No two couples are alike and their wedding ceremony marks the beginning of a new and unique family.  For over 25 years, Rabbi Disick has always taken great care to individuate the moment a couple marks the beginning of their married life.  Typically, no fewer than three preparatory meetings are involved at his Greenwich CT office.   He prefers to involve family members and makes liberal use of heirlooms whose stories can inform the ceremony by connecting those under the Chuppah with their family's history.  His is a relaxed and calming style, and brings both humor and gravitas to the ceremony as the moment demands.  Here he describes his work with couples: 

With each couple, I aim to create a truly personalized Jewish ceremony which feels both traditional and progressive.  But personalizing requires work.  Remember, it is through the people and things you surround yourselves with that your wedding service becomes a reflection of a your unique chemistry.

I take pride in meeting with each couple at least three times at a minimum.  When schedules  or distance makes it impossible to meet personally, Skype has provided an acceptable alternative

Our tradition requires that your guests celebrate your wedding with full hearts.  I make it my personal responsibility to assure that your ceremony ignites an amazing party, one whose memory will always bring a smile to your face.

At the beginning of our work together I urge couples to purchase and read Anita Diamant’s accessible and easily available The New Jewish Wedding.  Written in 1986 and revised in 2001, it remains my favorite of the Jewish wedding books out there because each chapter stands on its own making it easy for any reader to start the book wherever she may wish.

Before our first meeting, I’ll ask you to both read through and make note of what you find interesting in Diamant.  Be inclusive.  For now, edit in.  We’ll edit out later.  Think about the following before our first meeting:

  • What do like among the Ketubah’s you’ve looked at?
  • Is there a member of the family who has a special talent, one we might be able to integrate into your celebration?   Think broadly, you never know.
  • Who will be your oldest guests?  How might we show them honor?
  • What are your families’ cherished ritual objects?  How might we integrate them into your ceremony?
  • What ritual objects will you need for your new home?  Might there be someone from whom you would especially like to receive: a Mezuzah for your new home or bedroom, Shabbat Candlesticks, Kiddush Cup, Challah Board, Challah Cover
  • Does the groom or bride own a Tallit?
  • Many families have fractures, old hurts, divorces, baggage.  It’s important for me to know about those issues so I don’t put my foot in my mouth.
  • Some couples like to offer original words to one another along with the vows.
  • How can we integrate the sacred memory of deceased and loved parents or grandparents into the ceremony without making it feel like a memorial service?
  • Lots of couples enjoy the participation of family and friends in the service itself, usually through offering an English or Hebrew reading, one I would work to select with you.  Done well, it does not lengthen the service.  We would work together to discover what fits.  The Seven Blessings offers a good opportunity here, one blessing for each reader or pair of readers.
  • The Chuppah provides a participation opportunity as well.  Instead of a floral Chuppah, a simple Tallit atop four polls, perhaps with some Baby’s Breath garland, brought in at the head of the procession by four participants, offers a beautiful alternative.
  • Lots of couples have already focused energy on a Tzedakah, a charitable cause.  Perhaps there is a cause that you as a couple would like to support, in either deed or dollars, in advance of your ceremony?  Perhaps there’s a special reason why that Tzedakah speaks to you.
  • Who will not be able to come to your ceremony?  Who will you miss most at your ceremony?  These absences, for whatever the reason, are often deeply felt by brides and grooms.  It’s important for me to learn about them if for no other reason than the comfort that comes because you know that I know.  Never underestimate the burden-lifting power of sharing what weighs down our hearts.

This should get you started and give you a sense of how we’ll build your wedding ceremony.

If you’re reading this, your wedding train has long left the station.  

As Maurice Sendak, the writer of Where the Wild Things Are wrote:  Let the wild rumpus start!

With lots of Mazal,

Rabbi Marc L. Disick  DD