Bridesmaids and groomsmen have become a staple at many weddings nowadays. These are a team of coordinated individuals who accompany the bride and groom on their wedding day as part of the ceremony. Religious leaders officiate many weddings, and the bride and groom opt to have the bridesmaids and groomsmen by their side. Jewish weddings have slight differences from other weddings, but you will find bridesmaids and groomsmen in them.
Do Jewish weddings have Bridesmaids and Groomsmen? It is a common sight to see bridesmaids and groomsmen taking part in Jewish weddings. Depending on the wedding’s size, the bride and groom will decide the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen they will have at their wedding. The primary role of bridesmaids and groomsmen is to help in the planning and execution of the wedding.
Bridesmaids and groomsmen are an essential part of a Jewish wedding. Read on to see some of the roles they carry out during planning and the day of the wedding, and the specific duties of the best man.
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen in Jewish Weddings
The wedding is usually a happy event for the bride and groom, and they typically want to share it with people close to them, such as family and friends. The bride will pick some of her close friends and family members to be her bridesmaids, and the groom will do the same in choosing his groomsmen.
These are some of the roles that bridesmaids and groomsmen have:
The main reason behind having bridesmaids and groomsmen is simply to offer support to the bride and groom as they prepare for their wedding day. Weddings require a lot of planning, and without support, the bride and groom may find it difficult to ensure everything goes well during the wedding. A Jewish wedding has two different stages and several events, and they definitely would need support to plan their wedding day.
Attending All Wedding Events
The bridesmaids and groomsmen have to attend all the events leading to the wedding day. The Jewish wedding begins with a special reception known as the “Kabbalat panim” to honor the groom and his bride. These events are held separately because the bride and groom cannot see each other for a week before the wedding. The bridesmaids and groomsmen have to attend these events, ensuring they go on without any hitch while wishing the bride and groom Mazel Tov.
Assisting the Best Man and Maid of Honor
Planning a wedding is not an easy task, as it involves a lot of planning and coordination. One has to be in constant communication with different parties while organizing the wedding. The best man and maid of honor can delegate some of their duties to the bridesmaids and groomsmen, for example, making arrangements on where out of town family members and friends will stay after the wedding reception.
In the old days, bridesmaids and groomsmen originally served as protection against evil presences. The bride and groom had to count on them to protect them from jealous suitors who may try to harm the newlyweds. Hence it is fitting that this tradition keeps ongoing despite the fact that the roles have changed significantly.
Do Jewish Weddings Have a Best Man?
Jewish weddings have a best man who is commonly referred to as a “Shomer.” Shomer means to guard or watch. The groom usually picks a person so close to them, a person who would be a pleasure to have at hand at all times. The most significant role a Shomer has is to make sure that the groom has a worry-free journey to his wedding day. There are other roles that the best man has, they include;
Holding The Wedding Wing
Wedding rings are a crucial part of the wedding. The best man will keep the wedding ring in his possession until they are required during the ceremony as the bride and groom are married.
Responsible for The Ketubah
A Ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract; it is an integral part of the wedding and contains the rights and responsibilities of the groom in relation to the bride. Before the groom enters the wedding hall, the best has to ensure that he has the Ketubah. He shall keep it in a secure place during the wedding and give it to the bride to take it home after the wedding reception is over.
Witness for The Ketubah
During the wedding, there will be a need for witnesses for the Ketubah. If the best man is qualified to be a witness, he can also play the role of the Ketubah witness.
Master of Ceremonies
The best man can also be a master of ceremonies during the wedding. The groom will need a master of ceremonies to announce the people that shall be honored to recite the blessings over the cup of wine. The groom can pick the best man to execute this role.
Toasting The Bride and Groom
At the wedding, it is customary to have a toast in honor of the bride and groom tying the knot. The best man can toast to the groom and his bride at the wedding reception and saying l’chaim.
Giving Company to The Groom
The groom is not allowed to be alone in a few days before the wedding day. The best man has to be with the groom before the wedding day. Accompany him wherever he goes except when he is attending to private matters. This ensures that the best man is there for the groom whenever he needs him to do something.
Attend to All Matters Relating to The Wedding
The prominent role of the best man is to ensure that the groom does not worry about anything and only thinks about getting married. The budget, Ketubah, wedding ring, glass, among others, are to be handled by the best man. He has to make several critical decisions by himself without asking the groom.
Coordinate with The Maid of Honor
It is essential to coordinate with the maid of honor in regard to the wedding. The maid of honor, also known as the “Shomeret,” takes good care of the bride. Her tasks are quite similar to those of the best man, though she may delegate some duties to the bridesmaids. Hence the best man and the maid of honor must coordinate in planning the wedding to ensure that everything is in order.
It may seem like a lot of work for the best man, which it is, but the commitment of the best man to the groom shows he has someone to lean on during such times. It is one of the most incredible wedding gifts that the best man can give to the groom.
The bride and groom need to have bridesmaids and groomsmen at their wedding. They help a lot in planning and ensuring the wedding goes on without any hitch. It is also the right way of introducing some of their close friends to their families. A Jewish wedding is a spiritual event that requires help from many people, which is why most Jewish weddings have bridesmaids and groomsmen.
It is established that the best man plays a crucial role in a Jewish wedding. The Shomer offers spiritual support to the groom as he takes his journey into married life. The groom has to concentrate on his bride and the wedding. The best man comes in to take all the pressure from the groom, allowing him to go to his wedding without any worry.