Preparations are in full swing for your Jewish wedding and you have finally made it to one of the most exciting parts: choosing your Jewish wedding bands. These are the very bands that you will be exchanging under the Chuppah, along with the presentation of your Ketubah.
Along with the usual wedding customs of appointing, perhaps the best man or the cutest member of the family, to serve as ring bearer, there are a few classic Jewish customs to keep in mind.
Here are the top 3 things to know when you are choosing your Jewish wedding bands:
- Did you know?
Before the custom of exchanging wedding bands became popularized, the bride was presented with a single coin. According to the stricted letter of Jewish law, the groom must only present a token worth over a certain amount. The roundness of the coin, now signified by wedding bands, represent the neverending love and commitment that the couple vow to have for one another.
Today, of course, customs have varied so that, not only have bands taken the place of coins, but many brides now wish to present their grooms with Jewish wedding bands, as well. This is done either under the Chuppah, or in the ceremony directly preceding it.
- The wedding is traditionally gold and unadorned.
In more traditional Jewish weddings today, the groom presents the bride with a Jewish wedding band that is completely gold, with no markings or jewels on it of any kind. Jewish weddings following more contemporary practices will allow for certain engravings or detailing on the ring, or for designs that feature mixed golds or silver.
Couples that wish to have a more traditional Chuppah, but want to ensure the bride has a ring that will go along with her fashion sense, will often have simple rings to exchange under the Chuppah, and then the groom will provide her with a separate ring that she will continue to wear on a daily basis.
- What are the most popular inscriptions for Jewish wedding bands?
For couples that do choose to choose wedding bands that feature meaningful inscriptions, here are a few popular options you might like to consider:
אני לדודי ודודי לי
“I am to my beloved, and my beloved is mine.” This is from the Song of Songs, known as the Bible’s most romantic set of scriptures. Many Jewish couples who wish to have a more modern chuppah will actually choose to have the bride say this when presenting the groom with his wedding band, after having received hers.
וארשתיך לי לעולם
“And I betroth you forever,” from Hosea 2:19. This is actually recited by the groom when presenting the bride with the ring under the Chuppah.
Other couples choose to have engravings on the inside of their Jewish wedding bands, like the names of the couple, or the date of their Jewish wedding.
And there you have it—the top 3 things to keep in mind when choosing your Jewish wedding bands before the Big Day. While you’re preparing for the Chuppah-necessities, don’t forget that, along with the Jewish wedding band, perhaps the most important aspect of the Jewish wedding according to Jewish Law is the Ketubah. Today, Ketubah artists like Amalya Nini create beautiful works of art that feature a wide selection of designs and texts based on the customs and the tastes of each Jewish couple.