By: Cecile Anthony-Bryan

When one or both members of a couple are Jewish, it a great honor and respectable thing to do as far as to include elements from a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony.  Depending on how devout you are, depends on the type of tradition you may choose to use.

  1. The Chuppah

One of the most popular tradition to incorporate into a Jewish wedding, the Chuppah is a beautifully decorated altar made up of four corners and a covered roof, sometimes made out of a prayer shawl.  The Chuppah represents the home you will create with each other.  Some couples invite family members and/or friends under The Chuppah to show their support of the couple, standing close to the “walls of the house.”

  1. Seven Blessings

Another tradition is reciting the Seven Blessings, known as Sheva Brachot, by the rabbi or honored guests and family.  In the same way that having someone sing at your wedding, these blessings remind the guests and couple of their Jewish heritage.

  1. Bride Circling

A physical reminder of how a new family has been formed or how the groom and bride will now protect each other, a bride circling the groom three or seven times is a traditional element of a Jewish wedding.  The bride circling shows how connected the two are.

  1. Breaking of Glass

After the ceremony, the groom or both members of the couple often step on a glass in a way that makes many people think that the celebration period has begun.  However, this tradition gives the idea that love must be protected because it is delicate and prone to breaking if not protected.

  1. Ketubah

The traditional marriage contract, this document is signed by the couple and witnesses and read before those who are present.  Modern Ketubah can be modified to be more egalitarian and to be written in different languages.

  1. Yichud

A ceremonial silence or reflective time.  Usually, 18 minutes, used for the couple to spend together after the ceremony may seem odd, but nice.  Especially, after spending most of the day or night apart and knowing until the ceremony is finished, they may not get any more quiet time.

  1. The Hora and Other Traditional Dances