What distinguishes a Jewish wedding from all other weddings? Well, not to overstate the obvious, but a Jewish wedding involves a wedding ceremony in which Jewish rituals and laws are observed. Some of the more commonly recognizable Jewish wedding rituals include the wedding canopy, or the chuppah, of course; and you can’t forget about the classic breaking of the glass; and perhaps not quite as iconic as the aforementioned Jewish wedding rituals, but the ketubah is basically the cornerstone of the Jewish wedding.
What Happens Under the chuppah?
The Jewish wedding rituals observed beneath the chuppah, while certainly spiritual, are actually quite pragmatic if you stop to think about it. Even the lead up to the chuppah is more than sensible - as though they were king and queen, the bride (kallah) and the groom (chasan) are guided to the chuppah separately by their corresponding parents. Once beneath the chuppah, the Jewish wedding rituals kick into high gear - blessings are recited, the groom places a simple gold ring on the bride's finger, the ketubah is read, more blessings are recited and finally the glass is broken. All aspects of the Jewish wedding rituals observed are filled with symbolism and good intentions.
When Jewish wedding rituals come to mind, I don’t think there is one quite as quintessential as the breaking of the glass. A glass (often a wine glass) is wrapped in cloth or foil and stepped on by the groom at the culmination of the wedding ceremony. It’s meant to symbolize that joy must be softened and cannot be complete until the building of the Holy Jewish temple. This is coupled with cries of joy and “mazel tov” which begin at the first sound of glass breaking.
Essentially a wedding contract, the ketubah details the husband's obligations during the marriage to his wife, including his obligations to support and provide apparel, food and marital relations. This is signed by two unrelated witnesses and meant to remain in the ownership of the married couple for as long as the marriage lasts. Traditionally Jewish wedding rituals prescribe the ketubah to be read aloud in Aramaic. More modern takes, however, often have the reading translated, or decide to go with a shortened version perhaps with more personal meaning added.
In view of the fact that the ketubah is meant to be in the possession of the married couple for the life of their marriage, you may want to consider opting for a ketubah that you and your future spouse can both appreciate. Amalya Nini creates stunning ketubah’s containing beautiful and intricate designs that can be cherished for years to come. Though Jewish wedding rituals are deeply rooted in religion and the spiritual, personalizing the ketubah can deepen the meaning it has on your wedding ceremony. Jewish wedding rituals, simply put, make a wedding Jewish.