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US Jewish weddings are back — along with rising prices, staff shortages, uncertainty

13 4 23

New York Jewish Week via JTA — After 18 months of barely performing any weddings at all, Rabbi Howard Buechler of the Dix Hills Jewish Center on Long Island found himself with not just one but two requests to officiate on a recent Saturday night.

So he enlisted his daughter, Rabbi Yael Buechler, to officiate at one of them. The bride, Pamela Rosen, and her parents knew her because she has led an alternative service at the synagogue during the High Holidays.

Meanwhile, one of the senior Rabbi Buechler’s sons, Rabbi Eli Buechler, assistant rabbi at The Jewish Center, an Orthodox synagogue in Manhattan, was officiating at still another wedding that weekend in the city.

“This is the first time we ever had a Buechler trifecta,” Howard Buechler said.

The unusual feat was driven by an explosion of weddings this fall as couples scheduled the big nuptials that were unsafe during the height of the pandemic. Along with growing guest lists, the trend has put pressure on rabbis, caterers and vendors across the New York City area who are working their way through a backlog of weddings.

No one suggests that the pandemic is over, and the uncertainty — of case surges, new variants and gaps between who is and isn’t vaccinated — brings with it its own anxiety. (At all three November 13 weddings, Buechler said, he believed guests were required to be fully vaccinated.)

Still, families have been scrambling to reschedule postponed weddings — and dealing with rising prices, limited venues and ever-changing medical recommendations as they do so.

“The number of weddings this year is off the charts,” said Bill Vidro, the owner of Azure Limousine in St. James, New York, in Long Island’s Suffolk County. “People are getting married this year who rescheduled their wedding from last year. There are weddings now from 10 am until 3 or 4 pm because the venue was already booked for the night. We are picking up brides and grooms as early as 6:30 in the morning. They go for pictures and then for an afternoon wedding. It’s........

© The Times of Israel

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