Planning a Jewish Wedding in Montreal
Are you looking for a rabbi for your wedding in Montreal? In Montreal, we are blessed with a vibrant Jewish community and lots of weddings. Jewish weddings are a great source of joy, to the couple, to their families and friends, and yes, to the rabbi. As a Conservative rabbi in Montreal, Rabbi Schwarzman meets with the bride and groom before the wedding to get to know them, ensures that the requirements of both civil and Jewish law are met, and works with the couple to make their Jewish wedding the joyous and sacred beginning of their new life together.
Rabbi Schwarzman is registered as a wedding officiant with the Province of Quebec and is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative rabbis. He is available to officiate as rabbi for Jewish weddings in Montreal and for Jewish destination weddings.
What do you need to get married in a Jewish wedding? Here is a checklist:
Quebec Jewish Wedding Checklist, or How to Get Married in Montreal
Mazal tov! May the preparations for your wedding lead to a life of true harmony in your life as a couple – marriage extends far beyond the wedding day. Even so, there are practical things you need to do as you prepare for your wedding. Here is a checklist to help you enter your chupah worry-free!
Quebec Civil Requirements
The province requires that you show the rabbi your original birth certificates, or if born outside of Quebec, an original birth certificate or equivalent document certified by the country or province in which you were born. You must also show the rabbi one additional valid photo ID, such as a health card, driver’s license, or passport.
The province requires online publication of notice of your marriage (formerly known as the Banns) for 20 days prior to the marriage. The wedding must take place within three months from the date of the notice.
If either of you has ever been married before, please provide at your first meeting with the rabbi or as soon as possible the relevant civil and Jewish documentation (a get) establishing that you are now single. In Quebec, the civil documentation is attestation from the Directeur de l’état civil that you are single. For other places, originals or certified copies are required.
Most couples purchase a ketubah from one of many online sources offering a wide variety of beautiful designs. The text can be either Orthodox or Conservative. When you pick a ketubah, please confirm with the rabbi that the text is kosher, and when the vendor has a draft ready, please forward it to the rabbi for review. Errors in ketubot are common, so this is important!
Two witnesses will sign the ketubah, with their Hebrew names (in Hebrew!). They must be Jewish adults, unrelated to each other, and unrelated to either the bride or the groom. Please confirm the eligibility of the witnesses with the rabbi before you ask them.
Two witnesses will sign the civil declaration. They can be the same witnesses as for the ketubah, or different. They can be Jewish or non-Jewish.
Rings must be solid metal wedding bands, with no jewels or stones.
Usually, the venue provides a chupah, though some couples create their own. It can be as simple as a large tallit on four poles held by friends, or as elaborate as designers can make it. Please ask the wedding planner to have a small table at the back of the chupah for the rabbi to use during the ceremony, and a table in the bedeken room to use when signing the civil documents and ketubah.
Please provide a bottle of kosher wine for use during the ceremony. It can be sweet or dry, red or white. While halakhah (Jewish law) prefers red, most couples use white to alleviate any concerns about spills, and this is fine.
Please provide two glasses. One is for use in the ceremony and can be a simple wine glass or a family Kiddush cup. The other, wrapped in a cloth napkin, is for the groom to break at the end of the ceremony.
Remember to bring the ketubah, the rings, and the wine.
For more information about planning your Jewish wedding in Montreal or elsewhere, contact Rabbi Schwarzman.
Rabbi Steven Schwarzman – Rabbi for Montreal Jewish Weddings
Here’s a video of Rabbi Schwarzman at a Montreal Jewish wedding: