Q. I am being married at home, in a Reform Jewish ceremony, and I am somewhat uneasy about some modifications of traditions that my mother is suggesting. If they were really as common as she says, why is she always saying that it isn't necessary to both the rabbi about them?
The first is, is it really all right to have the chupah made out of flowers?
I have always seen cloth ones, but my mother and the florist say any canopy will do.
The second question is about the ring. My engagement ring is part of a set, and the wedding ring is an odd shape to fit around it, and is set with diamonds. I know that only a plain, gold, unbroken circle is traditional, and wonder if the fancy one will seem frivolous. I know I should have thought of this earlier, but it bothers me.
The last question is about breaking the glass. My mother tells me it is customary to substitute a light bulb, since it is wrapped in a napkin anyway and no one can see it, and that the bridegroom has less trouble crushing it under his heel to insure good luck.
A. What luck do you expect to have with a husband who can't be trusted to smash a glass? Please use a real glass. Do you think God can't see inside a napkin? Anyway, the gesture symbolizes the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem, not luck.
Miss Manners will approve the floral canopy of you ask for a plain gold ring to receive at the wedding, saving the diamond one for whenever you feel like wearing it. Not only is the symbolism of the plain ring beautiful, but it won't tear your stockings in everyday use.