Yichud Jewish wedding tradition

Yichud Jewish wedding tradition

Yichud Jewish wedding tradition

A Jewish wedding tradition you can use at your non-religious wedding. Photo by Amy Wilton Photography

A Jewish wedding tradition you can use at your non-religious wedding. Photo by Amy Wilton Photography

When I was planning my wedding, way before I became a professional wedding officiant, I read tons of books (yes, I got married so long ago that there were no wedding blogs yet <gasp>) about different traditional elements to a wedding. I was particularly drawn to many of the Jewish traditions. My grandmother was Jewish and that makes my father Jewish. However, they never went to synagogue or really practiced any of the tenets of the faith, so technically I’m not jewish at all. But as I said, I was drawn to some of the Jewish wedding traditions. 

What is the Yichud?

One tradition in particular that I thought sounded appealing, was the Yichud. the Jewish Book of Why describes it like this: 

This word means “seclusion,” and it’s a totally private affair. Immediately after the [wedding] ceremony, the couple retreats to a private room for 15 minutes of staring into each other’s eyes. in the past, bride and groom would head to a nearby tent to consummate the marriage! This isn’t done much these days, but it is customary for newlyweds to seize a Yichud moment and feed each other a bite of something.

Private Moment

The idea of having a few private moments with my husband before joining the party seemed like such a romantic idea. So this is what we did. We had someone set up two chairs and a small bistro table with a chilled 1/2 bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne on it. This was all set up on a small Point jutting into the river. From the Point we could look back at the party, which allowed us to have a moment of reflection. 

Immediately after the ceremony, I took off my (fabulous, gorgeous) wedding shoes and put on some sneakers so we could walk down the path through the woods to “Wedding Point.” (We got married at my parents’ house so we all refer to it as Wedding Point now.)

You know what? It was romantic! Nick popped the cork on the champagne and we watched our guests enjoying the cocktail hour. Our photographer followed us out there and took a few photos, and then we all went back and joined the party.

I would highly recommend finding a way to incorporate a moment for just the two of your right after your wedding ceremony, especially if you’ve invited 100+ guests. It’s all going to zoom by so quickly you might look back with regret that you didn’t take a deep breath and look into your sweetheart’s eyes and acknowledge the significant moment you just shared.  

All photos by Amy Wilton Photography

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