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 Home > Jewish Wedding Guide > Reform > The Bedeking

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The Bedeking Ceremony: Veiling the Bride
A Reform Perspective by Rivka C. Berman

After the ketubah is signed, the groom may choose to lower the veil over his bride’s face. This recalls the biblical nuptial episode. Jacob’s father-in-law Laban put his daughter, Leah, in place of Jacob’s chosen bride, Rachel. The deception was possible because of the heavy veil brides wore. When the groom personally veils the bride, it’s a kind of insurance policy against bridal surprises.

As a groom lowers the veil over his bride’s face, he affects a lovely symbolism. Just as his bride's face is enveloped by the veil, so will love envelope the couple. This covering is known as the bedeking (or bedecken or bedekung). In many Conservative weddings, this is a private ceremony performed where the ketubah is signed.



 

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