- Kallah Bracelets- (Apparently the groom doesn't know your ring size, so when you get engaged, he gives you a diamond bracelet instead)
- Chosson Watches (The bride has to give the groom a fancy watch)
- Pearls in the Yichud Room (except for Sephardim)
- Cufflinks in the Yichud Room
- FLOPS (Flowers, Liquor, Orchestra, Photographs, Shaitel) is to be paid for by the groom
- The bride pays for the wedding hall
- Someone (I forget who) has to buy the groom a tallis and attara
Do you know what the Yichud room is? It is the first time that the couple is together, the first time that they are allowed to touch. They have never touched one another before, have always respected the privacy and sanctity of one another's bodies. But now they are able to touch, to truly connect with one another. How can one turn something so beautiful into something so coarse as a materialistic exchange of gifts, mandated by some code that makes absolutely no sense?
Similarly, how is it possible for a person to openly admit that if her sister were to be given a diamond ring that was larger than hers, she would be jealous; she would prefer her sister not to have something because she didn't have it? Dustfinger and I fight over many things, but we have never fought about material possessions. It would never occur to us to fight over such things. Does one measure the love of the bridegroom by the size of the diamond he bestows upon you? What lunacy is this?
To have money is no sin, but to value money above everything else in the world is.
I never was exposed to this before; I never understood this before...