Newly revised and updated, the definitive guide to planning a Jewish wedding, written by bestselling novelist Anita Diamant—author of The Red Tent and The Boston Girl—and one of the most respected writers of guides to contemporary Jewish life.
This complete, easy-to-use guide explains everything you need to know to plan your own Jewish wedding in today’s ever-changing world where the very definition of what constitutes a Jewish wedding is up for discussion.
With enthusiasm and flair, Anita Diamant provides choices for every stage of a wedding—including celebrations before and after the ceremony itself—providing both traditional and contemporary options. She explains the Jewish tradition of love and marriage with references drawn from Biblical, Talmudic, and mystical texts and stories. She guides you step by step through planning the ceremony and the party that follows—from finding a rabbi and wording the invitation to organizing a processional and hiring a caterer. Samples of wedding invitations and ketubot (marriage contracts) are provided for inspiration and guidance, as well as poems that can be incorporated into the wedding ceremony or party and a variety of translations of traditional texts.
“There is no such thing as a generic Jewish wedding,” writes Anita Diamant, “no matter what the rabbi tells you, no matter what the caterer tells you, no matter what your mother tells you.” Complete, authoritative, and indispensable, The Jewish Wedding Now provides personalized options—some new, some old—to create a wedding that combines spiritual meaning and joyous celebration and reflects your individual values and beliefs.
Anita Diamant is the bestselling author of the novels The Boston Girl, The Red Tent, Good Harbor,The Last Days of Dogtown, and Day After Night, and the collection of essays, Pitching My Tent. An award-winning journalist whose work appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine and Parenting, she is the author of six nonfiction guides to contemporary Jewish life. She lives in Massachusetts. Visit her website at AnitaDiamant.com.
“No two weddings are alike, and in The Jewish Wedding Now Anita Diamant has spot-on advice for every couple -- from the most traditional to the most cutting edge. Whether your wedding is interfaith, LGBTQ, very observant or just Jewish, she will walk you through every step of this emotionally fraught, ritually complex and spiritually fertile life-cycle moment. Without judging what couples should choose or avoid, Diamant explains, teaches, describes and inspires.”
– Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president Union for Reform Judaism
“I have recommended Anita Diamant’s earlier editions of The Jewish Wedding Now to countless couples I’ve married for 25 years. This newest edition is in many ways more a new book than just an update. Diamant takes on the realities of Jewish life as it really is - with depth and sensitivity. LGBTQ, multifaith, Jews of color are present in the fullness of who we are – not only as apologetic add-ons. Issues of complicated family structures at weddings are confronted directly. Divorce is a an acknowledged reality in our communities and families. Kudos to Anita Diamant! This book will serve the Jewish community – as we truly are – well!”
– Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, D.D.
I know you. You wish you already knew someone who would explain what’s what in Jewish wedding land. Someone who loves the gorgeous Jewish tradition and all that it offers. Someone who also gets that the modern world is actually a tremendous asset. Someone who has good taste and isn’t afraid to say it like it is. Well, your wish came true. Anita Diamant is that person and Jewish Wedding Now is all you need. I pray all your wedding dramas get resolved so easily.
– Noa Kushner, Founding Rabbi of The Kitchen, a religious start-up in San Francisco
Anita Diamant has given us a gift with The Jewish Wedding Now, which refreshingly offers us depth, inclusivity, and accessibility. This is a must read for Jewish couples planning their special day to be cherished forever!
– Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, Founder & President, Uri L'Tzedek: Orthodox Social Justice
This revised version of a beloved classic offers an accessible, diverse, and sensitive guide for Jews who love and those who love them to create meaningful weddings and marriages. It's not just a book about love, it's a book about making love and life matter more in a fast changing world.
– Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, Founder of Lab/Shul, New York www.labshul.org
The Jewish Wedding Now is a precious resource, revealing the spiritual gifts of Jewish wedding traditions to a wider community of loving partners and ritual practitioners. LGBTQ families and interfaith families should be embraced by Jewish tradition, and Anita Diamant's words (and heart) open the door to Jewish wisdom as wide as it was always meant to be. With this new gift from one of the world's most eloquent, sensitive teachers, a couple's celebration might end up transforming the entire world. To couples hoping to create a meaningful wedding, individual spiritual seekers, and ritual facilitators of every variety, I cannot recommend The Jewish Wedding Now highly enough!
– Rabbi Menachem Creditor, Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley, CA
"...a very helpful framework for couples who want to honor tradition with contemporary values. Diamant offers advice about choosing a rabbi, cantor, or other officiant; scheduling; and creating meaningful vows."
" [Diamant] urges couples to strive for authenticity by creating a ceremony that blends innovation with the traditional Jewish legal requirements. And she makes it easy for them to do so, with a soup-to-nuts description of all the steps on the path to the chuppah that will be accessible to even those with minimal familiarity with the rituals.”
– Publisher's Weekly
“Practical and inspiring…the single best gift that you could give to anyone contemplating or planning a Jewish wedding…But the book is not just for the betrothed. The Jewish Wedding Now offers a surprising new look at an ancient rite for every curious reader.”