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What To Expect At A Jewish Wedding

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Wedding Photographs

As an Orange County and Los Angeles Wedding photographer we have photographed many Jewish wedding ceremonies and receptions. We can even recommend the best venues that accommodate your religious needs. In Los Angeles there are many wedding venues that have kosher kitchens. We are experienced in taking professional photos of the important Jewish rituals and ceremonies.

Jewish Orthodox Traditions

Tish Refers to a joyous public celebration on the day of the wedding. A gathering around the Rebbe an open celebration and a meal served. Hymes are shared and read at this gathering. Women will often be present at the Tish but do not sit with the men. The Chassidic and Orthodox men strictly observe keeping the sexes separate.

Beddekin is the veiling ceremony where the groom places veil over bride. From the groom's table to the bride's throne the veiling signifies the beginning of the wedding celebration. During this time it is customary for the grooms father to place a hand over the bride and say a blessing. She will keep the veil on till the end of the ceremony.


Ketubah a Jewish wedding contract that is in Hebrew and signed by the bride and groom. bride walks around the groom seven times After the chanting of the seven marriage blessings --

Chuppah The ceremony takes place under the chuppah a tent like structure with for poles and a covering all sides are open to embrace all wedding guests. The open sides of the chupah also represent the couple's new home they will share and that their family and friends are always welcome to come in. The wedding ceremony is performed by a Rabbi, Cantor or member from the community.

Blessing over the wine Bride and Groom drink from the same cup of wine to represent the life that they will share from this day forth.

Seven Blessings The Rabbi recites the seven prayers while the bride walks around the groom seven times.

White wedding gown Wearing white is symbolic the bride went to the mikvah and a sign of purity.

Ring Ceremony Bride and Groom exchange rings

Breaking the glass Breaking of the glass by the groom after ceremony is symbolic of the destruction of the holy temple in Jerusalem and the many losses that have been suffered by the Jewish people.

Yichud Immediately following the ceremony the couple goes straight to an enclosed room for a brief moment of seclusion before the married couple greets their guests. This is not a custom but a firm requirement of Jewish law.

Common Jewish Wedding Traditions

Ketubah This Jewish marriage license is in Hebrew and English s signed by a wittiness and the bride and groom before the ceremony in an informal setting. For modern Jews the ketubah reflects the equality of the bride and groom and their mutual obligations to each other in this unification.

Ceremony Performed by a Rabbi, Cantor or other wedding officiant under a chuppah. Ceremony can be held in a synagogue or temple, or any other location. The groom walks down the aisle with both of his parents at his side and stands under the chuppah followed by with the bride with both of her parents walking down the aisle where she meets the groom under the chuppah. The parents continue to stand under the chuppah with the bride and groom throughout the ceremony.

Chuppah Ceremony takes place under a Chuppah, which symbolizes the couple's Jewish home. Symbolic of the home and life they will build together as husband and wife.

Blessing over the wine Bride and Groom drink from the same cup of wine to represent the life that they will share from this day forth.

Ring Ceremony Wedding bands are exchanged as a sign of the brides and grooms commitment to each other. These rings are placed on the index finger which is believed to be connected by a special vein line directly to the heart. It is later worn on the ring finger.

Glass breaking The Groom steps on a glass wrapped in a napkin concluding the ceremony. The wedding guests shout out mazel tov and usually sing. A modern explanations of the breaking of the glass is that love is very fragile like glass. It must be protected because once it is shattered it is very hard to put back together. Breaking of the glass can also be symbolic of Krystal Noch and that we will never forget the Holocaust.

Reformed Jewish Wedding Traditions

A reform ceremony follows many of the same traditions as conservative Judaism. However, you will find more interfaith, mixed and fusion weddings officiated by a Reformed Rabbi. These ceremonies are often blended with other cultures and their ceremonies.

Jewish weddings typically take place on a Sunday, in Jewish law you don't do business on the Sabbath and exchanging rings would be considered a monetary transaction. For Chabad Jews or Orthodox you will find many ceremonies held in the middle of the week.

Jewish Wedding Reception


Expect lots of dancing called the horah, the bride and groom will be lifted up in chairs to celebrate their marriage. A blessing over challah bread will be made before the meal is served. Speeches are traditionally given by the parents of the bride and groom along with the best man and the maid of honor.

You will find a mehitzah (a partition that separates the men and women) at an Orthodox wedding. The men and women are separated by a partition and celebrate with the same sex.

We know you have many choice when choosing a wedding photographer and we hope you will consider us to photograph your simcha.

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