Mazal tov on your recent engagement! Our Sutton Place Synagogue community is happy to help you celebrate this very important lifecycle event. Whether you want to schedule an aufruf (the blessing to the couple before the wedding) or the wedding itself, we are here to help! Please call Harriet Janover or Rabbi Ain directly to begin the process.

Here are some frequently asked questions

  1. Can Rabbi Ain officiate at my wedding? Rabbi Ain loves officiating at weddings between two Jewish adults. You don’t have to be a member of Sutton Place Synagogue to reach out to her for this opportunity.
  2. How do I schedule a date for my wedding? There are certain times on the Jewish calendar when weddings do not take place, including Shabbat and Jewish Holidays. Please note that Shabbat does not end until an hour after sundown. If you would like to use Rabbi Ain as an officiant, please speak with her before signing a contract on a venue to ensure that she can officiate at the time you desire.
  3. Does it matter that either my future spouse or I was married before? If you or your fiancé were married before to someone Jewish, you will need to be legally divorced in the eyes of the State and you must obtain (or have obtained) a Get, the Jewish divorce document, in order to get re-married by Rabbi Ain. Please be in touch with her directly and she will explain this process to you.
  4. Can I get married in the sanctuary at SPS? Can we use the ballroom for the reception? Please be in touch directly with Harriet Janover about facility rental fees, catering, and more.
  5. Is there an expectation to pay the rabbi? If you are a member of SPS, there is no fee for Rabbinic services, though many couples choose to make a donation to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund. There is an expectation though, that all expenses related to the wedding (transportation, lodging if it is out of town, etc.) will be covered by the couple. If you are not a member of SPS, there is an additional professional fee payable to Rabbi Rachel Ain. She will discuss the fee with you personally.
  6. My intended spouse is not as yet Jewish, but would like to convert. What is the conversion process? Rabbi Ain is happy to usher an individual through conversion. Please click here to learn more.
  7. How far in advance do we need to start meeting with Rabbi Ain? There is no specific amount of time, but she will help prepare you both for your wedding ceremony and for your married life. You will meet with her at least three times in advance of your wedding. The first time is a brief getting-acquainted meeting. The second and third meetings should take an hour each. At one of these meetings, she will discuss your wedding ceremony—each of its symbols and their meanings. At the other meeting, some time will be spent talking about the opportunities in married life and its challenges.

Rabbi Ain will make every effort to present a meaningful, spiritual, and dignified wedding ceremony. She deeply respects the sanctity of the wedding ceremony, and will, to the best of her abilities, offer a ceremony you and your guests will remember with warmth and joy. She hopes that following the wedding, you will maintain a relationship and feel comfortable calling upon her as your rabbi.

  1. Is Cantor Keren available to co-officiate at our wedding? Absolutely! When you speak with Rabbi Ain during your initial call, please mention this to her so she can coordinate with the Cantor and check his availability.

Here are some books to take a look at as you get started:

The New Jewish Wedding, Anita Diamant, Simon & Schuster.

The Jewish Wedding Book, Rabbi Daniel Syme, UAHC Press.

Judaism for Two

Meeting at the Well