From television shows like Bridezilla, to Martha Stewart Weddings magazines, we’re surrounded by media chronicling the frustrations and fairytale endings of planning a wedding. In our “bigger is better” culture, where “no dress or ring under a 6-month salary is acceptable,” it’s argued that we’re losing sight of the bigger picture behind the ultimate goal of an engagement and wedding, which is the union of two people in love.
Although media recounts numerous factors which go into a wedding, they bypass many of the fundamental components leading to an engagement. Also, the majority of wedding programs, aside from the occasional “Groomzilla” episode, cater to women.
These observations may open a can of worms.
In this issue of “Jlife, Guys Tell All,” we’ll explore the age-old question of “What do men think?”
On a quest to appease suspicion, three Orange County Jewish men from very different backgrounds were interviewed, each recently engaged or married to an OC Jewish woman.
Any suggestions for knowing your partner’s “The One”? “Right away, I knew Lisa was special. We spoke for four hours over the phone, something I hadn’t done since elementary school,” said Andrew Grier. “Being in my second marriage, I’ve learned a lot. Ensure your partner accepts you as much for your faults as they do your strengths. Little things will change throughout life and you can adapt, but you won’t completely change. The essence of a person, that’s what you have to accept them for.”
Did it help going through it a second time, to “really know?” “It allowed me to understand who I was, and what I wanted in a partner. In my first marriage, I was somewhat naive, and didn’t know who I was. This time around, I was certain,” said Andrew.
Is it necessary to share similar interests? “Before Sarah, I couldn’t date somebody without getting bored, but with her, there’s always something new,” said Eitan Nudel, who proposed to Sarah with a surprise 3 a.m. hot-air balloon ride. “People say your partner should share the same hobbies, but we’re opposites, and we complement each other. Some couples do everything together, but they risk losing their individuality. Alone time’s important.”
Did Judaism play a role? “Absolutely,” said Amit Hirshberg, engaged to marry Brittany on June 7. “I knew I was looking for somebody to grow with Jewishly, who shared similar Jewish values and morals, and who wanted to raise a family in a similar fashion as myself. Then I found Brittany, and had no doubt she was perfect for me.”
“It’s important to my family she’s Jewish, maintaining tradition and not assimilating,” said Eitan. “I’m marrying the girl, not the religion.”
Did you follow tradition, asking the father for his blessing? “I asked her mother, father, brother and sister-in-law. I didn’t feel that just asking her father was what needed to be done,” said Andrew. “You marry the family.”
Adam Chester graduated from UCSD with a degree in Clinical Psychology and is the NextGen Outreach & Engagement Coordinator at JFFS.