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    Jeffrey Mushens

    Oh no! My daughter is getting married in August in her college chapel and I thought £16,000 was a lot. I'm a cheap-skate! I'll die of shame!


    Do you still have that wierd custom in England that the parents of the bride pay for everything? Because here in Israel the costs are shared. When my sons got married, we split the core costs (close family, flowers, music etc.) and then each side paid a fixed sum for each person they invited.


    When Bish and I decided to tie the knot, we had a certain amount with which to buy an apartment and for the wedding. The more lavish the wedding we had, the less we would have for living accomodations for the rest of our lives. So we economized.

    We got married in the garden of Bish's aunt. Her daughter did the flowers (which she brought with her from her moshav down south). Another cousin was photographer. We got a cheap rate for a string trio + clarinet, because the clarinet player was a friend of mine from university. Bish's fourteen year-old cousin DJ-ed the dancing afterwards. The catered food was dairy.

    My dress was second hand and cost about ten percent of what wedding dresses cost at the time. It was very petite (as I was myself at the time) and they hadn't been able to get rid of it, so they'd been marking down the price.

    Oh, and the ring, which we nearly forgot, cost thirteen shekels, bought on the morning of the wedding. I love it dearly, cheap as it was. I'm still wearing it now, as I type. I'm told it isn't kosher, for some reason, but the Rabbi didn't seem to mind.

    I have a theory that the less a couple (and parents) spends on the wedding, the better the marriage will be. Hey, it worked for us. And we have the apartment to show for it.

    By the way, our lawyer maintains to this day that it was the loveliest wedding he's ever been to. Then again, he's a lawyer.


    Hey, it worked for us.

    Tfu tfu tfu.


    Yes, we do still have the custom in UK Jewish weddings that the bride's family pays for almost everything. And the expectations of what the event includes are much grander compared with Israeli equivalents. I really like the idea of weddings like yours, Imshin. I also have friends whose daughter had a wonderful under-the-stars wedding on a rooftop in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. The young people insisted on no caterer, and the food was hummus and pitta plus soup. Sounds perfect to me, but no-one in England would ever do that.


    I met my husband on ulpan. I felt rather guilty for making my parents come to Israel for my wedding, because that meant flights and hotel for themselves and my brothers.

    But my Dad said that even with that, it still worked out cheaper than an English wedding would have been. And we had nearly 200 guests and had a fabulous, fun time.

    Almost exactly 27 years ago.

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