As I mentioned, wedding-related posts are coming at some point. In the meantime, some meta notes on the topic: liberal/egalitarian Jewish marriage is in a period of ferment. If our evolving civilization is characterized by punctuated equilibrium, we are very much between equilibria at least in this particular area. In a few decades or so, I think things may settle down, but in the meantime, there's no universal standard of how to effect an egalitarian Jewish marriage, either practically or conceptually, and the options are multiplying. This means that everyone who gets married has significant decisions to make. The other night I was speaking to someone else who recently got married, and they were talking about the decisions they had made about these ritual matters, based on the specific constraints of their situation.
I should note that my day job currently includes thinking about Lagrangian mechanics. That night, I got up to use the bathroom, but was still mostly asleep, and in the moments my thoughts were adrift, with the Kiddushin Variations intermingling with the calculus of variations, I had an insight that seemed profound at the same time, and in the morning seemed less profound but still worth blogging:
Devising an egalitarian Jewish wedding ceremony is a variational problem. We each have different constraints, and the goal is to find a trajectory that gets us from the initial point to the final point and (at least locally) extremizes the action. Part of the task that each couple undergoes is choosing the appropriate generalized coordinates that take these constraints into account, and then formulating their Lagrangian. Unfortunately, at that point there are no Euler-Lagrange equations to simplify the calculations (and in any case, the equations of motion aren't solvable analytically), so instead we just have to choose and compare possible trajectories by hand.