My fiance and I had Walt Disney World’s list of recommended rabbi, clergy and officiants for four months now. It sat in my inbox, and his, tagged and starred. It was clear and simple to read, there was really no room for error. So why we were suddenly scrambling to find a rabbi with just over three months to go, I have no idea.
Call it procrastination: we had waiting until the final possible minute to contact the two rabbis listed on Disney’s preferred list and they did not have good news for us. One rabbi listed his price at three times my list of clergymen; the other was booked for our wedding day. Not able to afford the high price of the first rabbi, we set out on a mission to hunt down any and all Jewish people in the Orlando area for a new list of preferred rabbi; one who would officiate with my chosen priest and who would join us for some Disney World fun.
Two weeks and several awkward phone calls down, we had one. He wanted us both on the phone to go few a through things. And here are some things I learned in the priest 20-minute conversation.
- Many rabbis and priest will not do interfaith weddings, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reach out. It was a rabbi who initially declined us who helped us track down our current selection within his awesome Jewish Batman email network.
- You might need to get an additional license. The Ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract of sorts. It’s apparently a very expensive piece of well-decorated parchment paper that stands for your contract of marriage and many rabbis take it seriously.
- You might be able to get your marriage license ahead of time. Check with your priest, rabbi, planner, or the city hall in your chosen location for rules and regulations. Some allow apply by mail, some require you in person, and still others create time limits before and after ceremonies and life events.
- Be prepared to connect your rabbi and priest beforehand. Both of ours requested to be in contact with each other and I think it’s a great idea. It leaves for no surprised (of what sort, I don’t know) on your wedding day and many destination weddings aren’t given a rehearsal.
- You’ll need to be flexible. After the initial phone call with our new rabbi I learned that we had to be sensitive in the ceremony wording and vows. While all mentions of a higher God of some sort are okay, it’s insensitive to wear your “I LOVE JESUS, HE’S AWESOME” t-shirt to your wedding, should you be a Christian. So that Jesus doesn’t think I’m denouncing him, I can’t wait to slap my “YAY JESUS CHRISTMAS!” stamps on our itineraries and follow-up invites.
- Finally, don’t leave the front door closed when you’re on the phone with your rabbi and the Chinese delivery guy is on his way. It’s just awkward to explain to the rabbit that yes, you’re listening, but the dim sum just arrived.