Susan Berger reports for the Chicago Tribune: The Wednesday evening nuptials of Sarah Finkel and Shmulie Schochet gave new meaning to the term “white wedding.”
The bride, a Skokie native, and the groom, who hails from Toronto, had decided to hold their marriage ceremony midweek so that out-of-town guests could then enjoy a long weekend in Chicago, explained Phil Finkel, the father of the bride.
Many of the out-of-towners – and even some of the Chicago-area guests – never made it because of the history-making snowstorm. But Phil Finkel said most of the “main players” managed to be on hand. Luckily, that included the groom’s grandfather, Rabbi Dovid Schochet of Toronto, who performed the marriage ceremony.
The couple, both 21, even followed the Jewish tradition of setting up their wedding altar, or chuppah, outside under the stars – though the guests watched from the warm confines of the Westin O’Hare hotel in Rosemont.
And despite the disappointment over loved ones who missed the blessed event, the families refused to view the storm as a damper.
“It’s a happy occasion that the snow cannot deter. The snow does not change anything,” said Bernie Finkel, of Evanston, the bride’s grandfather. “There is thought in the Jewish religion about luck: the dew in the spring at Passover, the rain in the fall during Sukkot. And now I am saying snowfall is lucky too. This is a special time. There should be a special time to pray for snow.”
The weather did lend a modern touch to the traditional Orthodox ceremony: The groom’s sister “watched” through a laptop Web camera from out of state, since she couldn’t make it to the ceremony.
And, as Phil Finkel pointed out, there should be no trouble remembering their anniversary.