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Home > Tips and Advice > Chuppah (Wedding Canopy)

  Chuppah (Wedding Canopy)

Meaning and Origins of the Chuppah

When a baby is brought into the Jewish covenant a traditional blessing is said: “Just as this baby has entered the covenant so may s/he enter the Torah, the chuppah and good deeds.” The chuppah has come to symbolize the entire Jewish marriage ceremony. Someone who says, “I am going to Gwen and Jeremy’s chuppah in June,” means she will be attending Gwen and Jeremy’s wedding ceremony.

God constructed ten chuppot for Adam and Eve’s wedding, according to the Midrash. (Jewish Legend) Ten is a mystical number in kabbalistic thought referring to the ten divine attributes through which God relates to the physical world.

The word “chuppah” refers to covering with garlands. In the Talmudic era, brides and grooms wore laurel wreaths during the ceremony. Early Jewish practice named the bridal chamber, where the marriage was consummated, as the chuppah. Wealthy fathers in those times would employ gold and expensive scarlet cloth in the construction of their sons’ chuppot. (Sanhedrin 108a, Sotah 49b) Today the four sides of the chuppah represent the first home a new couple shares.

 Who Holds the Chuppah During the Ceremony
Since a chuppah may be a free-standing structure, even halacha shies away from spelling out who must hold the chuppah. With four poles to support, chuppah-holding honors are a good way to include a host of people in your wedding.

 Should You or Can You Make Your Own Chuppah?
The originality and personalization of a chuppah are limited only by your imagination. Florists will only be too happy to show you the garlanded chuppot they have created with clouds of tulle and twinkling lights. Artists will batik dye, tie dye, weave, paint or hammer out chuppot based on your personal preference.

Outdoor gazeboes can be pressed into service. Couples have commissioned landscape artists to create chuppot out of woven vines and greenery. Chuppot fashioned from a tallit and four poles are simple and elegant. Some couples ask friends and relatives to embroider or decorate cloth squares, which are then sown into a chuppah quilt that is later hung in the home.

Options available:
 • If you are getting married in a Jewish establishment, such as s synagogue, temple, or Jewish Community Center, a chuppah may be available for your affair.
 • You may wish to use a talit (prayer shawl) and four poles as your chuppah.
 • Chuppot may be purchased - and later displayed as wall hangings in your new home. Many artists create a variety of chuppot.
 • Chuppot for rent is another, less expensive alternative
 • Search the Jewish Celebrations DIRECTORY for fine Musicians and DJs that will make your party an affair to remember.

 

 




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