"Your wedding day should be filled with incredible memories that will last a lifetime!"
The Shomer and Shomeret
For the entire week leading up to the wedding, the bride and groom are traditionally considered and treated as a king and queen. Similar to how royalty has guards with them at all times, it's said that the bride and groom should always be with a friend or family member with a designated shomeret for a woman, and a shomer for a man.
Essentially in modern day times, this person will be the one to make your pre-wedding day stresses disappear and take care of your every need. I mean really, who wouldn't want one?!
Kabbalat Panim (Greeting Faces)
Every bride out there wants to feel like a royal queen on her wedding day, but did you know that this concept is actually a Jewish one? Dating back to ancient wedding ceremonies, the bride would sit on a throne-like chair where her family and friends would come up and greet her. One of the modern twists you can add to this is actually making the Kabbalat Panim a pre-wedding celebration with only the bride's most special people in her life. Consider having a mani-pedi, makeup or updo session and toasting with champagne to make it extra special.
A chuppah means "covering" in Hebrew and is the most recognizable symbol of a Jewish wedding. It's a covering consisting of four corners and a covered roof to symbolize the new home you will be building together. (Your ceremony will take place standing underneath it.) By designing your own chuppah for your wedding, it's a great chance to create something personalized and symbolic together. There aren't any special requirements for your chuppah, you can make it fun, simple, elaborate or fancy. It's your chance to let your personalities shine through and make something together that represents the couple you are or aspire to be one day.
You can make it small with just enough space for the two of you and your officiant, or you can make it extra roomy and invite your entire wedding party to join you underneath your canopy. It can be freestanding or held up by your family and friends. It's your chuppah, you can make it however you want!
When choosing your outfits, take the weather and location into account. If you're doing an activity shoot, wear something comfortable that'll make sense given the setting; for example, we don't recommend kayaking in heals. make sure that you and your partner's clothes go well together, but maybe avoid matching outfits. Wearing colors and patterns that go well together will make for a cohesive photo, while wearing the exact same sweater can look a bit dated. Most importantly, make sure you're both comfortable– we promise it'll show in your photos when you're happy and confident with what you look like.
take a look at the different themes below.
The breaking of the glass holds multiple meanings. Some people say it represents the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Others say it demonstrates that marriage has joy as well as sadness and you're committing to standing by each other even when times get tough. The sound of breaking glass is said to scare off evil spirits and to warn couples that just like glass, love is fragile and must be protected at all times.
The glass breaking can happen towards the beginning of the ceremony, the groom (or bride and groom together) step on a glass inside a cloth bag to shatter it, everyone shouts "Mazel Tov!" and then the cocktail hour begins! (I recommend using a wine glass or easy-to-smash lightbulb!) The breaking of the glass can also occur towards the end of the wedding to wrap things up and end the ceremony on a high note.
The cloth bag holding the broken glass is saved after the wedding and a lot of couples incorporate it into a special keepsake from their wedding day. Creating a mezuzah for your new home or bedroom door creates a beautiful and modern decor option. (Simply google "broken wedding glass mezuzah" to see what I'm talking about!)
The breaking of the glass is one of the most iconic and theatrical Jewish wedding traditions.
Mazel Tov on your engagement! With the exciting new title of fiancé dancing around in your head, you're likely in wedding planning mode. Jewish weddings present many opportunities to honor you or your partner's faith and heritage whether it's Orthodox, Reform, Conservative or interfaith. No matter if you're working with a wedding planner or planning your own special day, memorable Jewish wedding traditions can be added to your wedding with a modern twist to please you as well as your oldest family members.
Beyond the memorable glass breaking (although I'll cover that too!) there are many other Jewish wedding traditions worthy of considering for your big day. Let's dive right in!
The wedding day is considered a day of forgiveness, so many couples choose to fast on the day of their wedding. Similar to how you would fast on Yom Kippur, your fast will last until you eat your first meal together after the wedding ceremony.
The Modern Jewish Wedding: Traditions & Ideas For Your Special Day
The Breaking of the Glass
The Bedeken or veiling ceremony is one of the most exciting parts of a Jewish wedding! It's also often when the groom will be seeing the bride for the first time. Basically, the groom looks at his bride, they share a short moment, and then he covers her with her veil.
The tradition goes way back to the story of Jacob who intended to marry a special girl but was then tricked into marrying her sister. Now, Jewish grooms like to double check that they're marrying the correct girl!
Traditionally, the bride would circle around her groom 3-7 times underneath the chuppah. Many people believe this created a magical wall that protected them from evil spirits, temptation, and glances from other women. Others believe it's a symbol of creating a new family circle.
Today, in modern times, the bride and groom can also circle around each other at the same time, demonstrating independence and how they beautifully compliment each other's lives.
Sheva B'rachot: 7 Blessings
The Sheva B'rachot comes from ancient teachings and is typically read in both Hebrew and English by family and friends. Similar to toasts from other ceremonies, guests are encouraged to perform readings focusing on joy, celebration, and the overall power of love. The blessing starts over a cup of wine, then moves on to grander statements encompassing the blessings of companionship and marriage.
One of my favorite blessing statements I've experienced and one that's stuck with me over the years is, "May you always be happier than you are right now!".
In the past, men and women would sit separately at their weddings. In order for the bride and groom to see one another, the guests would physically raise them in their chairs over everyone. It's still a fun staple in many modern Jewish weddings today.
If you or your groom are the last siblings in your family to marry, you may consider this unique tradition of having a mezinka dance. Parents (and/or grandparents) are seated in the middle of the dance floor. Their children or grandchildren dance around them and the parents have brooms to "sweep their children out of their home".
It's a fun way to celebrate that all of their children are now settled into new families of their own!
Immediately after the ceremony, tradition states that couples should spend about 18 minutes in yichud (seclusion). This unique tradition allows the newlywed couple to reflect on their brand new relationship, enjoy alone time together, bond, and rejoice in the love they share.
No matter which traditions you wish to keep or do away with, modern Jewish weddings are a gorgeous way to showcase your incredible heritage and love.
Our wish for your wedding day is to capture all of your most intimate and happiest moments. After all, you only get one wedding day, so we treat each and every wedding like it's the most important one. No matter what kind of ceremony you plan on having, your wedding day should be filled with incredible memories that will last a lifetime!