Our Magical Hin-Jew Wedding

I’m married!

It’s part exciting, part surreal, and part exactly the same. And I couldn’t be happier. :)

The whole thing was a bit of a whirlwind.

We spent months and months planning this day, and it was absolutely magical – and I don’t recall ever using that word to describe an experience before!

Within a few days of the wedding, family and friends had spread back to their respective corners of the globe, and we were off to Jamaica for our honeymoon.

Now I’m back, the dust is settling, and I’m getting back to work.

But before returning to our regular programming, I want to tell you about our Hin-Jew wedding…

We did everything ourselves…

We briefly flirted with the idea of hiring a wedding planner, but after interviewing one we decided against, for several reasons:

  • She shared her vision for our wedding, instead of listening to ours. Umm, yeah. It’s our wedding – we’ll decide how we want it to be! :P
  • She kept ignoring me. The whole wedding industry seems to think that brides are the only decision-makers of consequence. I didn’t like that very much.
  • Wedding planners are expensive. We didn’t cut corners with the wedding, but we didn’t want to spend money on stuff that we felt we didn’t want or need.

We wanted everything to be custom-tailored, and did everything ourselves:

  • The invitations that we fought about, designed, printed, cut and folded ourselves
  • The menus that we planned, wrote and produced
  • The seating cards which we personalized for each guest, and produced ourselves
  • The wedding canopy (called a huppah in Jewish traditions and mandap in Hindu traditions), and which I built myself
  • The wedding ceremony, that we adapted from Jewish and Hindu traditions
  • Our vows, which we wrote ourselves
  • And the list goes on, and on, and on…

Does this sound like a lot of work? Well, it was.

Was it worth it? Yes, absolutely.

Was it always easy sailing? No, it really wasn’t…

It turns out my wife and I have very different ways of working…

Through planning the wedding, my wife and I learned that there are some important differences in the way that we do things:

I am an entrepreneur, through and through. I’m good at visualizing things that don’t exist, and iteratively prototyping until I arrive at the picture in my head. I don’t worry about having everything planned out, because I trust that I will make it work in the end, and I implicitly expect that I can do as good a job – or better – as anyone else.

My wife is a corporate consultant. She likes having a plan and then executing on it. She’s a “measure twice, cut once” kind of person, who believes in working the bugs out on paper before you start cutting, pasting, and building. She’s all for experimentation, but prefers that people with actual expertise do the jobs that they were trained for.

Oh, and did I mention that both my wife and I are very strong-willed people? ;)

Both of our styles are valid, effective, and consistently get good results. But they’re also very different, and without compromising, it’s a recipe for disaster.

We rubbed up against these differences throughout the planning process, but things really came to a head with the invitations, and the wedding canopy…

The Invitations: 5 kinds of paper, 3 kinds of glue, and more paper-cuts and blisters than I can count…

From the beginning, I had my heart set on doing something different. We’d make the invitations ourselves, write something completely out of the ordinary, and blow people away by how unique and awesome we are.

My wife wanted something more traditional.

We went through version after version. Bought supplies, cut them, folded them, and threw them out only to start over. She wanted us to get a professional, and I insisted that I knew what I was doing, I could figure it out, and she needed to trust me.

We fought, and fought, and fought, and as we fought, we learned how to work together, so that the results got better and better, and the fights got smaller and smaller.

In the end, we both compromised, but she compromised a lot more. The end result is a reflection of us both, and we’re both very proud of it.

The lesson for all the ladies reading this: work together, but listen to your husband!

The Wedding Canopy: An Engineering Nightmare

The wedding canopy was the same story – I was set on building it myself, because I like the symbolism of “building our first home with my own two hands”.

Again, she wanted to go the professional route: rent a canopy, and then decorate it ourselves. I wanted to do it all myself, and insisted that she should trust me.

This was different from the invitations, though, in that I have quite a bit of experience with print media, whereas I have zero experience building things.

I went through half a dozen different iterations that I built, and that refused to stand up without falling down.  Each iteration was time consuming, involved expensive trips to the hardware store, and involved at least a couple of scrapes and bruises.

Two days before the wedding, I still hadn’t made it work, but I refused to give up.

At the last minute, I got it to work – more or less. My aunt stepped in at the last minute to fix it up further. In the end, it looked great, but it was way more trouble that it was probably worth.

The lesson for all the guys reading this: work together, and listen to your wife!

Our Hin-Jew Wedding

As you may know, I was born Jewish in Montreal, Canada, moved to Israel at 13, and returned to Montreal at 21. My wife was born into a Hindu family in Gujarat, India, and moved to Montreal at the age of 14.

These ingredients made for a very interesting union and ceremony. Our “Hin-Jew” wedding included Hindu elements, Jewish elements, and some adaptations that were entirely our own.

My favorite part was our adaptation of the Jewish ketubah (wedding contract). This is traditionally a legalistic document signed before the wedding, but we made ours a part of the ceremony.

We replaced the legalistic text with our own vows, read them aloud, and signed them in front of everyone who came to celebrate with us. Then we invited our parents and close friends to sign as witnesses, asking them to hold us accountable to our commitments.

The whole thing was turned into a work of art by my artist friend Richard Rossetto. Here are the vows that my wife and I wrote together:

To love, nourish, and support each other, in good times and bad.

To be responsible and act responsibly towards each other, and to build a safe and supportive home.

To share joys and sorrows, that joys may multiply, and sorrows divide.

To turn towards each other in good times and bad, to listen, talk, and cultivate mutual admiration.

To be curious and interested, to grow together, and to drive each other ever forward.

To care for our families and loved ones.

To be best friends, companions, lovers and confidantes… imperfect halves making a perfect whole.


is an author, strategist, serial entrepreneur, and proud co-founder of Firepole Marketing, the program that teaches 
expert marketing for non-marketers. Get his free video course on how to get more money out of your business, website or blog.

Danny Iny (@DannyIny, +DannyIny), a.k.a. the "Freddy Krueger of Blogging", is the proud founder of Firepole Marketing. He is the author of the Amazon best-seller Engagement from Scratch! (available on Amazon, or for free in our Engagement Toolbox), and creator of the Audience Business Masterclass.

Comments

  1. Matt says

    Hey Danny,

    It was magical indeed! That was only the second wedding I was attending, and I really enjoyed myself. The ceremony was very interesting, there was dancing, delicious food and great people. Time just flew by.

    Props to you two for doing everything yourselves! I really appreciated the invitation card.

  2. says

    Danny, congratulations again. I’m really happy for the both of you! I don’t think I’m ever going to get over “Hin-Jew” wedding, that’s awesome lol. You should copyright that.

    It’s really funny (or sad?) that wedding planners ignore the men – like they don’t matter in the marriage. I think you made the right choice by doing everything yourself. But seeing how you do things online, I wouldn’t expect it to be any other way with your wedding :). 

    Must be interesting having an entrepreneur and corporate consultant in the same household :)

    • says

      Thanks, Eugene! Actually, we didn’t come up with “Hin-Jew” - we saw it on a blog post somewhere. :)

      Yeah, it is funny and sad. And yeah, knowing me, I can’t imagine it have working any other way!

      It is *very* interesting having an entrepreneur and corporate consultant in the same household – it’s amazing how much we agree about some things and disagree about others!

      But then, that’s what makes life interesting. :)

  3. Stuart Mills says

    Congratulations to the happy couple! It sounds like you had a wonderful wedding, a wonderful time getting everything prepared (more or less), and a wonderful experience overall. Exactly how everyone would want it.

    Best wishes to you both, from Sam and I :-)

    • says

      Thanks, Stu, and thanks, Sam!

      It really was wonderful, and even the bumps along the road of preparations were valuable, and taught us a lot about how to work together. I wouldn’t trade a minute of it! :)

  4. says

    Congratulations, Danny, I love the term Hin-Jew, too. Marriage is wonderful and I had 33 great years with my late husband. You will hit bumps in the road, as all couples do, but marriage is for the long haul, involving compromise and commitment — with a heavy dose of love. Mazeltov!

    • says

      Thank you, Jeannette! I know it won’t always be easy, but I’m very excited about exploring it all together with my wife. For her, I’m willing to compromise. :)

  5. Sujitgec says

    hey Danny,
    This is Sujit from India…this hin-jew wedding is simply awsm n i luvd d invitation…it’s beautiful…wish u n ur wife a very happy married life…:)

  6. Kathleen says

    Danny – enjoyed the wedding details, felt like I was there. Regarding building the wedding canopy: dont you have a new appreciation for those people on Survivor who are given a machete and a tropical jungle, and told to build something (in an afternoon) that 10 people can sleep in, AND stay dry? :o)  Blessings, Kathleen

  7. Joe Simpson says

    Danny, that’s a beautiful story, Brother! Thank you for sharing it. As to the question of “too much information,” you broke everything up into separate story links. So, if persons choose to over-indulge themselves, that’s their own folly. Wish you the best forever! Peace and Light to you and yours!

  8. says

    Danny,
    It is so lovely that you shared the details of the most intimate day of your life with your online followers. (Now, that is “going naked,” indeed. And people are drawn to that kind of generous confidence. ) There is something deeply meaningful and symbolic about building the huppah./mandap yourself. It is honoring to your individual and combined ancestry. It shows that you are willing to take on a difficult, “manly” undertaking. It provided, literally, a shelter for you and your wife as you started your new life together. Please don’t ever regret that you took on this endeavor with passion and commitment. It says far more than I think you realize. Here’s wishing you and your wife a lifetime of success and happiness.

    • says

      Thank you for the kind words and encouragement, Heidi.

      I know what you mean, and that’s why I insisted on doing it myself – I felt that the symbolic meaning was important. My wife appreciated the thought, just not the execution – and to be fair, I could have asked for help sooner in the process.

      I don’t regret it, though – actually, I don’t believe in regrets in general – just learning from experience. :)

  9. says

    Danny, what a beautiful, heart-felt wedding. I absolutely appreciate how involved you were in the planning and can only imagine what it must have been like for your wife to see you literally at work for your special day. I wish you both the best, of course!

  10. says

    Hi,
    I really enjoyed reading about your wedding, seeing the invitation and hearing your experience. How beautiful, to share that with all of us. Every marriage is a brave risk — and I hope yours is a super successful, warm, loving, prosperous union!

    With warm blessings,
    Lisa Wessan

  11. says

    Thank you Danny and Bhoomi! A beautiful story. May God richly bless your marriage and keep it long and happy!

    My own wedding story is still going strong, since our marriage 25-1/2 years ago. The whole event, and all we learned about each other, is still fresh in my mind. Really helps me to remember and keep us appreciating each other through the good and bad times. It’s worth it!
    I’m also looking forward to your blogging teaching, since I’m just getting started. My friend Diane Renzulli just referred me to you for help in learning to blog for my first book on “Your Common Cold: How to Get better 7 Times Faster” Thanks!

  12. Devendra says

    Congratulations & 2 lessons for me from this page:
    1. Never be a conformist..do things differently
    2. When I go back home to my spouse tonight, I go back to her with some lessons learnt from this page & with new commitments which I shall never give up till my last breath.

    Heartfelt Gratitude to you & Best wishes to both of you.
    Dev

  13. says

    Hi Danny,

    I’m a newcomer to your world, and getting to know it and you. Thank you for sharing this very personal post. My immediate impression: Bhoomi looks Jewish, you look Indian and you both look like a beautiful match! :-)

    Wishing you a great life together!

    Halina

  14. says

    Danny, this is beautiful! What an amazing testament to love. :]

    Loved reading about your personal life. It’s always fun to see the “gurus” as normal as the rest of us. :D

  15. says

    Shoot. Got tears reading this. I am hopeless. But it was a beautiful testimony. The whole time I was reading, I was thinking, “Well if this relationship can survive the WEDDING, they’ll do okay!” ;-)

  16. Joel says

    Danny,

    Looked at this as you linked to it in your last email “Joel, do you know who I am? ;-)” Many thanks for that. I often feel as if Barbara and my relationship is something special and unique, well it is :), but we also share the space with many other loving couples. It is a pleasure to know that we are a part of loving community of couples who share our devotion to each other and are best of friends.

    Mazel tov,
    Joel

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