You made our wedding even more perfect then we could have expected. So many people came up to us to tell us they thought the world of the ceremony- and how much fun you were on the dance floor!!!
– Jessica and Josh 2016
Looking for a Wedding Rabbi?
I’ve had the pleasure of officiating all sorts of weddings – rooftop weddings in Manhattan, pot-luck weddings in public parks, destination weddings on the Caribbean, celebrity weddings in Malibu (a personal highlight was officiating for one of the stars of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm), and one crazy-fun-delicious ceremony in a bakery shop. I’ve officiated everything from a traditional Jewish wedding in an Orthodox synagogue to an alternative, eclectic, non-traditional ceremony in a barn in Vermont which included the family dog as the ring bearer. I honestly love working with all sorts of couples and planning weddings.
My Personal Views on Marriage
I believe that for many people marriage is a pathway to profound personal growth. I say this because I’ve been married for over twenty years and during that time I’ve been lucky to have my relationship with my wife mature and deepen over time in ways that I could never have anticipated.
So these days, when fewer people are getting married, and someone tells me about their decision to celebrate a committed relationship, I usually smile and say “Mazel tov! I’m a big believer in marriage.” I don’t say this because I am defending traditional marriage (I officiated my first same-sex wedding in the 1990s) or because I see marriage as a goal for all people (It’s not for everyone), but because I know how profound and transformative marriage can be. My goal as a rabbi is to help create wedding ceremonies that set the tone for a strong, healthy, joyous marriage.
Choosing the Wedding Rituals that Work for You
The Jewish tradition offers a rich history of wedding rituals. Those rituals include spiritual preparation, music, marriage contracts and vows, processions, circling, the chupah itself, exchanging rings, witnesses, sipping the fruit of the vine, breaking a glass, yelling out “mazel tov!” and much more. My role is to draw from that history to create contemporary Jewish weddings that are inclusive, authentic, and accessible. Over the years I’ve worked with many couples, including Jewish/Asian, Jewish/Indian, Jewish/Latino, Jewish/African-American couples and created ceremonies that have reflected the bringing together of multiple family traditions. When I work with couples, I try my best to present all the various ritual options – and listen carefully to the sensibilities of the couple in order to determine which rituals are best on the wedding day.
If you are planning on having a Jewish wedding, I’m happy to meet with you. Over the last two decades I’ve met and officiated for people who are Jewish, part-Jewish, Jew-curious, Jew ‘ish’, and something other than Jewish. Some people know exactly what kind of Jewish wedding they want and some people are not exactly sure what a Jewish wedding entails. I try my best to work with every couple to understand the many different rituals and creative options within a Jewish wedding.
I believe that having a Jewish wedding is a symbol of making a Jewish home together – and I am open to the many ways that people from diverse backgrounds are finding a way to do that together. One of my goals as a rabbi is to help all people who are interested in a Jewish wedding and a Jewish home to find someone who is supportive. One other important note: For multiple reasons, many of them practical, I do not co-officiate with clergy from other religions. It’s kind of like having two chefs running one restaurant.
I have a wonderful full-time job and a family (and I try to have a social life) so I only have time to do a handful of weddings each year. If you have a date set for an upcoming celebration, contact me via email with the date and location and any background you’d like me to know at danielsbrenner at gmail and we’ll set a time to speak!