WE LOVE: The Beauty, Intimacy and Symbolism of a Jewish Wedding Chuppah

In a Jewish wedding ceremony, the bride and groom as well as their parents, stand under a chuppah, or wedding canopy, while the ceremony is performed.  The chuah is generally interpreted as a symbol of the home that the bride and groom are about to create with their marriage; as well as the creative and religious expression of the hope that their new home will be filled with God’s presence.  For many, the fact that the chuppah remains open on all four sides symbolizes the welcoming nature of the newlywed’s home to family and friends as Abraham’s tent was to passing strangers as told in the Bible.

{Photo:  Phil Kramer; Location: Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia]Traditionally, the chuppah was made using a family prayer shawl called a tallis tied to sticks, branches or simply held over the bride and groom’s heads.  Nowadays, the chuppah is constructed out of drapery, fabric, flowers, greenery, crystals, candles, potted plants, twigs, trees, chandeliers and clear acrylic.  In our thirty years of designing weddings from Boston to Florida, we’ve had the pleasure of creating some memborable wedding canopies for our clients.  Here are just a few of our favorites:

{Photo: Clair Pruett; Location: Westin Philadelphia}

{Photo: Michael Leslie; Location: Hotel duPont}

{Photo:  Cliff Mautner; Location: Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia}

{Photo: Susan Stripling; Location: Hotel duPont}

{Photo: Ash Imagery; Location: Westin Philadelphia}

{Photo: Cliff Mautner; Location:  Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia}

{Photo: Marie Labbancz; Location: Trust the Venue}

{Photo:  Susan Beard; Location: Loews Hotel Philadelphia}

{Photo:  Cliff Mautner; Location: Urban Outfitters}

2 Responses to WE LOVE: The Beauty, Intimacy and Symbolism of a Jewish Wedding Chuppah

  1. Fed_Up says:

    I’m surprised, & more disappointed, to see so many hanging “chuppahs”. The definition of a chuppah is “a canopy held by four poles.” It’s to symbolize the home you will build together (& be reminiscent of the tent of Abraham & Sarah – open at the sides so as to always be ready for guests, no matter what direction they’re coming from) – thus the foundation (as in, having one!) is important. What these people have here are expensive decorations, almost devoid of actual meaning. Sigh.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to view and comment on the chuppah post. We have found that like many other faiths and churches, there are different interpretations. Many rabbis have not only found the them completely appropriate, but they’ve encouraged their brides and grooms to have them. As you can see, many choose to have the traditional chuppah with poles and others do not. Either way, we are happy to provide them with whatever makes their dream ceremony come to life. Thanks again for your thoughts and we wish you all the best for happy holiday season… Evantine Design

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