Creative Customs And Traditions Of Jewish Weddings

Hiring a wedding photographerwho understands the customs and traditions associated with the celebration is especially important with Jewish weddings. There are several Jewish laws and traditions that should be captured on film. Jewish wedding ceremonies differ according to religious beliefs although all ceremonies feature the common ketubah, wedding canopy, the ring and breaking of glass.

Creative Customs And Traditions Of Jewish Weddings

Stages of a Jewish Wedding

There are two different stages of a Jewish wedding: kiddushin and nissuin. Kiddushin is the betrothal stage where the groom presents the bride with a ring to signify the promise of marriage. Once the kiddushin has been completed, a symbolic religious divorce must be completed to dissolve this betrothal if the marriage is not to take place. Nissuin is the actual marriage ceremony between the bride and groom. Nissuin is also referred to as chuppah and incorporates standing under a bridal canopy to complete the ceremony. Traditional Jewish marriages allowed these events to occur up to one year apart, but modern couples usually combine these ceremonies into one day.

Symbolism of the Marriage Contract

One of the most significant events to be captured by a photographer for Jewish weddings is the ketubah or marriage contract. This ceremony occurs before the actual wedding ceremony and is signed by two witnesses. Many Jewish couples like to have this celebration photographed or videotaped. The signed manuscript is often framed and then displayed in the home as a token of the marriage. Once the marriage contract is signed, it is tradition to have the signed marriage contract (ketubah) read publicly in Aramaic and designates a separation from the signing of the contract to the actual wedding ceremony. Many modern couples prefer a shorter version of the contract be translated and read publicly.

The Significance of the Bridal Canopy and Covering of the Bride

The bridal canopy symbolises the future home built and shared by the new couple upon marriage. The entire wedding ceremony takes place under the wedding canopy or chuppah. In some ceremonies such as those of Ashkenazi Jews, the bride covers her face using a veil during the wedding ceremony. This is known as the veiling ritual and is symbolic of Jacob in the Old Testament being tricked to marry Leah before her sister Rachel by her father because of the veil covering her face. The veiling ritual is not performed for Sephardic Jews.

Breaking the Glass

Breaking the glass is perhaps the most well known of the Jewish traditions and an event to be immortalised by a photographer for Jewish weddings. Breaking of the glass occurs once the bride has been presented the ring or, depending upon custom, it may happen at the end of the ceremony. The groom breaks glass, crushes that glass using his right foot and the guests congratulate the couple on their new marriage with “Mazel tov!” It is unclear the origin of this custom but many believe it to mean that joy in celebration must always be controlled from getting out of hand.

Special Dancing at the Jewish Wedding

One major feature of Jewish weddings is the dancing. There are several traditional dances which deserve a place in the wedding photos. The Krenzl is a dance where the bride’s mother wears a crown of flowers on her head and her daughters dance in a circle around the mother. This dance is traditionally only performed during the wedding reception of the final unwed daughter. Mitzvah tantz is a dance where rabbis and family members dance before the bride. The dance ends with the bridal couple dancing together. 

Gem Wilson is a writer who believes that finding an experienced photographer for Jewish weddings is very important. You should check the previous work of the photographer to ensure that their working habits are suitable for you wedding celebration.

by Gem Wilson; Sunday, May 5, 2013 @ 11:04 AM [9603]

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