Choosing to have a Jewish wedding is a big decision. The wedding no longer becomes simply a celebration of your commitment to one another but also a celebration of your religion and of your beliefs. To create a beautiful Jewish wedding, here are some tips to consider.
Two important traditions associated with a Jewish wedding begin before the ceremony. The first tradition is known as tish. During this tradition, the groom attempts to say a few words about the Torah only to be interrupted by the joviality of his wedding party. Immediately after the tish is the bedeken when the groom places the veil over his bride’s face supposedly so he can make sure he is marrying the right person.
Jewish weddings must take place in synagogues and traditionally involve a chuppah which is usually some type of canopy under which the couple stand during the ceremony.
After the completion of the ceremony, all of the guests are expected to break glasses on the floor. While the tradition is messy and the explanation for the tradition differs, many couples wouldn’t have a Jewish wedding without it.
Among the many rituals common to a Jewish wedding, you’ll find the ring ceremony in which the groom gives the bride a ring while saying the haray aht which basically is a Hebrew saying that says the ring is binding their relationship under the laws of their religion. The bride can also give the groom a ring but that is not a necessity.
Another ritual is the yichud. The yichud is a time when the bride and groom are alone together after the ceremony. No one else is around ‘ not even the wedding party. Besides being a final step in making the marriage legal under Jewish law, the yichud also gives the couple a chance to catch their breath before being whisked away to the reception.
Most Jewish wedding ceremonies are fairly formal. They are both a solemn time and a happy occasion. Generally, you’ll want the ceremony to stick close to traditions. However, you may have a little more freedom with the reception. Remember that you’ll need a large dance floor at your reception location for traditional circle dancing.
Generally, you’ll want to keep your reception decorations pretty simple and traditional. For centerpieces, you might want to use flowers that can either be potted or placed in vases. Balloons that match the other colors of your wedding can be used for decorations, too. Expect to use plenty of white streamers and maybe even some lovely white candles to give your reception location that extra something special.
Most Jewish receptions are catered by kosher restaurants. Even if you don’t follow kosher-dietary restrictions yourself, many of your guests will and this just makes it simpler for you and them. Make sure you also have some Challah bread available for the traditional blessing that comes during the reception.
For your Jewish wedding, it’s best to be traditional and fairly formal in the clothing you select. Grooms should wear suits with accessories that match the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses, and the bride should be wearing a beautiful white gown. She’ll also need to have a veil so the groom can ‘veil’ her during bedeken.
Instead of giving your guests wedding favors, you should instead pass out the glasses which will be broken at the end of the ceremony. You can even purchase small decorative bags in which to place the glasses when you present them to your guests.