May 8, 2004
those of you unable to join us for the wedding, here are some of the other
things you missed and may be interested in viewing.
The Wedding Program
The Wedding of
Stacey Lyn Wions
Saturday, May 8,
© Rabbi Michele Medwin
© Menko and Camille Johnson, Aleck’s brother and sister-in-law
© Pieter Johnson and Adeena Colbert, Aleck’s brother and Stacey & Aleck’s friend
© Steven and Michelle Wions, Stacey’s brother and sister-in-law
© Christopher Collins, Aleck’s friend and Best Man
© Aleck, escorted by his parents, Richard and Joke Johnson
© Allison Gingo, Stacey’s friend and Matron of Honor
© David and Lois Wions, Stacey’s father and his wife
© Samantha and Emma Wions, Stacey’s nieces
© Stacey, escorted by her parents, Karyn and Ron Smith
In a Jewish ceremony, both parents accompany both the groom and bride down the
aisle, and all parents remain with the bride and groom for the duration of the
Welcome and Prayer for marriage
The rabbi will offer a welcome to those who’ve come to witness the ceremony and
also a prayer asking for God’s presence at and blessing of the marriage.
Blessing of the Chuppah
The chuppah symbolizes the couple’s new home they are making together. It is
open on all sides to signify hospitality; welcoming visitors at any time.
The quilt that Stacey and Aleck are being married under was hand made for the
wedding by Aleck’s mother Joke, Aunt Alette and sister-in-law Cami and, through
photographs, represents Aleck and Stacey growing up and joining together as one.
The Kiddush is a blessing over the wine and takes place in almost all Jewish
Kiddush means holiness. Wine is used to sanctify a special moment and is
associated with celebrations, festivals and simchas (joyous occasions).
The modern Jewish wedding ceremony consists of two ceremonies that were once
done at separate times— the engagement ceremony and the wedding ceremony.
Blessings of betrothal were recited at the engagement ceremony. One blessing is
recited after the prayer over wine. The final one, from the book of Hosea, is
recited by the couple after the exchange of rings.
Vows are not required in the Jewish ceremony; however, they are so prevalent in
American culture, Stacey and Aleck have decided to exchange vows they wrote
Aleck and Stacey will exchange rings by first putting the ring on the other’s
right index finger. This has several explanations, one of which stems from an
ancient belief that the index finger was directly connected by a special artery
to the heart. During this exchange, they will say to each other “Ani L’Dodi v’
Dodi Li” which translates to “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” They
will then move the rings from their index fingers to their ring fingers.
The Ketubah is the Jewish marriage contract. Immediately prior to the ceremony,
Stacey, Aleck, and two witnesses signed the Ketubah. The rabbi will read aloud
the English portion.
The seven blessings serve to acknowledge God’s creation of life and all the
beauty and joy in it. They mention miracles He has performed and pray that they
may reoccur. Finally, they call for love between the bride and groom as was
experienced by Adam and Eve and happiness for the couple to be witnessed and
shared by all.
The rabbi will chant the blessings in Hebrew and then recite the English
By the power vested in her, the rabbi will pronounce Aleck and Stacey husband
The final blessing for the couple is called the Priestly Benediction and has
been recited for over two thousand years, dating back to the days when the
Temple stood in Jerusalem.
Breaking of the glass
Perhaps the best known element of the ceremony, the breaking of the glass holds
no religious significance. There are several interpretations of this, a common
one being that the fragility of the glass underscores the fragility of human
Another is that
the bride and groom - and everyone - should consider these marriage vows as an
irrevocable act – just as permanent and final as the breaking of this glass is
unchangeable. If you ask Ron,
however, he’ll tell you that it is the last time the man gets to put his foot
down. The breaking of the glass is followed by guests shouting “Mazel Tov!” At
this time, Aleck and Stacey may finally share a kiss.
Aleck and Stacey will take their first steps together as a married couple and
will lead the way back down the aisle. The rest of the wedding party will
After the ceremony, Stacey and Aleck will retreat to a private room for a few
minutes of seclusion to reflect on what has just happened and to resume normal
breathing. Because of this, there will be no receiving line.
Descriptions of the ceremony elements were adapted from
Diamant and from ForeverWed.com.
following the ceremony, please make your way downstairs for the cocktail hour
while the room is reset for the reception.
We’re not expecting
any phone calls during the ceremony – are you? Please mute all cell phones,
pagers, beepers, palm pilots, game boys or anything else that might disrupt
the ceremony. And please, no photography.
are the vows that we wrote. The rabbi approved them and added another line about
Aleck to Stacey:
Do you Aleck take Stacey as
your wife and equal partner in marriage; to love, respect and cherish, and
together with her create a loving home filled with tolerance, compassion,
learning, laughter, and respect for all people?
Stacey to Aleck:
Do you Stacey take Aleck as your husband and equal partner in marriage; to love,
respect and cherish, and together with him create a loving home filled with
tolerance, compassion, learning, laughter, and respect for all people?
English part reads:
"On the first day of the week, the 18th day of the month of Iyar in the year
5764, which corresponds to the 8th day of the month of May in the year 2004, the
groom Aleck Shelton Johnson and the bride Stacey Lyn Wions consecrate themselves
to each other in this covenant of marriage.
As we join our lives
together in a bond of eternal love, we promise to be as sensitive and
understanding towards one another in our hours of happiness, as we are in our
moments of sadness. We promise to respect and honor each other and to delight in
each other’s uniqueness. To fulfill our spiritual and emotional needs as one. We
promise to be honest and open with one another and to share all of our dreams,
thoughts and feelings. We will strive to build a home committed to our shared
heritages. A home filled with love, empathy, laughter and acts of kindness. As
our love grows deeper and stronger, may our souls intertwine in heart’s deepest
intimacy. All of this is valid and binding."
tried to do something a little different and a little more meaningful with our
centerpieces than having just flowers on the tables. This was done for a few
reasons. One, there were several people who were very close to us in life who
passed away before being able to witness us get married. We wanted to somehow
share this day with them and bring their memory into the room with us. Second,
it didn't seem to make much sense to us to spend money on flowers that would be
dead in a day. We decided that if we were going to spend that much money on
centerpieces, we'd much rather spend it on something that had more meaning. And
third, as a short person, Stacey doesn't like to see
flowers instead of the other people at the table. It was decided that when we
walked into the room, we wanted to be able to look around and see people, not
In lieu of floral
centerpieces, donations have been made in memory of those we wish could have
been here to celebrate with us tonight.
and Carolyn Beatty,
to Pomona College
Bertsch and Aubrey
to the San Diego Police Officers Association
to the Children’s Wish Foundation
Rebecca Hershenhorn (Rivel),
to the Jewish Community Center of Rochester, New York
Kenneth and Billie Johnson (Papa and Nana),
to the American Lung Association
to Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation Foundation
and Ethel Orgel (Poppa and Mimi),
to the Jewish Federation of Washington and
to the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington
and Louis Smith,
to the Prevention of Blindness Society
to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
and Ann Wions (Grandma and Grandpa),
to the Lions Club
was printed on white card stock paper with a raised white border. There were
four cards connected together to create a box, and each box was positioned
around a single votive candle, creating the effect of a luminary. The tables
were also sprinkled with rose petals and were set with Hershey Kisses wrapped in
silver and purple foil and placed in a pair of champagne glasses.
The Scavenger Hunt
effort to hold the attention of the children in attendance, we created a
Scavenger Hunt for the ceremony. It was made clear that this was not Bingo, lest
we have them screaming out triumphantly as they spot the photographer, but rather a hunt
to see how many items they could find. They were tempted with a
prize in the form of a goody bag filled with treats. You can see Madison and
Katie gleefully exploring their loot below.