Jewish Wedding Customs (Part 2)

Exchange of Rings — During the exchange of rings, Mr. Wellies and I will recite the traditional marriage formula in Hebrew, which is translated as, “By this ring you are consecrated to me in accordance with the traditions of Moses and Israel.” This formula, called the haray aht, contains 32 letters. In Hebrew, the number 32 is written with the same letters that spell the word “heart.” Thus, Mr. Wellies and I will give our hearts to each other as we recite the words. Traditionally, the wedding ring is placed on the right index finger so that witnesses will see the ring is received; it is also believed that the index finger is the most direct link to the heart.


Image via Helen Maybanks Photography

Wrapping in the Tallis — The tallis, or prayer shawl, represents the 613 commandments which are the pillar of the Jewish faith. By wrapping ourselves in my grandfather’s tallis, we will be protected by the commandments and the spiritual strength of Judaism. The tallis will also bring us together as a couple in our first symbolic home””the chuppah.


Image via Megan Dailor Photography

Sheva B’rachot (Seven Blessings) — The seven marriage blessings celebrate the themes of creation, friendship, and love. They begin by praising God for the sources of joy we find in the world and lead into a more specific request that God grant joy to the couple. The final blessing poetically lists numerous manifestations of joy, such as dance, song, unity, love, and peace.

Breaking the Glass — The wedding ceremony concludes with Mr. Wellies breaking a glass under his foot. There are multiple significances behind this custom. Traditionally, it symbolizes the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. It also serves as a reminder that relationships are as fragile as glass and must always be treated with care, love, and respect. It is a reminder that even in a moment of great joy, there are still parts of the world that remain broken, and we have a responsibility to help relieve some of that suffering.


Image via Ruffled / Photo by James Moes

Yichud — Immediately following the ceremony, Mr. Wellies and I will spend a short period of time alone with one another. This period of seclusion gives us an opportunity to reflect on the ceremony and to enjoy each other’s company for the first time as husband and wife.


Image via The Wedding Yentas / Photo by Marlin Munoz

We’re so excited to include these customs in our wedding! I don’t think I can pick a favorite. Can you?


Miss Wellies

Wedding Date:
February 2014
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  1. Member
    peonyinlove 2302 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:05 am

    i loved these two posts – i will be having an intercultural ceremony (SO is jewish) and we love to talk about what cultural elements he would like to include. we’ve decided on the chuppah and yichud for sure

  2. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:53 am

    I’m just curious as to who normally wraps the bride and groom in the tallis? Family? Friends? The Rabbi? and how you’re planning to do it since you won’t really have any guests?
    Fascinating posts!

  3. wellies Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:21 am

    @peonyinlove: I’m so glad you enjoyed them! 😀
    @Mrs. Waterfall: It can be anyone! :) We’re going to ask our rabbi to do it.

  4. Member
    cosmo_gmr 488 posts, Helper bee @ 7:55 am

    Such beautiful customs… I loved the meaning of the 32 and heart in the exchange of rings. So heartwarming!

  5. Member
    pocketfox 677 posts, Busy bee @ 9:53 am

    Love this post! We were orignally thinking of doing an egalitarian version of the rings (Moses, Miriam and Israel), but now seeing the additional meaning behind is making me rethink that. Also, I love the tradition of Yichud, and think it’s something more people should do! Having a few minutes alone with your new spouse just seems like the best thing to do at that moment.

  6. Member
    missgoldfish 454 posts, Helper bee @ 10:04 am

    I knew that the ring is placed on the right index finger because it’s believed that it’s the most direct line to the heart, but I didn’t know that it’s also so witnesses can see the receiving of the ring. Thanks for teaching me something new!

  7. wellies Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:14 am

    @cosmo_gmr: I love it, too! :)
    @pocketfox: Do whatever works best for you! Since tradition is important to us, we’re using the customary formula. :) I’m looking forward to yichud. I’ll probably bawl my eyes out, ha ha! 😉
    @MissGoldFish: You’re welcome! :)

  8. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 11:25 am

    I hadn’t heard of some of these before, so interesting! I think it is wonderful you are incorporating all of these traditions!

  9. wellies Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:06 am

    @Mrs. Pony: Thank you! They’ll make our ceremony even more meaningful. :)

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Hannah, Guest @ 12:30 pm

    I am personally most excited about the Bedeken :)

  11. wellies Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:38 pm

    @Hannah: The bedeken is such a powerful, moving ceremony. I can understand why you’re excited! :)
    P.S. Thank you for linking to your blog! I love your posts and have started following you.

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    Hannah, Guest @ 3:47 pm

    @Miss Wellies:

    Oh thanks! :)

  13. Member
    future_mrs_fierce 24 posts, Newbee @ 8:58 am

    I like the Yichud. So often the bride and groom rarely get to speak to each other on their wedding day, so taking a moment alone to reflect on the ceremony seems nice and sweet and smart.

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Caitlyn | The Aerialist Press, Guest @ 12:01 pm

    I love incorporating tradition into ceremonies… it makes it so personal and meaningful!

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