“We want a Jewish wedding – but..: I hear that a lot from my wedding couples. What they mean, is they want to honor the Jewish heritage of one or both members of the couple, but they don’t want to hear words they don’t believe or be tied to specific ways of carrying out these traditions.
A lot of the weddings I perform have traditional elements interpreted in not-quite-traditional ways. You can have a chuppah, share wine, smash a glass, perform circling, even have seven blessings recited – all without a word you don’t believe.
Here’s a picture of Micah and Susan (I didn’t perform this ceremony, but Micah is my son, so he already knew he could use tradition the way he wanted to). They created a five-pole chuppah because there were five people they wanted to honor – perfect example of using Jewish tradition in a way that conforms to your own needs and beliefs.