Weddings are an extremely cultural thing. Every religion has its shtick, and every country also has its own customs. Now, American weddings are normal for me, but obviously to someone from India or Morocco it’s quite different. And especially it’s different than someone in Israel. Add to that the fact that I’m from New York, a place that’s even fancier than a typical American wedding somewhere else in the world. So, coming to Israel and going to Israeli weddings was a big shock for me.
I’ll tell you about the differences, in no particular order. Now, for most of them it might sound like I’m complaining or being hard on Israeli weddings. That’s not my intention at all, but honestly, it’s hard to adjust from something that you’ve spent your whole life getting used to. So, one of the main differences is that at Israeli weddings it’s common for people to wear jeans. Now, I would NEVER ever even consider wearing jeans to any sort of wedding ever ever. Can you even imagine?? Well, if you’re Israeli then you probably can! I mean, it sounds kind of crazy and ridiculous to me, but that’s what they do. Smoking is also a lot more common in Israeli culture than it is in American culture. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself at an Israeli wedding and the person next to you is smoking up a storm. I personally hate this phenomenon, as t he smell takes over and can get sensitive people sick. Go outside if you must, but even this seems to be not classy. But alas, it is an Israeli wedding you’re at, so prepare yourself ahead of time.
Israeli weddings also don’t have bridesmaids. This is a strictly American phenomenon, and honestly I wouldn’t mind doing without bridesmaids a little more often. They take forever to walk down the aisle, and everyone is obligated to buy a fancy dress. As long as you have good friends there with you on your wedding day and you have someone to host a bridal shower and bachelorette party for you, you don’t need the official titles. Which brings me to bridal showers. They’re not a thing in Israel! Some people do something called a mitpachat party, where guests bring the bride scarves and other head coverings to wear once she’s married. They’ll practice tying their hair and making pretty designs, but that’s about it. I feel that brides lose out with this type of party, as a bridal shower usually yields more expensive gifts for the couple. And speaking of gifts, registries are much less of a thing here. There are a couple of stores that offer them, but essentially it’s nonexistent. That’s because in Israeli culture it’s much more common for couples to cover their own wedding expenses instead of having their parents pay for the wedding. So, people tend to give money at the wedding as a gift in order to cover their own plate and reimburse the bride and groom as they begin their life together.