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Top 10 Jewish Wedding Traditions and Rituals

Top 10 Jewish Wedding Traditions and Rituals

July 6, 2023
Top 10 Jewish Wedding Traditions and Rituals

Heading to your first Jewish wedding or planning one? Whether it’s Reform or strictly Orthodox, there are some Jewish wedding traditions that you can incorporate into your own wedding. Read on for the top 10 most common traditions you’ll see at a Jewish wedding.


This Yiddish term means “to call up” and refers to the bride and groom being called to the Torah for a blessing called an aliyah. This tradition stems from the belief that starting their marriage with a connection to Jewish heritage brings blessings to the couple’s life together.


The wedding day is considered a day of forgiveness, similar to Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). By fasting on their wedding day, the couple seeks purification and prepares themselves for a new beginning as they embark on their married life.

Ketubah Signing

The ketubah is a symbolic Jewish marriage contract that dates back to ancient times. It outlines the groom’s responsibilities to his bride, the bride’s protections and rights, and the framework for their marriage. The ketubah serves as a legal document that solidifies the couple’s commitment to one another.


The bedeken ceremony involves the groom veiling the bride’s face before the wedding ceremony. This tradition has its roots in the biblical story of Jacob, who was tricked into marrying the wrong sister due to her veiled face. The bedeken signifies the groom’s acknowledgment of the bride’s inner beauty and their unique identities even after marriage.

The Walk to the Chuppah

In Jewish ceremonies, both of the groom’s parents accompany him down the aisle to the chuppah, followed by the bride and her parents. This tradition symbolizes the love and support of both families as they come together to witness the couple’s union.

Vows Under the Chuppah

The chuppah, a canopy with four corners, represents the home the couple is building together. Friends or family members may hold up the chuppah during the ceremony, symbolizing their support. The couple stands beneath the chuppah, exchanging vows and officially entering into the sacred bond of marriage.


The tradition of the bride circling the groom under the chuppah has different interpretations. Some believe it creates a protective barrier against evil spirits, while others view it as the bride symbolically creating a new family circle. This act signifies the couple’s commitment to one another and their future as a united family.

Ring Exchange

Jewish brides traditionally receive a plain metal wedding band with no stones. This custom traces back to ancient times when the value of the ring was determined by its weight. By exchanging rings, the couple symbolizes their commitment and creates a visible reminder of their love and partnership.

Sheva B’rachot Seven Blessings:

The Sheva B’rachot are seven blessings recited over a cup of wine during the wedding ceremony. These blessings come from ancient teachings and focus on joy, celebration, and the power of love. They represent the shared happiness and well-wishes for the couple’s future together.

Breaking of the Glass

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the groom (or both the bride and groom) shatter a glass with their foot. This act has multiple interpretations, including commemorating the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and symbolizing the commitment to support and uplift one another even in challenging times. The breaking of the glass is followed by joyful shouts of “Mazel tov!” to celebrate the newlywed couple.

These traditions, rooted in history and symbolism, add depth and meaning to a Jewish wedding ceremony, creating a unique and memorable celebration of love, faith, and tradition.

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