Every bride and groom hold a picturesque image of what their dream wedding will look like. From colorful floral arrangements to tasteful draperies, each wedding has their own creative style. When it comes to Jewish weddings, tradition is very important. These vibrant and meaningful traditions joyfully bring together, not just the bride and groom, but their families too!
To begin, the groom must partake in the kabbalat panim. Before the ceremony the bride sits in a special seat surrounded by female family members while guests approach her and wish her the best on her upcoming marriage. Kabbalat panim is also a time for the groom to go to his bride and lift her veil to make sure she's the woman he's marrying. He shouts with joy and passion in front of the family and guest that this really is the woman he fell in love with!
Another significant detail is the signing of the ketubah, a prenuptial agreement, between the bride and groom. This Jewish marriage document explains the obligations the groom must carry out to his bride during their marriage. These are promises the groom makes to the bride. He will promise to make her feel beautiful, understood and most importantly loved. The ketubah is read aloud during the service to demonstrate the groom’s undying loyalty and commitment to his stunning bride.
After the signing of the ketubah, the ceremony may begin. The bride and groom will stand under what is known as the chuppah, an elegant Jewish canopy. The chuppah is four poles, holding up a beautiful portion of fabric meant to signify their first home together. The material holding the poles together may be a tallit, a Jewish prayer shawl. The chuppah can be magnificently decorated with flowers, pearls or crystals; it’s all up to the bride and groom’s wishes.
During the ceremony, the bride will walk halfway down the aisle to meet her parents and together they will meet the groom underneath the chuppah. The rabbi will bless the couple with various wedding prayers. For the grand finale, the groom will break glass to signify the amount of years they’ll stay together. The more broken pieces means a longer and happier marriage.
The reception may come last but it certainly is not least. Family and friends gather to celebrate the union of the couple by cheerfully eating, singing and dancing. For very traditional families the room is divided by men and women; the meiza is used to separate them and can be charmingly adorned with brilliant draperies and iridescent flowers. With all these jubilant traditions, Jewish weddings are nothing but exciting, joyous and, of course, memorable for the happy couple!