those to be in a photo were in place at the proper time.
    The mesader kiddushin reviewed the Ketubot the night before with the Chason and both fathers. No time was wasted at the tisch for this.
    We were not at the mercy of the wedding hall for setup time and access as both weddings took place at the CTL compound. Only the first wedding was followed by a dinner affair that night in a Manhattan hotel. No delays for tisch, ceremony, etc. It was called for 7:30 cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and 8:15 sit down for formal dinner and dancing. 10:30 bentching, shevah berachot and speeches. Everyone out at 11:30.

    It was the best man’s job to keep the chason on a timetable. No delays by friends with sthick were to be tolerated. The kallah’s eldest sister was charged to keep her on schedule.

    We did not need/use a wedding planner..we’re good at this task. All vendors were set straight form the beginning that they ONLY took instructions from Mrs. CTL or myself. This avoids delays caused by meeting requests from guests or unauthorized relatives making changes.

    #1461460

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Too much angst about the ehrliche cousins or chashuve rabbonim who somehow cannot ever seem to get their acts together, and allow enough time for traffic et. al. so they can arrive on time. Better to delay hundreds of people, stress out th already stressed chasan/kalah etc. and just get started rather than c’v having to explain to cousin mordechai or some rebbele why you started without them. Answer is simple, as we bring down from chazal, “TIME WAITS FOR ON ONE”…

    #1461481

    Joseph
    Participant

    CTL,”best man”? What’s a best man doing at a Jewish wedding?

    #1461541

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @joseph
    Not Best Man in the goyische sense, but a trusted agent of the Chosson who handles little details and keeps him on track

    #1461572

    mentsch1
    Participant

    I made one chasuna recently, it ran on time. Mostly bc we took many chassun/kallah pics bf the wedding. Gasp! kefirah!
    But to quote a Rebbe of mine who did the same; tircha d’tzibura is in the shulchan aruch , not seeing the kallah isn’t.

    #1461533

    The little I know
    Participant

    There are other factors that make this situation problematic. At chassidishe chasunahs, there is this ritual called badchanus. This places one in front of the chosson before the badeken, and he can drone on with no one listening for quite some time. I was explained the reason for this minhag, to say דברי כבושין before the chosson to keep his focus serious and somber. Me thinks this could be accomplished in under 5 minutes.

    At MItzvah tantz, we get to observe something very serious, where badchanim are instructed to drone on for endless introductions and eulogies. The longer the intro, the more kovod is believed to be given. I fail to see this as meaningful at all. Additionally, the amount of time taken to dance before the kallah is obscene, with every honoree cavorting as if engaged in some exalted exercise of דברים נסתרים. Then there is this comparatively new phenomenon of the chosson dancing individually with everyone, including the mechutanim, zaides, uncles, and VIP’s. The music is also expected to accommodate to play certain nigunim to respect each individual. Someone who is not invited to dance with the chosson is apt to feel excluded and demeaned.

    I grew to enjoy the down time when the music rests, as it is so loud that socializing with anyone is virtually impossible. I know this delays everything, but I actually enjoy it more than the dancing.

    It is a separate thread, but the dancing, and often the choice of music, are hardly compatible with a Yiddishe simcha. Someone commented than any menahel that dances to some of the music commonly played at today’s weddings would be a total hypocrite if he gave mussar or disciplinary consequences to a talmid caught listening to goyishe music.

    #1461586

    Joseph
    Participant

    @mentsch1, how long before the Chasuna did you take the pictures? No family pictures at the Chasuna were taken?

    #1461603

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Joseph
    We took as many family photos as possible bf.
    The chassan kallah took some private photos after. And we didn’t get every pic we wanted so some were taken after. But from end of chuppah till first dance was around 40 min.
    I’ve been to two weddings this year were the first dance started 10:15. I usually leave weddings at that time so I made sure that didn’t happen.
    I expected to get attitude from the chassan kallah, but they we’re surprisingly excited bc they wanted as many people as possible at the dancing so they wanted to keep the dancing as early as possible.
    It’s amazing what becomes indoctrinated into our religion as “Halacha”. Not seeing the kallah isn’t Halacha.

    #1461623

    takahmamash
    Participant

    We had a list of pre-chuppa pictures, as did the other side. We simply ran down the list, as did they, and it went very quickly. Also, each side had a prepared photo list for after the chupa, and again, things went very quickly. Outdoor pictures of the chatan and kalla (separately) were done before we were scheduled to be at the hall. All in all, the photo shoots went quickly.

    CTL, we hired the wedding planner for many other reasons, not just for the day of the wedding. She (and her husband, they work as a team) did an amazing job, both before and during the affair.

    #1461641

    Joseph
    Participant

    mentsch1, the Choson and Kallah took pictures together prior to the Chupa?

    #1461761

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Joseph
    Yes
    Just like my rebbe insisted his family do. Tircha d’tzibura trumps some made up minhag

    #1461793

    Joseph
    Participant

    Mentsch1, don’t call a Minhag Yisroel a made-up minhag. You can tell me it isn’t your minhag; but it is 100% a valid and holy Minhag Yisroel for many if not most frum Yidden and has been for millennia. (Meaning the Choson and Kallah refraining from seeing each other for X amount of time before the Chupa.)

    #1461847

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @takahmamash
    I was not implying that the wedding planner only works or is hired for the day f the wedding. Mrs. CTL and I just don’t require those services.,
    The CTL compound has been the site of over 10 family frum weddings in the past 15 years. I, as a.
    Justice of the Peace, perform civil weddings. The Wisteria covered pergola which forms the entry to our pool area is a desirable site for a wedding ceremony. I may perform civil ceremonies, but they are for non-Jews only. I don’t perform any ceremony involving a Jewish Groom or Bride, and I don’t bother checking into the halacha of their genealogy. If they say they are Jewish,go elsewhere.
    These couples often ask Mrs. CTL (who books my time) if she can recommend florist, photographer, music, and/or caterer who has worked here. She will do so. No sit down affairs or dancing takes place. Typically, the couples are dress in business attire with a daytime ceremony. No gowns with slits, low necks, etc. Chances are these are mature people who are either widowed or divorced and want a low key, private wedding.

    #1462061

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Joseph, what is your source that is has been observed for millennia?

    #1462161

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Joseph
    I dispute that
    It’s a modern romanticized Zach
    With no source in Halacha
    Disprove that

    #1462273

    Joseph
    Participant

    HaGaon HaRav Elimelech Bluth shlita, a talmid muvik of Rav Moshe, says in the name of Rav Moshe that before the war engaged couples did *not meet at all*, and that the current minhag of them only not meeting during the last week of the engagement is a new kula that developed due to yeridos hadoros.

    Nisuin Kehilchaso mentions the minhag of a Choson and Kallah not seeing each other from the conclusion of the shidduch until the Chupa. His sources include Shu”t Maharshdam, Pele Yoetz and Elah Hamitzvos. The minhag of not seeing each other after the engagement is recorded to have existed in many communities at least dating as far back as 1228 and in Yerushalayim in 1730.

    Rav Shach and Rav Shternbuch have said that engaged couples today should not meet more than once every three or four weeks. Rav Elyashiv ruled that during the seven days before the wedding the Choson and Kallah should neither see each other nor speak on the telephone.

    The three children of Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky did not see their future spouses the week before the wedding. And a fourth, Rav Avraham Kamenetsky, reported that when he asked his father about speaking to his kallah on the phone during the week before his wedding, he was advised against it.

    #1462850

    Joseph
    Participant

    mentch1, Do you retract calling it a modern romanticized made-up minhag or would you rather dispute Rav Shach, Rav Moshe, Rav Elyashiv, Rav Shternbuch, Rav Yaakov and the aforementioned Seforim HaKedoshim?

    #1462864

    BaltimoreMaven
    Participant

    “The Little I Know” indeed knows very little.
    Demeaning the minhogim of Chassidim – in crass, rude terminology – reveals that TLIK is a bor. In the CR, TLIK is a bor bi’rishus Harabbim. I don’t envy it’s oilam Habah.

    #1462873

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Mods, I try not to question your ways, but why did BaltimoreMaven’s last post on this thread get through moderation?

    TLIK is generally not someone easily insulted and can usually defend his position. If he believes I erred, I will be happy to delete.

    #1462885

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Joseph
    I retract my previous post
    That said
    As I mentioned, my position was due to seeing a magid shiur in a large yeshiva do so.

    #1462903

    The little I know
    Participant

    BaltimoreMaven:

    I debated whether to respond. I voted not to do so. My comment stands for itself. I reviewed it, and I have no reason why to defend it or qualify it. Mod is correct. I am not the least insulted. You may disagree, and I have no problem hearing your point. As for the ad hominem, I do not direct my life in a popularity contest. Plus the anonymity of a screen name is an excellent camouflage.

    Meanwhile, I attend quite a few weddings, both chassidishe and litvishe. Each has its nice points, and each has its detractors. The OP is correct in noting that the weddings often are too long. This often involves being too costly. One of my weddings (my children’s) was in a hall that had takanos that were quite strict. The musician, singer, badchan, and photographers collected similar pay, and did not lose out from the simcha ending a few hours earlier. We saved on the catering, and coming home at a more decent hour made the simcha more enjoyable. I actually found davening with a minyan the following morning much easier.

    #1463107

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Joseph, it’s a minhag, not halacha. Until 150 years ago it wasn’t an issue:
    A. No telephones
    B. No easy transportation between shtetls, especially when they lived more than 20 miles apart.

    #1463086

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Baltimoremaven, I looked at tlik’s comment and I don’t see the problem
    If you are that easily insulted because not everyone liked your minhagim, then that’s your issue.

    #1463182

    Joseph
    Participant

    LC, did you look inside? The Seforim HaKedoshim say they shouldn’t see each other even if they’re in the same town and close by.

    #1463234

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Joseph, you’re pulling psaks out of context. First of all. Do uou follow all of the psaks of those sfarim or just this one. Second, do you know anyone who holds like Rav Shach that they should not meet more than once in a month?

    #1463353

    eman
    Participant

    At son #1’s wedding, the photographer was told to only take family pictures before the chaunah. After the Yichud room, I walk in the where the pictures are taken and see the kallahs family taking the same pictures they took 3 hours earlier with the chosson present. When the photographer gave me the prints, I told him that my other3 sons will be using a different photographer. They did and the photographer knew what to do.

    #1463595

    BaltimoreMaven
    Participant

    Question isn’t how my post was allowed. It’s how this was allowed: “chassidishe chasunahs … ritual … drone on … no one listening…”

    TLIK wasn’t paying attention to the Chosson weeping and doing Teshuva – which is very much the point and if it takes 5 or 10 or 20 minutes – so what? We are human not robots.

    How about this ad hominum attack on a Heilige minhag:

    “MItzvah tantz … drone on… eulogies.”. This is OK?

    ” I fail to see this as meaningful at all.”. OK so you are unlearned- instead-of learning you trash others.

    “obscene … cavorting as if engaged in some exalted exercise …”

    Then the last paragraph doesn’t qualify itself as being applicable to non-Chassidishe chasunahs, which is false and misleading.

    If someone doesn’t understand or appreciate something then maybe the problem is with them. My point is – why make fun or be hurtful?

    #1463915

    The little I know
    Participant

    BaltimoreMaven:

    Your last comment is laughable. Perhaps another few words will help. Maybe not. I will not keep trying to explain myself, and really do not feel a need to do so. But her’s another try.

    I will not divulge much about myself, but I am among those that strongly believes that a wedding is an incredibly important experience, most for the chosson-kallah, secondarily the parents and family, and next to other friends and family who partake of the simcha. It is (hopefully for the chosson-kallah) a once in a lifetime experience, and it has gigantic spiritual significance. That is very real, and not just a nice painting. The minhagim that are followed at simchos, each faction of Yiddishkeit as per their heritage, are truly holy, and connect today with the generations that preceded us. I am not in any way mocking or belittling a minhag. I have witnessed some minhagim that were novel, even strange to me, and I maintain the deepest respect for them. None of that is the issue here. I just addressed the ideal, and a goal of every chasunah. My complaint concerns the actual, which fails too often to approach the ideal.

    I have paid attention to the Chosson sitting opposite the badchan. It is the rare exception that this environment involves the chosson crying and doing teshuvah. Mostly, they are noticing who enters, particularly close family and rabbonim, and accepting the wishes of mazel tov. That is not a bad thing. But they are distracted much of the time from the solemn experience that the minhag tries to establish. The length of time is an important factor. The words טירחא דציבורא refer to a reason to be מבטל certain things so as to not impose the time passage on others. Those words are as relevant to the simcha as to the shul.

    Please look up the words ad hominem. They do not apply to a minhag. And I do not trash minhagim, just the practice of them when they are conducted in a manner that defies the purpose.

    Mitzvah tantz – This is indeed a heilige mitzvah, and has become a serious problem. The process of badchanus has departed from the small ritual to the level of a professional performance. Calling up someone for the honor was once something that occupied a few minutes at the longest. Now, it can easily extend to a half hour. The content of recounting the lives of everyone, from the parents, grandparents, and converting a time of serious simcha to sadness is not what the minhag once was. It evolved into this. The honoree at mitzvah tantz years ago would dance for a brief time in front of the kallah. No longer. The tantz itself can lest several minutes. When a rebbe does this, I would hope and expect that there are heilige kavonos. But when every “Tom, Dick, and Harry” does this, we are observing something very different. Each honoree is now a public performer. That was not the minhag.

    I am not trashing anybody. I am just pointing out that the minhagim of yesteryear have grown into something else. This something else takes an awfully long time. I may choose to spend my time doing whatever I wish. But I do not own the time of others. Making them stay up at my simchos because of today’s version of “minhagim” is direct conflict with my understanding of טירחא דציבורא.

    I am not making fum or trashing. I would hope that the message that simcha is an emotion that bursts forth in a manner that follows tradition and heritage (and kal vachomer halacha). The trends we are observing are problematic, and deviate from what our heilige zeides and rebbeim established.

    You may disagree if you wish. I do not intend to continue this debate.

    #1463977

    BaltimoreMaven
    Participant

    I’m glad to see that TLIK has become more polite, issued a semi-retraction and admitted the deep and holy sources of the Chassidishe minhogim. Whether the original language used was trash talk or not can be debated but I see we are heading in the right direction. I actually agree that many things are shlepped out too long and I’m happy to end this conversation. My comments were never aimed at TLIK but rather for the benefit of the CR oilom for balance. Looking forward to Adar and it’s Brocha for the Yidden.

    #1466618

    out of town yid
    Participant

    A number of years ago, I was heavily involved with chasunah bands. I would be present at about a 100 a year. I was part of some chasunahs that for reasons unknown to us were delayed quite a bit. At some, there was a wait for some varied people to arrive. In the summer, a wait was common, as they were often waiting for past dark to start a ceremony. Here and there it was reported that a mistake was made on the kesubah, and it had to be rewritten. I was at some events where there were unfortunate medical emergencies that caused delays.

    At one crazy affair, all began about noon…..with a FIRST cocktail hour, then string quartets played for quite a while.Later, about 4 or 5 pm, there was a SECOND cocktail hour, the affair was now on time… .but… after a so called final late dance session, the band was asked to stay and play another two hours. I arrived at noon, left about 1 AM…..

    Back in the day, there was a very strict curfew in Lakewood….and the band was silent at 11 pm. The chasunah broke up shortly thereafter. If there was a mitzvah tantz, it was very short, and quiet.

    Some mitzvah tantzs went on and on…. I remember one that lasted about 4 or more hours. As only close family was there, no one cared. As a few of the band members had to stay, to play a bit here and there, I finally left….after it was already light outside.

    At a large affair once, all was on video and also separately recorded. There were many delays and it ran extremely late. There were multiple video and audio crews everywhere all night, calling the shots.

    But….one affair I was present at, there was a quite short night, all was over well before 10 pm. It was a Russian affair, with a very small crowd attending. There were perhaps 40 guests in attendance.

    Overall, most affairs were in the whole rather on time, maybe a few minutes off the schedule.

    #1466798

    The little I know
    Participant

    BaltimoreMaven:

    I follow the same minhagim I addressed in my comments, and I struggle to insure that they achieve what they are intended for and not a pressure and imposition for others. I claim moderate success, having failed to keep things short and sweet.

    I am still of the firm belief that what occurs today is only photographically similar to what the original minhagim were, and that we have progressed greatly in the image of it. It is tough to look for a single factor to blame, the musicians, singers, badchanim, caterers, photographers, guests, etc. What does seem to cover all these bases to some degree is that we have swerved to the chitzoniyus and away from the pnimiyus, which lends undue importance to the trivial and trivializes the real stuff.

    I never challenged the sources of these minhagim. I cherish them myself. I am horrified when I see the stark contrast between what they were established to be and what they have become. I retracted nothing, and I do not think i was short on politeness.

    #1466808

    yitzchokm
    Participant

    The minhag against groom meeting the bride, frivolous, right before the cuppah? Nonsense

    The minhag of taking thousands of pictures of the groom and bride? Torah M’Sinai

    Got it?

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