Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


 Dear Engaged Couple,

    This week I have been working with a family to plan and execute a funeral service for the family matriarch. The deceased was elderly and in poor health, but of course, those facts really do not ease the sting of final separation.  It is so difficult to lose someone. Tears have been shed.  Family members have shared remembrances and stories, even as new memories and stories are being created.  

The family is Jewish and last evening , while we were sitting Shivah (a new experience for little ole’ Protestant me), someone said, “Since our families have scattered, I guess the only time we will be getting together now that Nana is gone, is for weddings and funerals.”  Weddings, of course, are much to be preferred to funerals. 

    And that, of course, is something to weigh as you plan for your big day. Yes, your family is dysfunctional, but, make no mistake.  ALL families are dysfunctional.  In fact, those few families that don’t appear dysfunctional are the most dysfunctional of all.  I have no idea why this is so, but it is. Believe me. I was a pastor for fourteen years.

    You and your beloved may choose to make your big event a family-shared event, thus securing the bonds of your loved ones on both sides of the wedding aisle.  You may even see this as your responsibility.  If you DO take this on, I would suggest that you plan one or more intimate venues for your respective families to get together– in addition to the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception.  Perhaps you meet at someone’s home for an after-wedding day family brunch, or a day-before family luncheon.   Maybe you plan a familes’ picnic, and assign everyone a dish to bring.  The important thing is–don’t overdo.  There should be no speeches, no champagne,no live music, or loud CDs or power point presentations– and definitely no roasts.  The reason for the get together is so that two families on their not-Sunday or Wedding –best behavior can get to know each other.    I guarantee there will be tensions, but I hope and pray that your families will begin to create memories and stories that will last way into the future.  Something to think about. 

Blessings to you both.  Shalom 

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