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If you are not members of a congregation and do not have a relationship with a rabbi or cantor, you will need to find one to officiate your Jewish wedding ceremony.

You can begin your search by contacting the local office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, local synagogues, Jewish schools, Jewish community centers or a local hospital to get a listing of rabbis in your area.

If there are several congregations in your area, try going to services at a few of them to gauge the rabbi's personality. Do you want a rabbi with a sense of humor, a warm personality or someone with a strict adherence to Jewish wedding ceremony traditions? If possible, find a rabbi whose personality meshes with you and your fiancés.

Once you've selected a wedding rabbi, call to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your Jewish wedding plans. At your first meeting, be prepared to provide the rabbi with the time, date and location of your wedding ceremony. You'll want to get on his/her calendar as soon as possible, as their schedules tend to fill up quickly.

If you'll be signing a ketubah, you may need to provide the rabbi with your Hebrew names, as well as the Hebrew names of your parents.

If you wish to add a personal reading, music or a poem to your ceremony, this would be a good time to find out the rabbi's opinion on such matters. Details regarding who will provide the wine glasses, the wine and the kippot (skull caps) should also be discussed.

Find out if there are any requirements for the delivery and set-up of your huppah and wedding flowers. Also determine what is and is not acceptable in the synagogue regarding the style of your wedding dress, photography and videography.

Finally, so there are no ackward moments on your wedding day, the groom should ask the rabbi about his/her fee.

© Jewish Wedding Planner, 2007