Working with Rabbi Sarah before your Wedding

Mazal tov on your upcoming wedding!

If you are interested in having Rabbi Sarah officiate your wedding, please contact her to schedule an initial consultation in which she will share more information with you about the process and answer questions. 

If you are working with Rabbi Sarah as your officiant, please download and complete this WeddingWorksheet – Rabbi Sarah Tasman and email it back by your second meeting. For your third meeting with Rabbi Sarah, please complete these Wedding Questions – Rabbi Sarah Tasman individually and email them back.

If you’re starting to plan your wedding, here are some resources that I recommend to couples in the initial meeting:

Where to start:

1. Get a copy of The New Jewish Wedding by Anita Diamant. This is a great book for any couple interested in learning about the rituals of the Jewish wedding ceremony, and includes easy to understand explanations, as well alternative translations and ideas, and how to adapt components of the ceremony for interfaith couples or less traditional couples. 

2. If you’re interested in learning more about Jewish engagement rituals and pre-wedding preparation, get a copy of the book Meeting at the Well by Rabbi Dan Judson and Nancy Wiener.

3. If you’re part of an family from different backgrounds, I highly recommend interfaithfamily.com. It’s great resource for Interfaith families, information about life cycle, holidays, and has a special guide for interfaith weddings and interfaith wedding booklets you can download.

4. If you know you are looking for more creative, alternative rituals and readings for preparing for the wedding or for the wedding itself, please visit RitualWell.org. This is a lovely website which has many beautiful resources and sample ceremonies for weddings and other lifecycle and holidays as well.

5. If you are looking online for resources to help give you some background information, myjewishlearning.com is a great site with information about every topic in Judaism, contributors from all Jewish backgrounds.

Wedding Document Options:

1. Ketubah – Most common wedding document. Most Ketubah websites have many options for texts and also the option to write your own. They range in artistic style, text, and price. Here are a few websites that have sample texts available to view. Some websites like www.ketubah.com allow you to buy a plain ketubah with just the text if you want to have another artist decorate it. 

Here are other Ketubah sites I like:  Etsy   Ketubahgraphia     Newketubah     Gallery Judaica

Most sites and artists with either have many options of texts to choose from or allow you to write your own text. Please check with Rabbi Sarah before you have your printed to confirm all of the information is correct.

2. Brit Ahuvim – Egalitarian Lovers Covenant / Partnership Document

Brit Ahuvim is an ancient egalitarian Jewish partnership ritual which has seen a modern comeback thanks to Rachel Adler, professor at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. This ritual involves places significant objects in a bag (which you describe) and then both lifting the bag to show you are acquiring the relationship (rather than the other person, as you do in a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony). There is also a Brit Ahuvim document that serves as wedding contract (similar to the ketubah).  This can be used for same sex couples or any couple.

3. Te’naimConditions/Intentions for the marriage

A separate document from the ketubah, the Te’naim document states the intentions and values for the marriage, often including quotes and verses. It is read and signed before the wedding, and the ceremony included the breaking of the plate by the mothers of the wedding couple. The Te’naim document allows couples more creativity and personalization not always included in traditional ketubot. Nowadays there are many more options for the Ketubah texts, including alternative texts that contain the Te’naim sentiments, eliminating a need for second document. If you’re interested in having a Te’naim document or ceremony as an engagement ritual prior to the wedding in addition to a ketubah signing, please let Rabbi Sarah know.