How to make your Sheva Brachot sensational

Our top tips to make your Sheva Brachot stand out


Are you making a sheva brachot evening for friends or relations during the week after their wedding? Here is a quick four-point guide.

1) Who to invite?

Do not feel the need to replicate the guest list of the wedding. Many people feel they need to invite a large number of the wedding guests for the sheva brachot. They think the families of both bride and groom, in their entirety, are a must for each of the evening gatherings.

This is not the case. One of the nice things about sheva brachot is that they are a chance for the hosts to bring in people who were not at the wedding but who might like to celebrate with the couple, or to have a gathering of a certain social circle, for example the groom’s old school friends or the bride’s university friends. You should not feel awkward about doing this, or pressurised to invite a dozen of the couple’s family members.

That said, it can be nice to integrate some relations into friend-based celebrations and vice versa. So, for example, if the bride or groom has a sibling or cousin around the same age as the people you are getting together, consider asking them along.

As for the bride’s and groom’s parents, play it by ear. They do not always have to come but, if they are from out of town and staying around for celebrations, it might be appropriate.

2) What to serve?

Sheva brachot do not need to always be a lavish feast. The bride and groom have enjoyed the wedding and probably have a fridge full of leftovers. It can be fun to theme the menu and, instead of a mass of food go for particular foods the bride and groom love. Even if they are informal foods, such as burgers and chips or pizza, you will find ways to make the room and the table look great and create a sense of occasion. If it is a summer wedding, consider a nice laid-back barbecue.

3) What do I need?

Aside from the catering, to make sheva brachot in the traditional way, ensure you have bread with which people can make hamotzi and wine for the recitation of the actual seven blessings (the sheva brachot). You will also want to make sure you have a minyan (this is defined by Orthodoxy as 10 men over the age of barmitzvah and extended to include women in non-Orthodox communities).

4) Should there be speeches?

Yes but not necessarily in the formal manner of a wedding. The host or hostess often welcomes everyone and others may want a say. It can be nice to have a variety of speakers, including a friend or relation who knows the couple well and perhaps a friend of the host who is less familiar with the bride and groom, sharing a humorous reflection on married life or a joke. Everyone should feel able to join in and help the couple to start married life with a laugh and a smile.

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