Create The Wedding of Your Dreams
Having helped couples consecrate their vows for years, Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan will work with you to give you the personalized, wonderful wedding you desire. Whether you're conservative or free-thinking, Rabbi Kaplan will help you create a special day that is truly your own. More than any other factor, your own personal touch makes the difference in your wedding.
Whether it is a wedding ceremony or a renewal of vows, Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan will guide you every step of the way with warmth, sensitivity and flexibility.
My Approach to Officiating at Weddings
As a rabbi, I celebrate the commitment between you and your beloved by incorporating the values that make your relationship special. Your wedding should be a vivid representation of you as individuals and as a couple, and I will work with you closely to create the ceremony of your dreams.
As a wedding officiant, I will lead you as a couple through your wedding vows and the ceremony as a whole. I will also sign the marriage license to make your wedding legally binding. This allows for the issuance of a legal marriage certificate.
For me, the time we spend talking before the wedding is important. I want to get to know you both as individuals and as a couple and to help you to pick those words and deeds that will make your wedding truly unique. I hope that every word I say during your wedding ceremony deeply resonates with you emotionally.
As a rabbi who is devoting his career to the promotion of Judaism, I of course would like for you to include Jewish religious rituals and prayers. But this is your wedding, not mine. So the important thing for me is that we include ritual elements that are meaningful to you. That is why I try to offer a wide variety of options including some that are uncommon and even exotic.
How We will Plan Your Wonderful Wedding Day
We will plan a series of talks, either on Zoom or in person. At the first talk I will ask about yourselves and your relationship and I will try to get to know you. This will give us a chance to talk informally about your hopes and fears and about how I might be helpful to you in making your wedding day not only a beautiful moment but an auspicious beginning to a long and loving marriage.
At subsequent talks, we will slowly work our way through the marriage ceremony section by section. I will give you a Google Doc with options for each part of the ceremony and you can use the time between our talks to consider which ones you find speak to you most perfectly. We can also look for all sorts of alternative readings to express emotions that you want to have put into words.
I will also present a number of ritual activities that can be done at different points in the ceremony such as the bride and groom circling each other, a multi-wick havdalah candle being lit and then extinguished in a goblet of wine, or different colors of sand being poured together into a clear bowl. Some couples like the idea of enacting one or more of these ritual activities and others definitely do not want to do them, but the process of considering them is part of the building of your individualized, personalized wedding ceremony.
Create the Wedding of Your Dreams
Imagine having your Jewish wedding ceremony under a chuppah on the softest, greenest grass you can imagine with the pretty chirping of birds as the sun slowly sets behind a majestic mountain. The music begins to play - perhaps a classical piece such as Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D (The Wedding Song) or Johann Sebastian Bach’s Air on the G String. Your future brightens as you walk down the aisle with the flower girls tossing beautiful exotic petals left and right. Your feet gently sink into the soft grass as you and your beloved exchange vows of love and commitment with the wind gently blowing against your skin.
A Modern Ceremony in a Traditional Context
The traditional Jewish wedding ceremony was very beautiful but quite rigid. There were certain elements that needed to be performed in a particular manner in order to be considered valid. As American society has become much more open, the Jewish wedding ceremony has evolved and has become more fluid and flexible. Many of the traditional rites can still be observed in their original form if you, as a couple, so choose. On the other hand, you have the ability to mold and remold traditions to suit your family background, emotional temperament, and future plans.
Many ancient customs have been transformed in the context of modern society. The ketubah, the marriage contract, is of particular note. In medieval times, the ketubah explained the husband's obligation to his wife. Because it provided her with legal rights, it was a radical advance for its time. Today many couples want the language to reflect contemporary views on relationships and so many ketubot include parallel declarations from both bride and groom.
Andrew G. , married on 02/25/2023
5 out of 5 rating
A Perfect Wedding!
Rabbi Kaplan was friendly, accommodating, and extremely reliable!
Sent on 05/29/2023
Abigail Married on 11/24/2015
5 out of 5 rating
My husband and I planned a last minute, extremely casual wedding in Jamaica. Rabbi Kaplan was extremely understanding of the time crunch and worked with our schedules (we are extremely busy and travel constantly) to help us plan the ceremony we wanted. Our planning sessions were informative and fun. At no point were we overwhelmed or uncomfortable with the pace or the planning for our wedding. Rabbi Kaplan arrived the day of the wedding and spent time with our family. This was important as we had less than ten guests and two of them were under the age of 5. The wedding was beautiful, exactly what we wanted, and we couldn't be happier with how things turned out. We would recommend Rabbi Kaplan to anyone planning a wedding in Jamaica.
Sent on 02/25/2016
Hannah Married on 11/14/2015
5 out of 5 rating
Rabbi Kaplan officiated at our wedding at Round Hill, Hotel & Villas in Montego Bay, Jamaica. He worked closely with us from day one (from afar), scheduling several Skype sessions in which we went over our backgrounds, what a Jewish ceremony meant to us, and each part of the wedding ceremony. We ultimately worked together to create an individualized and perfect wedding ceremony that we could not have been happier with. He is very kind, thoughtful, accommodating, knowledgeable, and extremely reliable. He was great at cultivating a nice friendship with us and with our families before the wedding day and he was a calming presence throughout the process. Rabbi Kaplan is very experienced and he anticipated, planned, and executed everything perfectly. We were thrilled with our experience with him and look forward to maintaining a relationship with him in the future.
Sent on 02/27/2016
Mollie Married on 05/24/2015
5 out of 5 rating
Rabbi Dana Kaplan was excellent. Deserves more than 5 stars. We are from NY and got married in Jamaica, we were extremely nervous about having someone we haven't actually met in person officiate us but Rabbi Kaplan made us feel comfortable from day 1. We skyped several times leading up to the wedding. He got to know us as a couple and we got to know him. He was also a delight to have at our wedding and completely adapted to our style when he officiated us. He is flexible, knowledgeable, and also funny! Highly recommend Rabbi Kaplan.
Sent on 08/08/2015
User2080548 2+ years ago
5 out of 5 rating
Rabbi Kaplan was fantastic from start to finish. We had multiple Skype sessions leading up to our wedding. He was very informative, helpful, creative and fun. He is also a properly ordained Rabbi which is hard to find in Jamaica!
Sent on 03/29/2015
Alyson Married on 12/22/2014
5 out of 5 rating
My husband and I just got married in Negril, Jamaica on December 22, 2014 and we used Rabbi Dana Kaplan. He was absolutely amazing! He lives in Jamaica so is able to travel to wherever your wedding is. When we booked him online, we started talking over email. Once it got closer to the wedding, we skyped around 5 times prior to go over exactly what we wanted in the ceremony and to go through a couple of run throughs of the entire ceremony. Rabbi is very caring and always wanted to make sure that the ceremony was exactly what we wanted. Rabbi Kaplan even came to the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding so we could do the Ketubah signing here as we didn't want our Ketubah to get ruined at the actual wedding. He was very accommodating with everything that we requested. The actual ceremony went perfectly! We were so happy with Rabbi Kaplan and would definitely recommend him to anyone that needs a Rabbi for their wedding in Jamaica! Thank you Rabbi Kaplan for everything - we truly appreciate it!
Sent on 01/08/2015