With wedding season fully upon us, we wanted to spend some time focused on an aspect of the Jewish marriage ceremony nearly as ubiquitous as the smashing of the glass: the chuppah. While traditionally intended to symbolize the home that the groom will take the bride to, today’s modern context often understands the chuppah as the home the married couple will build together. It is purposefully open on all four sides. This represents that the couple’s home should always be open to family and friends, both old and new, and reiterates the ancient Jewish value of hosting guests. Technically speaking, to be considered a “kosher” chuppah all that is required is four poles attached to a cover. Beyond this, there exists no religious directive around the chuppah’s aesthetic. Many of our parents’ wedding photos feature a similar looking chuppah, with four poles holding up a prayer shawl as a covering. However, recent generations of brides and grooms are embracing the principle of hiddur mitzvah, the mitzvah of beautifying and personalizing a ritual object such that it will be more meaningful to you, by taking a more creative approach to this traditional symbol, making it fully our own. Here are some of our favorite chuppahs that embody hiddur mitzvah.
For a little glam, we’re in love with this chuppah’s modern, transparent posts with monochromatic white floral arrangements. It sets an incredibly beautiful tone and lights up the ceremony’s focal point – the bride and groom.
We love an outdoor wedding and what better way to embrace your surroundings than creating a chuppah out of natural elements. This version is beautifully crafted with twisted branches, vine-like florals and a touch of the traditional with a lace chuppah cover.
If your ceremony location does not allow you to be outdoors (hello unpredictable weather!) we recommend bringing the outdoor elements indoors to create a whimsical setting complete with globe hanging lights and vintage lanterns.
When you’re so taken by the look of your bouquet (and frankly who isn’t?) why not incorporate it beyond just the bridal party by using it as a framing device for your chuppah? The best part about this design is that it truly draws the eye to the focal point of the ceremony.
We see a lot of different ways that chuppahs incorporate nature but this one takes the prize for the most creative use of natural elements. This iteration utilized both plants and floral arrangements to create hanging globes. It takes a second look to realize the how incredibly intricate this design is. We image the wedding decor to match was just as beautiful.
We have to admit a little favoritism toward this show-stopper chuppah. While it upholds the tradition of the four wood posts, the overwhelming flowers on flowers on flowers formed to surround the bride and groom are both stunning and picture perfect, to say the least.
The chuppah is incredible opportunity to provide contrast to the other ceremony decor. This garland-based chuppah against the neutral location and room decor provides the highlighting that all brides and grooms should feel while underneath their first “home” together.
Lace can be considered a more traditional material but this larger scale version brings this up-to-date for a much more modern feel.
Similar to other transparent chuppahs we’ve seen but this one achieves an incredible optical illusion by using the transparency as a casing for florals to feel that the chuppah is being held up by the delicate arrangements.