Jewish Wedding Gift Guide
Now that it's summer, it's also peak wedding season! When Bryan and I got married last September, we really wrestled with the idea of the traditional wedding registry and (like many other traditions) decided to make our registry as uniquely us as possible. There were a few things we considered:
- We had been living together for a few years and live in a small apartment. We both appreciate minimalism both in style and in everyday life. We were extremely thoughtful and careful about each of our selections, and only added things we really needed and loved- things that we knew we would use for many years to come and hopefully pass down to our children.
- Many Jews have Judaica (ritual items to celebrate traditions) on their registry, but we had a hard time finding Judaica that was in alignment with our style- simple, contemporary and soulful. We wanted a mix of antique and modern items with clean lines. I spent weeks searching and discovered there is little out there that fits our style. I started talking to friends and discovered that many people feel the same way about Judaica. In our search, we discovered a few artisans we absolutely love- they are featured below.
- It was important to us to use our wedding as an opportunity for tzedakah (the Jewish moral obligation of charitable giving). Many of our loved ones generously donated to Rebuilding Together San Francisco, our favorite local non-profit, which repairs the homes of low-income families and the facilities of the community organizations that serve them. They also generously gave to IDEO.org, the non-profit arm of the global innovation and design firm, IDEO. IDEO.org works to improve the lives of people in poor or vulnerable communities across the world through design.
- Though our registry had fewer items on it, some were higher-end and more costly than a single guest might contribute. We wanted to create a registry where multiple people could contribute to the higher-end items.
- Of the items we did end up adding to our registry, they were from many different stores. There were probably only 1-2 items from the same store on the entire registry, so it didn't make sense to register at a single store. At the same time, it would be a headache if we registered for just 1-2 items at multiple stores!
In the end, we decided to create a registry through Simple Registry, and we are so happy we did. I spent many, many hours searching for Judaica that was simple, elegant and hand-made (as opposed to mass-produced). While wedding planning, I was able to find very few resources in alignment with our aesthetic. Here's a collection of our favorite Jewish wedding gifts- almost all are hand-made, hand-crafted or produced in a limited quantity:
- AHYIN by Micaela Ezra hand-embroidered, belgian linen challah cover. Made in collaboration with Hilando Mexico, a social and artists collective of women working to preserve ancient crafts. $499
- MATCH pair of Italian short pewter candlesticks, to be used as Shabbat candle sticks. $125
- Sheldon Ceramics oval stoneware platter, to be used as challah plate. $215
- theketubah stoneware kiddush cup with בורא פרי הגפן (last three words of wine blessing) calligraphy $75
- era Wang silverplate tzedakah box or piggy bank $63
- Nickey Kehoe silver-stamped matchbox cover, for Shabbat meals and Jewish holidays. $52
- Brad Ascaolon eight-facet, 18-angle, solid Carrara marble menorah. $275
- Stephanie Kaplan watercolor Momoyama ketubah. $425
- The New York Times Jewish Cookbook. $22.40
- Marmol Radziner walnut mezuzah with kosher scroll. $250
- Sari Srulovitch Touch Mezuzah with 24kt gold leaf. $525
- Aldo Cibic candle holders in brass or silver, to be used as travel Shabbat candle holders. $20 for each holder.
- Jennifer Raichman hand-embroidered, antique French linen and silk dupioni wedding smash glass pouch. $58
- Good old, cash in multiples of 18- a spiritual number in Judaism, the letters spelling chai (life) add up to 18 in Jewish mystical numerology.