How does a Jewish wedding ceremony work?

March 23, 2013 | By

Question by Gary Johnson: How does a Jewish wedding ceremony work?
Like what happens in order. I need this information for a project! Thanks!

Best answer:

Answer by archangello

Well well i'm not Jewish but i understand how we sometimes stumble on some project's titles, i'll try to give you enough matter to work with.
Jewish weddings are filled with tradition, ritual, and beauty. If you've never been to one(neither did i), you might have some questions about what to expect at the wedding ceremony-- so here's a quick primer!
Please keep in mind that not all Jewish weddings are alike. Traditions vary between Ashkenazi Jews (Jews of Eastern European or Germanic descent) and Sephardi Jews (Jews who descend from the Iberian Peninsula). The wedding may adhere more strictly to religious traditions if it's at an Orthodox or Conservative synagogue than if it's at a Reform or Reconstructionist synagogue. In addition, many modern Jewish couples add their own personal touches and seek to become more actively involved in the creation of their ceremonies.

So here's the basics on Jewish wedding traditions:
=> The procession. Here's one big difference between Christian and Jewish weddings: both the bride and the groom walk down the aisle accompanied by both parents. Traditionally, the rabbi walks out first, followed by the groom and his parents, the grandparents, the groomsmen, the bridesmaids, the flower girl and ring bearer, and the bride and her parents. This order is not always followed. In more traditional weddings, the bride and her parents circle the chupah seven times, a tradition with several different religious implications.
=> The chupah. The wedding ceremony takes place under the chupah, which is a canopy on four poles that is sometimes decorated. The chupah symbolizes that the bride and groom are creating a home together and that it will always be open to guests. This tradition originates from the Biblical wedding of Abraham and Sarah.
=> The wedding ceremony under the chupah. Traditional Jewish wedding ceremonies have two parts. During the first part, the bride and groom become betrothed and a blessing is recited over a cup of wine that the bride and groom drink. Traditionally, the groom puts a ring on the bride at this point, although this has become mutual at many modern weddings. Later, the Sheva Brachot, or seven blessings, are recited over another glass of wine. Relatives and close friends are sometimes asked to recite this blessing to honor them.
=> The ketubah. The ketubah is a Jewish wedding contract. The rabbi reads it under the chupah after the ring ceremony. Many couples frame their ketubah and display it in their home. Traditionally, the ketubah was written in Aramaic, but today many Jews use Hebrew instead.
=> The breaking of the glass. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the groom (and in some modern ceremonies, the bride as well) smashes a glass with his foot. (In Israeli weddings, the glass is broken after the ketubah reading) The meaning of this act is disputed. One interpretation is that the marriage will last as long as the glass is broken-- forever. Another interpretation is that people need to remember those who are suffering even in their greatest moments of joy, and to remember the destruction of the second temple. After the breaking of the glass, the guests yell, "Mazel Tov!" which means good luck.
=> The Kabbalat Panim and the Badeken. Weddings that are more traditional include these two ceremonies before the procession to the chupah. The bride and groom each have their own Kabbalat Panim receptions in separate rooms where attendants wish them well. Afterwards, in the Badeken ceremony, the groom veils the bride, which symbolizes that he loves her for more than just her outer beauty.

What do you think? Answer below!

just about to walk the aisle
wedding ceremony walking order
Image by The Intrepid Traveler
told you these were out of order. ^ that's alex knutson

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Comments (4)

  1. SugarCat

    You need to do your homework yourself, not try to get other people to do it for you. You know that.

  2. megan

    That hugely depends on the couple themselves. Lots of couples don’t have people go through their Bedeken, for example, but many do.

    Sorry but I won’t give it to you in sequence, you just have to do that research on your own. NOT Yahoo. You could possibly even research some Jewish wedding planning companies, they might give you an idea.

  3. Jim Ashley

    usually they drink a lot of wine
    then its bang bang thank you mam

  4. jewishgiftplace