Planning your Jewish wedding, or about to attend one and not sure what to expect? When it comes to the Jewish Wedding Ceremony Order, things can get a little confusing, so here’s a light overview of what to expect on the Big Day:
Kabbalat Panim, the pre-Chuppah reception
This is first on the list for the Jewish wedding ceremony order. For more traditional-style weddings, the bride and the groom will often separate a week before the wedding and will only be reunited under the Chuppah. In that case, the bride and groom hold separate receptions in different areas of the wedding hall. This is often an opportune time for near and dear ones to give a heartfelt mazal tov to the happy couple before the energy becomes too ecstatic.
Ketubah, or Jewish wedding contract, Signing
This is done right before the Chuppah in the Jewish wedding ceremony order. This is so that the Ketubah can be presented under the wedding canopy. In more traditional weddings, the Ketubah is signed by the groom, the officiating Rabbi, and two male witnesses. However, more modern weddings will have the bride and groom sign the Ketubah together, and witnesses might include women, as well. Keep in mind that, just as in all other parts of the Jewish ceremony order, the Ketubah signing can be radically different from one wedding to the next, depending on the traditional background of the the bride and groom.
The Chuppah, or the marriage ceremony
Of the Jewish wedding ceremony order, this is perhaps the most classic and well-known aspect of the Jewish wedding. The bride traditionally walks around the groom seven times, then the Ketubah is read and rings are exchanged, followed by the recital of the seven blessings. Unlike other steps of the Jewish wedding ceremony order, most know how this part of the Jewish wedding ends: the groom shatters the well-covered glass with a solid stomp, to cries of “Mazal tov!”
The meal and dancing
Yes, some things remain the same from culture to culture. Most weddings in the world feature a reception with joyful dancing and great good, and the Jewish wedding ceremony order does not disappoint in that regard.
Of all the steps in the Jewish wedding ceremony order, the Ketubah is one that arguably takes the most amount of preparation—other than food tasting for the meal, of course!
Good news is that Ketubah artists like Amalya Nini make this process that much more enjoyable. With her large selection of text styles based on religious affiliation, as well as her gallery of stunning Ketubah designs, Amalya truly has something for every couple out there planning their Jewish wedding.
And there you have it: the ABC’s of the Jewish wedding ceremony order. L’chaim!