As I previously mentioned, Judaism has played a major role in our wedding planning. When Mr. Wellies and I discussed our ceremony, we knew without a doubt that we would have a religious Jewish ceremony. We’re both very excited to incorporate so many different aspects of Judaism into our wedding; since everything is rich with meaning and history, it will give our day an even deeper resonance.
Chuppah – The ceremony takes place under the chuppah, a canopy that represents the home Mr. Wellies and I will build together. It is open on all sides, symbolizing that friends and family are always welcome. I really love the imagery (both literal and metaphorical) of the chuppah. Although there are several vendors in the area who would be able to create a chuppah for us, we’re going to build it ourselves, to make it even more personal.
Hakafot (Circling) – Jewish weddings traditionally begin with the bride circling the groom seven times. There are various interpretations of this ritual: Seven is the number of days of creation, and the wedding ceremony is the creation of a new household; there are seven wedding blessings; and seven is the number of times the phrase “when a man takes a wife” occurs in the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible). By circling Mr. Wellies seven times, I will intertwine our lives and form a new family circle.
Image via Sandor Welsh Photography
Kiddush (Blessing over Wine) – Wine is often associated with celebrations, festivals, and simcha (joy). Kiddush is part of virtually all Jewish observance as a prayer of sanctification. During the ceremony, Mr. Wellies and I will drink from a Kiddush cup that once belonged to my dad, sanctifying the joy and abundance of our marriage.
Ketubah – The ketubah, or marriage contract, is one of the oldest elements of Jewish weddings. Our ketubah consists of the traditional Aramaic text, which has bound Jewish brides and grooms since ancient times, as well as an English interpretation, which specifies our commitment to one another. We’ve already selected our ketubah design and can’t wait to display it in our home!
What religious or cultural customs are you including in your wedding day?