Jewish Wedding Customs
What are Jewish weddings like? What customs are unique to Jewish weddings? What do you need to know about Jewish weddings before you go to the ceremony?
Jewish weddings are different from many other types of weddings in that they actually sign a ketubbah, or a marriage contract, during the wedding ceremony. At the beginning of the service, the groom signs the document then gives it to the bride. After signing the document, the groom looks deep into the eyes of his bride and takes off her veil in order to confirm that this is the woman he chooses to marry. You might remember the lesson Jacob learned when he was tricked into marrying Leah instead of Rachel. Rachel was the woman he wanted to marry, but Leah pretended to be Rachel and wore a veil over her face.
The Jewish wedding stage is more or less under a canopy called a "huppah." Under the huppah are two glasses of wine for the bride and groom. The huppah is held up either by four poles or by four members of the family.
If the Jewish wedding is conducted under the huppah, the bride and groom both are escorted down the aisle by their parents. Grandparents, brothers, sisters and other relatives all are involved in the processional. If the ceremony is in a synagogue, the groom stands to the left of the bride, and bride circles the groom seven times before taking her place. Those seven revolutions represent the seven wedding blessings.
After the vows are read and the rings are placed on the couples' fingers, the ketubbah (another Jewish tradition) is read, followed by a reading of the seven wedding blessings. Then, the couple sips their wine, and the groom breaks a glass with his foot to symbolize the desecration of the Temple.