Monday, October 25, 2010

tish you

Last month, I went to my very first tish.

What’s a tish you ask?

So did I. The wedding invitation indicated that it was an opportunity to celebrate the bride and the groom individually before the ceremony. Bring a story. A poem. A song. Whatever. Just come to celebrate that person. This is apparently a common practice at Jewish weddings. I think it’s typical for the groom to have a tish in Jewish practice, maybe not the bride. Being that this was my first Jewish or semi-Jewish wedding, it was all Yiddish to me.

I attended the bride’s tish which began about an hour before the ceremony. Friends from near and far gathered around and told stories about the bride as a child, as an adolescent and a young adult. It was a fun hour reminiscing about how she got to that day…her wedding day. The stories were funny and sentimental.

Overall, I was tickled by my first tish.

Fast forward 4 weeks and I found myself at a rehearsal dinner for another young bride and groom who would soon be husband and wife. We went through all of the rehearsal dinner rituals…cocktails, hors d’ oeuvres , dinner and before dessert, speeches. Usually the host, or the groom’s father, says a few words about how delighted he is to welcome the daughter-in-law into the family and how she’s a great match for his son.

At this particular rehearsal dinner, the father of the groom spoke followed by a brave 10 year old who was a junior bridesmaid and the bride’s niece. She spoke about how her aunt is her favorite aunt and how happy she was for the bride.

Then it snowballed.

One person after another stood up and spoke about the couple. They told funny stories and, of course, stories about the beginning. When the couple met and how they got to the current day.

I sat back and listened.

I thought about how much I really like these impromptu speeches pre-wedding. Call it a tish. Call it a celebration. It doesn’t matter. See, the ceremony is totally scripted but these speeches are less planned and seemingly a surprise to the bride and groom. It is fun to hear so many perspectives about the bride and/or the groom in small gatherings before the actual ceremony. I even learned new facts about people that I know rather well. You never knew who will say what!

-The perennial bridesmaid

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