After yesterday’s heavy post, I’m in the mood for something lighter. How about you?
Sundown today, August 2nd, marks the ancient Jewish holiday of Tu B’Av, or the fifteenth of the month of Av. Traditionally, (and by “traditionally” I mean during the time of the second Temple, before it was destroyed), the day was marked by all the eligible young women borrowing white garments to wear while dancing for the eligible young men to see. The idea, so it seems, was to attempt to pick a partner, a potential husband or wife, and inter-tribe marriage was A-OK.
From what my research has shown, there’s not a ton of historical information on the day, and what information we do have is scarce and repetitive. There’s also little to no evidence that the day continued to be observed after the fall of the Temple – some speculate that as the Jewish population entered the diaspora and integrated into other cultures, the need or desire for such a day was irrelevant. Presently, it’s not an officially recognized holiday anywhere (even in Israel), but many have taken up the banner of this affection infused holiday and have begun finding traditions and festivities to fit with the themes of love and partnership. There are a lot of comparisons to Valentine’s Day, but really, the only common theme I see is love – how it’s carried out seems vastly different.
Wait a sec – this is supposed to be a light post! What’s with the history lesson?
Finding out that tonight begins Tu B’Av has me thinking about my FH, how our engagement was a little over a month ago (how time has FLOWN!), and what we’ve done and still have to do for our wedding. A brief overview of the things we’ve checked off:
- We have set a wedding date! End of June next year – I love it because it’s a year to the day of our engagement. Originally, I was not super thrilled with a June wedding date, but I’m warming up to it.
- We wrote, signed, and had witnesses for our Tenaim, or engagement contract. You can learn more about this neat little tradition here. I really love ours!
- We have a ceremony and reception site: our Temple. It was important to us to marry where we basically met (during Rosh Hashanah services, of all things), and having the reception there as well makes things so much easier from a logistics and cost standpoint.
- We have a good idea about what we want our day to feel like: traditional yet relaxed, detailed but simple, and really focused on our family and friends.
I’m decently happy with our progress so far. We have a few more big decisions coming up:
- Wedding dress
- Caterer and refreshments
- Save the Dates and invitations
Planning a wedding can be really, really overwhelming. I finally understand all those people who hire wedding planners and need to recruit their gaggle of bridesmaids to tie tiny bows on invitations. There are, however, a plethora of resources out there that can help even the most neophyte of brides…and yes, by that I mean me!
I live and breathe by their wedding checklist. It’s super customizable and gives a great timeline of when things should be taken care of.
I have a dedicated “wedding” board that holds pictures, ideas, and other tidbits that are really helping me with things like mood and decor.
Etsy holds a special place in my heart, because it’s where my engagement ring came from. I figure when it’s time to finally start buying items for the ceremony/reception, Etsy is going to be a go-to.
Oh man – just talking about this wedding stuff is leaving me exhausted. It’s so easy to forget what it’s all supposed to be about: LOVE. So today, in honor of Tu B’At, I’m going to take the extra time to tell FH how much I love him, and how much I’m looking forward to our lives together. And while I don’t plan on borrowing white clothing and dancing around for him, I am hoping to put together something special for dinner, which means that I hope you have a new recipe tomorrow!
Your Turn: What do you do to express that extra bit of love? For me, it’s generally through making food, or letting the other person make the big choices (what would you like to do today, etc.)