A Jewish wedding ceremony has many great differences from a traditional secular wedding. The symbolism and history behind most Jewish traditional wedding is meaningful and rich in customs. Understand the traditions behind a Jewish wedding will help you enjoy the experience and appreciate the custom Jewish people have.
All Jewish wedding ceremonies are held under Chuppah. A chuppah is a wedding canopy with four corners, that symbolizes a home for the soon to be married couples.
Before the ceremony starts, the bride as well as the groom are obliged to sign a marriage contract called Ketubah. During the old days, this contract gives assurance to a bride that in case that her groom died, her well-being will be maintained. Nowadays, the above statement is still true. After the signing of Ketubah, veiling will take place. The term for checking under the veil is called Badeken (Yiddish covering) and this symbolizes that the groom has the right bride.
The bride is escorted by her groom to the Chuppah. This is a tradition that symbolizes new life as husband and wife in the future. Typically, the parents of the groom are the one that escorts him, but in these modern times, it is optional. After the escort session, the next attraction during the ceremony is exchanging rings and blessing over the glasses of wine. Jewish wedding rings are different and not the same with most other popular wedding rings because they are a continuous circle void of any seams or breaks, there are no engravings, no stones on them. These bands symbolize that in marriage there are no ends and no beginnings, life is a continuing circle.
During the ceremony, the Ketubah, a marriage contract will be read. This is often place on the bride’s right side and this will be given by the bride to the groom. Ketubah has decorations and often framed to be a display at the couple’s home. Sheva Berachot or the seven blessings are read after the reading of Ketubah. It is a blessing that is about marriage and joy. This is recited over the second glass of wine. Sheva Berachot serves as the link of the bride and groom to God’s faith.
Traditions of Jewish wedding are known to make the wedding ceremony more meaningful.
If you are planning to attend a Jewish wedding soon, it may be important for your enjoyment to learn Jewish wedding customs.