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Mazel Tov! 5 Jewish Wedding Traditions to Include on Your Special Day

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If you have recently got engaged, congratulations! You have some wedding planning to do, including which traditions you want to include in your ceremony.

While you may have found your soul mate, it is unlikely they share the same religion as you. 27% of US marriages are interfaith.

If you are marrying someone of Jewish faith or if you are Jewish, you have many Jewish wedding traditions to pick from to include in your ceremony. We have listed our top five favorites below. Check them out and pick which are your favorites!

1. Fasting

On the day of your wedding, you and your significant other may opt to fast until your first meal together. Your wedding day signifies a day of forgiveness and also atones for any sins you or your partner may have.

After your wedding ceremony, you and your new forever partner may enjoy your first meal together during your reception with friends, family, and loved ones.

2. Bedeken

This particular tradition takes place before the ceremony but is equally as important. During the bedeken, also known as veiling, the groom approaches the bride. While some opt to do this privately, others make it a joyful processional by including their friends and family.

This moment is the first time the groom sees his bride. After they see each other, the groom veils her face. By following this tradition, the groom shows his love for the bride’s inner beauty. It also signifies both their individualities.

This tradition comes from the story of Jacob in the Bible. If you are not familiar with this story, Jacob was tricked into marrying the love of his life’s sister due to her being veiled. To avoid making the same mistake, grooms have taken to do the veiling of the bride themselves to ensure they are not marrying the wrong woman.

3. Breaking the Glass

Towards the end of the ceremony, it is tradition for the groom to use his right foot to step on cloth. This glass is usually inside a cloth bag and has many meanings.

While some believe it represents the destruction of the Holy Temple, others say it signifies both the joy and sorrow marriage often encounters through its journey. This ritual also represents the commitment of the bride and groom through good times and bad.

4. Prayer Shawl

Another Jewish wedding tradition is incorporating a tallit. You can use a tallit, or fringed prayer shawl, in many ways throughout your wedding day. The most popular way, however, is during your wedding ceremony.

Traditionally, a tallit is used to wrap around both the bride and grooms shoulders during the Seven Blessings. The couple’s parents can do this as a sign of being surrounded by love and unity.

Other ways to incorporate a tallit is to use it as a cloth portion for the chuppah. A bride may also give this as a wedding gift to the groom.

5. Chuppah

Speaking of Chuppah’s, it is the last one our top five tradition list. A chuppah is a wedding canopy made of cloth and supported by four poles. The wedding party and other honored guests may hold this, or it can stand on its own.

The chuppah has many meanings and significance during a Jewish wedding. The tradition comes from ancient times when a couple planted a tree for the birth of their child – cypress for girls and cedar for boys. On the day of their wedding, they would use branches from the tree as the four poles of the chuppah.

Couples stand beneath the chuppah during their wedding ceremony and say their vows. The roof symbolizes the new home they are building together. If the couple opts to have friends or family hold the chuppah, it represents them supporting their new life together.

As we mentioned above, some chuppahs have a prayer shawl as part of the cloth. This shawl may be a gift from the bride or handed down from a family member. While some chuppahs are more decorated than others, the meaning behind it remains the same.

While the bride and groom, and sometimes their parents, stand under the chuppah, they are said to have a divine connection to God.

Jewish Wedding Traditions to Include on Your Special Day

Whether you are marrying into a Jewish family or want to incorporate your own beliefs, there are many Jewish wedding traditions available for your ceremony.

Looking for more wedding planning tips? Make sure to check out the rest of our website and read some fun and informative blog posts to get inspired for your wedding!

Wedding Details is your comprehensive guide to all aspects of your wedding. From traditional ceremonies to questions regarding the guests, our website offers you one place to do all your research.

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