Nobody will have a good time at our wedding. This is what a bride told me when she and her groom to be came to visit me to see if I would be a good fit for officiating at the wedding. Both the bride and groom are in Alcoholics Anonymous, and they made the decision to have a dry, alcohol free wedding. First, they thought that they would just abstain from alcohol served at their wedding. But then they reconsidered, and felt that the right thing to do was to not have any alcohol served at all not just for themselves, but many of their guests are in the program as well. Both of them have battled substance-abuse issues for years and they’re doing their best one day at a time to stay sober. I explained to them that anyone who attends their wedding will be so wrapped up in the joy and beauty and the love between the two of them and what you eat or drink at a wedding really doesn’t matter. People can go one evening without alcohol and still have a fantastic time at the wedding. I even suggested if you want to have beverages beyond juice and pop, they could consider mocktails, which have gained so much popularity, and can be so flavorful and incredible. Recently, I had a Mojito Mocktail that was infused with such flavor. It was so memorable and flavorful. The bride and groom agreed after I shared that with him, that people will still have a fantastic time at their Jewish wedding ceremony. You see when couples come to me, Cantor Ben, I don’t just talk about the parts of the wedding ceremony and the customizable pieces like the walking around the groom, the seven blessings, the opportunity to share personalized comments with me that I’ll present on their behalf during the ceremony. We also talk about real life issues and things that come up such as how two people who are in a program still have a fantastic wedding and our reassured that their guests will also have a wonderful time.
Planning a wedding sure can be stressful. There’s no doubt about it especially when in laws sometimes get involved lol, but my job as a Cantor, who helps brides and grooms navigate a wedding is to help make the wedding planning process as calm and stress-free as possible. I am not an event planner and I don’t even play one on TV , but I have officiated many many weddings, and I’ve learned a lot from the greatest wedding event planners on the planet, and I also have good intuition and I am so happy to be able to pass this on to Brides and Grooms so they come to meet with me to see if I would be a suitable person to officiate their weddings. This couple ended up hiring me to officiate their wedding and while I did not stay for the reception afterwards, I did get a beautiful email from the couple, thanking me that their wedding was spectacular even in the absence of alcohol. The love was palpable, the music, the dancing the food, and the mocktails, were enjoyed by all. You do not need alcohol to have a good time.