Rabbi Scott Colbert has affiliated added than 1,000 couples over the aftermost 45 years in abounding states and countries, including Costa Rica and Israel. “I’m at the point area I’m marrying the accouchement of the parents I affiliated three or four decades ago,” said Clergyman Colbert, who is 71 and afresh retired. Both a clergyman and cantor, he started his career in the 1970s in San Antonio at Temple Beth El. He afterwards spent 30 years in Atlanta, commutual his career as arch clergyman at Temple Emanu-El there.
In August, he and his wife, Karen Abrams Colbert, who abide in Sandy Springs, Ga., acclaimed their 50th anniversary. Today he still marries about 50 couples a year.
What differentiates you from added rabbis? All couples charge some counseling. I attach to a 168-question survey. It’s a cerebral assay that looks at 12 to 14 altered areas: banking planning, admonition skills, closeness, flexibility, family, commemoration other, expectations of marriage, and animal compatibility. They booty the quiz separately, but we go over the answers together. It gets issues out on the table so that they can abstain problems later.
Where are the best absorbing bells locales? Lakes, hotels, wineries and ski slopes. The nicest are the beaches at sunset. I’ve been aureate to Disney World. It’s adamantine to be austere back Mickey Mouse is in your face.
What makes you uncomfortable? A bells is a angelic moment. Guests are snapping photos. You try to explain this is a time back bodies are chain their lives and actuality guided together. It’s not consistently a time for photos. I’ve had the helpmate and benedict extend the kiss a little too continued and that makes bodies actual uncomfortable. Dancing bottomward the aisle, however, is great.
Is there article you accommodate in every wedding? I apperceive rabbis who do cartwheels bottomward the alley afterwards the pronouncing. I’m not like that. I’m warm, companionate and serious. Two weeks afore a brace marry, I ask them to address a adulation letter to commemoration other, which they accessible the morning of the wedding. I’ve asked them to accelerate me a archetype in advance. I consistently analysis to accomplish abiding they’ve apprehend it, and I usually absorb article from their belletrist into the sermon. Sometimes it’s funny; sometimes it’s serious. It’s an accomplished exercise in admonition for them and it gives me a bit of acumen into their personalities. Couples adore accomplishing it, and they like it back I use their own words during the ceremony.
Do you break in blow with the couples you marry? Commemoration year I mail or email 200 or 300 commemoration cards.
What conjugal admonition do you offer? I animate the brace to bethink why you fell in love. What brought you two together, not what’s disturbing you apart. It’s a activity best that you’re making. You charge to forgive, accept a faculty of amusement and to appearance adulation for the added person. The bells is a half-hour in a person’s life, but it’s the alliance that’s important. The commemoration is activity to be beautiful, but architecture your lives calm is added important.
What’s the weirdest affair you’ve experienced? I performed a bells at the bottom of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix and a rattlesnake slid bottomward the aisle. Another time a bee kept ambit my adenoids and on the ‘Amen’ I airtight the rabbi’s chiral book calm — with the bee in the average of it.
Do you bethink the aboriginal time you officiated? I was 27. It was the summer of 1973. I was in Texas and had alone been at the aggregation for two weeks. The helpmate was awfully pregnant. They capital the adolescent to be the artefact of a affiliated couple. Back again that was still actual important. Appropriate afterwards exchanging of the rings her baptize bankrupt beneath the huppah. I’d able a nice sermon, which we skipped, and accomplished the commemoration quickly. He stepped on the glass. Again I went appropriate to, “I now accent you bedmate and wife. Now go to the hospital.”
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