Weddings have so many wonderful traditions, and many different cultures bring traditions to the table to share with the fabric that is America. It is the custom in Jewish weddings, for example, to raise the bride and groom up in chairs during a dance called the Hora.
This is possibly one of the greatest ways to start a wedding because it involves every guest at the wedding in a festive and fun celebration that is the cornerstone for the party that will follow. As the guests dance around in a circle, a chair is brought over for the bride and groom. The bride and the groom sit in the chairs and they are then lifted above the heads of the crowd to look down on the celebration that is happening in their honor.
One of the best things about this celebration is that it includes every guest at the wedding, it’s a lot of fun and is truly a tribute to the bride and groom. Of course with the lawyerization of America fewer couples are participating in the chair lifting portion of this event, and maybe that’s for good reason. After all, you do have adults lifted in chairs, often chairs with no arms, by people of questionable sobriety in many cases. Or, maybe the tradition is disappearing because of this story.
It was another Sunday evening and I was already enjoying the company of some wonderful guests. I had met with my bride and groom well in advance and we had a plan worked out for the evening’s celebration, including the Hora. But as part of the Hora the bride had expressed her absolute desire that she not be lifted in the chair. This is not horribly unusual and it made a lot of sense in this case.
You see, she was quite obese.
In my way of thinking I had doubts that her groomsmen would want the responsibility of lifting her in the chair as it would seem to be quite an undertaking anyway. But something magical happens at weddings and people do things that would otherwise seem ridiculous. Maybe it’s the desire to participate in a tradition that has gone on for centuries, or maybe it’s just the booze.
At any rate, before I knew it there were chairs on the dance floor for our diminutive groom and his plus, plus, plus sized bride and despite her resistance and rather vocal protest, the guys got her to sit in the chair.
Maybe she wanted a bit of that tradition, too. There was no stopping this avalanche on my part as there was the assemblage of 200 of this young lady’s favorite people in between she and me.
Four groomsmen did not have the muscle power to raise this lovely lady into the air so the fathers came to participate as well. Six strong men did the trick and up went our bride in the air, rising above the crowd like the Goodyear Blimp on Superbowl Sunday. Just as her backside cleared the heads of her guests, there was a loud crack, one leg of the chair gave up the ghost and down she went, taking out two of the groomsmen in the process.
It seemed that as soon as she hit the ground a new personality bounced into her old body. She went from a jovial, happy star of her own wedding show into the Devil himself. Suddenly the Jerry Springer show became just a second-place finisher in the battle for yelling as she was up in the blink of an eye to give these wannabe chair lifters a piece of her mind. I have never seen the Hora come to such an immediate halt as 200 guests suddenly were watching a 400 pound (my guess) woman literally scream six very masculine men to tears.
The moral of this story is that what the bride wants she usually wants for a reason. The chair lifting ceremony in the Hora can be a lot of fun but even under the best circumstances it’s a bit unnerving as the bride and groom wobble above the crowd, holding onto their chairs for dear life and hoping that an unfortunate slip doesn’t mean the delay of a new life together. Maybe chairs with armrests are the least the banquet facilities can do for just the bride and groom when they’re Jewish.
In this case everyone was physically fine albeit a few bumps and bruises on the bride and two of her probably former friends. But the wedding reception took the brunt of the injury with the screaming as a huge downer and after a very luxurious meal most of the guests ran for the door, some not even saying ‘goodbye’ for fear of having to look the poor groom in the eye knowing that he married Sybil wrapped in a very well padded protective outer coating.
Filed Under: Weddings
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