Curses, daylight savings, curses!

Mr. HC and I figured out this weekend that we are idiots.  Morons.  Stooopid.

This Sunday, FFIL HC called and said, in a voice reserved for things of unusual importance, "It's daylight savings."  Mr. HC replies, "Yeah . . . we know."  After a few rounds of this, FFIL HC notifies us (in a tone he probably only reserves for patients of his who are dying . . . of stupidity) that sunset on our wedding day is 7:10 pm, not 6:10 as we expected.

Holy $#&*!

We're having a Jewish wedding, which is not supposed to take place until after shabbat ends -- shortly after sunset.  When we were planning our ceremony and before we sent out our invitations, we looked on a number of websites, including the Naval Observatory and various Jewish calendar sites, to figure out when sunset was going to take place on our wedding day.  6:10 they all said.  We put 6:30 on our invitations.

Well, they must have all meant 6:10 Pacific Standard Time, not Pacific Daylight Time.  D'oh.

Mr. HC's reaction to this news: panic.  My reaction: laughter.  Maniacal laughter.

We worked so hard on the timing of the event, since we had to deal with the Chinese almanac, which says that 7 pm on the day of our wedding is an inauspicious hour, as well as with the demands of the Jewish calendar, which requires that all legal transactions, including weddings, be deferred until after the end of shabbat.

The absurdity of this situation is heightened by the fact that we verified the timing of our wedding with our rabbi, our observant Jewish friends, including our Orthodox Jewish groomsman, and the hotel.  None of us realized that daylight savings would have started before our wedding, and that sunset would be an hour later.

So, here we are, three weeks before our wedding, with two options, neither of which are great: either make no change at all (and risk offending our more observant friends and feeling guilty for breaking shabbat), or switch the ceremony with the cocktail hour, such that the ceremony would begin after cocktails.

Here are some pros and cons of switching the ceremony time:

Pros:
  • Ceremony would start after sunset, and we wouldn't feel like we were breaking shabbat
  • It would create a cushion of time for people -- Jewish or not -- to arrive late
  • Since we had thought the ceremony would start post-sunset, all of the decor has been designed with darkness in mind; if we start earlier, we might have to pay extra to drape the sides of the event space to make it look less like a modified tennis court and more like a ceremony space
Cons:
  • I wouldn't be able to make the cocktail hour at all, since she I don't want appear in my wedding dress until the processional
  • Yihud (the eleven-minute period after the ceremony, in which the bride and groom spend time alone together) would have to be rushed, since we'd have to make an entrance in the ballroom soon after.  Yihud is such a beautiful moment to reflect on the ceremony, and I really was looking forward to it.
  • Even if we changed the ceremony time, it might not make a difference at all to our more observant friends, since they still couldn't travel to our wedding until after shabbat ends and would likely miss the ceremony no matter what
  • Our Chinese invitations actually state the start of the ceremony as 6:30 (since a lot of Chinese people often skip the ceremony and come straight to cocktail/reception)
  • According to Hot Mama Cocoa, 7 is a bad hour in Chinese astrology, and if we were to switch the ceremony with cocktails, she wouldn't be happy unless we pushed the ceremony to 8, which would really be a late start
Right now, I'm leaning toward just keeping things the way they are.  It's a mere 3 weeks before the wedding, and I am anxious about making such a big change.  But the idea of breaking shabbat, especially on an occasion as important as our wedding, is also making me anxious.

Sigh.

What would you do?  And has anything happened during the course of your wedding planning to make you feel like you're the dimmest bulb in the pack?

Krista  – (March 9, 2009 at 6:38 PM)  

Have you discussed the pros and cons with your rabbi?

I'd say leave it as is.

You could always hope for a cloudy day ... that way it seems like sunset is earlier - and it'll be dark enough that most people won't notice! (Though you might not want to wish for clouds!)

Bridechka  – (March 9, 2009 at 9:36 PM)  

Ugh, that sucks, how frustrating! I have no advice to offer cause I have no clue what to do but I just wanted say that I am here for you and hoping it all turns out ok.

Christy  – (March 9, 2009 at 10:13 PM)  

I was also wondering if you had talked with your rabbi. He might have some thoughts to help you!

Miss Hot Cocoa  – (March 9, 2009 at 10:16 PM)  

Thanks for the support you guys!
@ Krista & Christy: Our rabbi is pretty amenable to doing whatever we'd like to do. Her only concern is that people not show up to the ceremony sloshed from cocktail hour! ;-)

violarulz  – (March 10, 2009 at 4:13 PM)  

what about splitting the coctail hour? serving just the buffet stuff and wine, kicking off the wedding with Havdalah and then having the hot stuff and the boozier booze after the ceremony so that you still get decent yehud time to say "OMG, we're married!" at each other a million times and shove a few bites of food in your mouths.

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