Jewish life Life Stages Weddings & Blessings COVID-19 WEDDING UPDATE: In order for weddings to be Covid-safe the numbers are limited to fifteen. This excludes the rabbi or other staff members. Contact Micky Nathanson on 020 7535 0284 for more information. Mazal Tov! If you’re viewing this section of the website then you, or a relative, may be planning a forthcoming wedding. Organising the perfect wedding can be a challenge - our team is here to help. West London Synagogue has been conducting weddings since 1840. As a modern, progressive synagogue, we aim to balance Jewish tradition with a contemporary approach. If your situation is non standard, we’ve probably worked with a similar situation at one of our 30 weddings per year. The number seven features heavily at a Jewish wedding - seven circles by the bride and groom, and seven blessings - so here are seven ways that we may be able to assist you: Jewish Weddings The law in the UK enables us to officiate at a legally-recognised wedding for two people who are of the Jewish faith and are eligible for synagogue membership. In fact, we can only officiate at legally-recognised weddings for synagogue members, so part of your wedding preparation is to take out membership of the congregation. Our rabbis will listen to your preferences without judgement, and will either be able to help, or will know a rabbi who can. We can create bespoke wedding ceremonies. Please contact Jenny Browning who will arrange for an informal discussion with a Rabbi. Mixed-Faith Celebrations West London Synagogue has been at the forefront in creating authentic and meaningful wedding celebrations for couples where one partner is non-Jewish. Our rabbis are well experienced in officiating at mixed faith religious celebrations. We welcome the person you love into our diverse congregation. Within the synagogue site, the Stern Hall is licensed for civil weddings, conducted by Westminster Register Office. Many couples then choose to move their guests into our historic Sanctuary for a bespoke Jewish blessing. In the lead up to getting engaged and planning a wedding, some dual heritage couples will consider the possibility of the non-Jewish partner becoming Jewish. Whilst this is never an expectation, if you would like more information about this, please contact Adi Ben-Naim. Same-Sex Couples West London Synagogue may be the most welcoming and inclusive of all congregations in the UK. Long before same-sex marriage became legal, we conducted wedding blessings for same-sex couples. Our rabbis are well experienced in same-sex weddings and blessings, and no matter whether your spouse-to-be is Jewish, non-gender-binary, or from overseas, please do ask us to help. Auspices Weddings in our Sanctuary (using your own rabbi) As one of the most beautiful religious buildings in London, our Sanctuary is a sought-after wedding venue for members of other communities. If you belong to another Reform, Liberal or Masorti congregation, either in the UK or overseas, and would like to enquire about hiring our Sanctuary for your chuppah (Jewish wedding) using your own rabbi, please contact Micky Nathanson, Ritual Co-ordinator. Getting Married Overseas (by one of our rabbis) If you have set your sights on a destination wedding, then please get in touch with one of our rabbis to discuss their availability to officiate. In recent years we have officiated at weddings all over the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. Naturally there will be a fee for this, but also you should consider the need to treat your civil marriage in the UK separately from your religious wedding blessing and celebration at your international destination. If you are a non-member who wants to get married in continental Europe and would like us to help you find a rabbi to officiate, please contact Micky Nathanson, Ritual Co-ordinator. Getting Married by Another Congregation? If you are a West London Synagogue member and are getting married under the auspices of another congregation, our community would still love to add something to your celebrations. One option could be to have a blessing during one of the Shabbat services before the date of your wedding. It doesn’t matter if your spouse-to-be is Orthodox or non-Jewish, we want to rejoice with you at this happiest of times. Please contact Micky Nathanson, Ritual Co-ordinator. Preparing for your Wedding Irrespective of whether we officiate at your wedding, our rabbis are here to help in the following ways: Pre-marriage counselling. Our new pre-wedding course, where you can meet other couples going through the same journey. Auf Ruf and blessings in a service leading up to the wedding. Signposting you to other rabbis and organisations who may be able to help when your wishes go beyond the guidelines of the Assembly of Reform Rabbis UK.