愛-Vey! I'll Cover You

For Mr. HC and me, the most emotional part of our wedding day was not the vows or ring exchange, but rather something that happened before the wedding ceremony: the bedecken.

Bedecken is a Yiddish word that means "to cover." In traditional Jewish weddings, the bedecken is a ritual in which the groom veils the bride immediately before the ceremony. The custom is attributed to the biblical story in which Jacob, intending to marry Rachel, is tricked into marrying Rachel's sister Leah. To prevent such epic switcheroos, the story goes, a groom ought to personally veil the bride and thus have the opportunity to ascertain that she is, in fact, the person he intended to marry.

While alluding to the Jacob story, our rabbi explained that the custom should be understood metaphorically: here, before our closest family and friends, and just before we were to walk down the aisle, we were given a moment to look into each other's eyes and confirm that this was the person with whom we wanted to share the rest of our lives.

"Look into each other's eyes and imagine what you will feel on your tenth wedding anniversary. At the birth of your first child. At that child's bar or bat mitzvah. Or when that child is standing under the chuppah, about to marry his or her intended."

I wish I could describe in words how I felt at that moment . . . .

But I can't, so all I can share is a spectacularly ugly cry face.

With that, Mr. HC placed the veil over my face . . . schmeared makeup and runny nose and all.

And to make the custom egalitarian, I placed Mr. HC's kippah over his head.

A "let's go kick some ceremony ass" kiss, and we were ready to go.

Photos by Leigh Miller Photography, Luna Photography, and Della Chen Photography.

In previous episodes of the Hot Cocoa Chewish Wedding Recap Extravaganza:

- We had a welcome dinner.
- Hilarity ensued.
- I got prettified.
- We played games.
- Mr. HC got accessorized.
- We had a tea party . . . I mean, ceremony.
- I got haute.
- I giggled and Mr. HC looked.
- I had a meltdown.

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