Getting an invitation to a Jewish simcha or wedding in Israel is exciting and special but it can also bring about questions, such as what to wear and what kind of gift should I bring? But know that there is no fixed answer. Everything is dependent on where the wedding is taking place, what kind of gifts are expected and who the couple is. Bearing this in mind, here are some guidelines to help you.
Those of us who were brought up outside of Israel and have been to numerous weddings know that a wedding is a formal affair and the dress code is just as formal. The ladies come in their ball gowns and the men come in suits or tuxedos.
When you attend an Israeli wedding or Jewish simcha in Israel it is somewhat more casual to the point that a man can come in a pair of jeans with buttoned down shirt and it is very acceptable.
The ladies wear all different kind of dresses, most of which you could also wear for Yom Tov or Shabbat. So, do not feel surprised if you turn up to an Israeli wedding feeling overdressed. You wouldn’t be wrong!
Wedding gifts are an interesting phenomena. Although there are many types of gifts available there seems to be a different understanding in different countries. Gifts given at weddings outside of Israel vary from wedding to wedding and the financial status of the wedding party. Most couples will have joined some kind of registry or you will wrap a beautiful gift for the young couple.
It is quite common for close family members to give money. In Israel there are very few gift registries to sign up with so the majority of people like to help the couple and their families by paying for the meal they will receive at the wedding as a token of appreciation for being invited and to show respect to the wedding party.
There will always be those who will give a gift of sorts whether it is something for the couple’s house such as a Challah board or a silver cup for Kiddush.
The most important thing to remember whatever gift you decide to give should coincide with the couple’s future. If you know they are leaving the country remember they will not be able to take huge or very fragile gifts to where they are going.
Whether you live abroad and are coming to a Jewish wedding or Simcha in Israel or you live in Israel ad are going abroad for your next wedding or Simcha it is important to remember that regardless of what might be expected you were asked to join in their simcha. Being at this wedding is really important to your hosts and you being there is going to make them very happy. Just enjoy it!
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