On the assumption that you have logged on to this site because you have a wedding on the horizon, may we take this opportunity of wishing you and your family a hearty Mazal Tov. We hope that all your plans and arrangements will proceed smoothly and joyously.
Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen has been conducting beautiful marriage services for over forty years, at the synagogues where he was a Minister - Hampstead Garden Suburb, Newton Mearns (Glasgow), Kenton, and the Stanmore & Canons Park Synagogues – as well as at almost every other United Synagogue venue, and at countless fashionable hotels and venues all over London.
He will be delighted to make this service available to you for your wonderful occasion.
Rabbi Cohen will not compromise the authority and prerogative of a family’s own rabbi. He will be happy to officiate in the following situations:
- Where the wedding family are not members of a United Synagogue, but are having the chupah at a synagogue venue. (In this situation the permission of that synagogue for an outside rabbi to officiate would need to be obtained.)
- Where the wedding family are members of the Orthodox synagogue where the chupah is taking place, but its rabbi is unavailable to perform the wedding.
- Where the wedding family are members of an Orthodox synagogue, but the wedding is taking place at an outside synagogue or venue. (In the latter situation, a pre-condition is that the function is catered by a supervised caterer.)
For non-members of a synagogue
A wedding also requires a civil marriage registration. Generally this is arranged through the shul under whose auspices the chupah is taking place.
The shul secretary is usually also a marriage registrar, and his or her presence is essential at the chupah, to certify that the marriage took place, to attend to the official registration, and to provide the necessary documentation (Marriage Certificate).
Where the wedding family is not a member of an Orthodox synagogue, Rabbi Cohen can advise as to how to obtain the services of a United Synagogue through whose auspices all arrangements can be made.
Nature of service provided
It may appear that the officiating rabbi just turns up ‘on the day’ and conducts the chupah. If only it were that simple!
A great deal of time, effort and expertise requires to be invested into the preparation and delivery of the perfect chupah. An average chupah involves the investment of some 8 hours of time (Where the rabbi’s presence is also required to attend the function, for the recitation of Grace After Meals and Sheva Berachot, this can add another 5 hours!).
Here is the break-down:
- Arrangements have to be made to meet with the rabbi at his home. Together with the bride and groom, the rabbi will go through the service, explaining its format and significance, and any special requests the couple might have.
- (Rabbi Cohen has composed a "Bride's Declaration'" for her to recite as part of the service – should she like the idea!)
- The rabbi will ask both bride and groom to tell him all about their life, education, hobbies and interests, achievement, professional or business life, etc., so that he can make his address as personal and relevant as possible. (Preparation time approx 2 hours)
- Registration documents from the Chief Rabbi’s Registrar for Marriages have to be processed, and the Ketubah filled out accordingly (1 hour)
- The wedding address has to be composed (1½ hours)
- Travel to, and return home from, the venue (up to 2 hours)
- Duration of chupah (1 hour)
- Sundry telephone calls, e-mail exchanges re arrangements, and other advice sought
Beautiful personalised Order of Service booklets, containing the Hebrew text and succinct notes explaining each succeeding stage of the service, may be obtained from Gnesia Publications.