Well, we had a very lovely wedding. My father said that a wedding is something you remember all your life… he wanted each of [his children] to have a wedding, and we did.
Rose Pines, who immigrated as a child with her family from Lithuania, married Moses J. Cohen at the Alcazar Blue Room, Baltimore, in 1937. Interviewed by Marcie Cohen-Ferris, “Weaving Women’s Words: Baltimore” Oral History Project of the Jewish Women’s Archives, 2001. JMM OH630
Newlyweds Katie Kandel and Jacob Silber surrounded by friends and family at Fink’s Hall, Baltimore, December 31, 1912. Gift of Jerry Kandel. JMM 2008.8.1
As with most cultures, family and community are vital components of Jewish wedding customs and traditions. While it is certainly possible to marry without consulting (or even inviting) family and friends, few couples make that choice; those who elope often have a party or another ceremony in order to include their loved ones in the celebration.
For religious reasons or no, the couple-to-be usually seeks the support – emotional, financial, or both – of those they love, and the input of those who feel, for better or worse, that they, too, have a role to play in the proceedings.
Hand-written note, in German, inviting L. Frank to attend the wedding of Simon Frank and Fannie Naumberg, Baltimore, March 24, 1841. Anonymous gift. JMM 1988.134.1
For the celebration I am holding on Monday next week at the home of Mr. Rosenfeld, I take the liberty to invite you and your dear wife and your brother-in-law and your sister-in-law, and I hope that without fail my day of honor will be made more beautiful through your welcome presence.
S. Frank [and] F. Naumberg
Frieda Kolker and Robert Hallock, surrounded by their families, sign their ketubah under the guidance of Rabbi Mark Loeb of Beth El, Baltimore, October 27, 1991. Courtesy of Bob and Fritzi Hallock. JMM CP 2017.3.1