In spite of the changes in modern Jewish life, the Orthodox Jewish wedding is still preferred by many couples on their wedding day. Fully observant or not, there is something to be said about traditions that have endured for thousands of years. The Orthodox Jewish wedding is full of meaningful traditions and rituals, and has been thought through and shaped by the greatest Sages of the generations. It encompasses the legalities of Jewish law or halacha, with spiritual concepts and, of course, the faith in G-d. Within the framework of the Orthodox Jewish wedding, there is room for lots of variation due to the differences in customs based on family minhag (tradition).
A BRIEF BREAKDOWN OF THE ORTHODOX JEWISH WEDDING:
The couple parts a week before the wedding and will only meet again in the moments before the chuppah ceremony. The night before the wedding the bride goes for ritual immersion in themikvah (ritual bath). The Orthodox Jewish wedding begins with the arrival of the guests and the ketubah signing by the groom and two male witnesses. The groom then goes to see his bride for the first time in a week, and covers her face with her veil. He is then danced to the chuppah, dressed in a white tunic, while the Bride slowly makes her way to the wedding canopy, allowing for her bridesmaids to go down the aisle before her. The Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony under the chuppah mainly comprises of the presentation and reading aloud of the ketubah, the drinking of wine, the inspection and the bestowal of the wedding band and the recital of the seven blessings. The Orthodox wedding ceremony ends with the breaking of the glass as the bridegroom recites “If I forget thee Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill” (Psalm 137:5) The couple is then danced to a room where they will be left alone for their very first time. Guests begin the feast, and the first dance takes place as the bride and groom arrive to the dining hall. It is a mitzvah to dance, celebrate and entertain the newly wedded couple Mazal Tov! The Jewish Orthodox wedding is rich with religious significance and considered one of the most momentous events in a person’s life, as well as, the cornerstone of the continuity of the Jewish people. There is one part of the Orthodox Jewish wedding that remains with the couple for the duration of their marriage, and that is the ketubah. More than just a contract, a ketubah can be a beautiful and artistic document cherished by the entire family and generations to follow. Daniel Azoulay is a world-renowned artist, who creates unique and stunning ketubahs in a range of designs and texts, so that you can relive these beautiful moments every day.