Weddings are a time of great celebration with family and friends, but the traditions surrounding them make them even more. Traditions connect us with all those who came before, and all those who will come after, who follow the same customs and beliefs. They bring us together, and elevate our lives into something bigger than ourselves.
This power of tradition is rarely seen more clearly than during a wedding, and especially during a Jewish wedding. Jewish culture is rich with religious customs that continuously point the bride and groom (the kallah and chatan) to the history of their people and their beliefs about the world. Here are some of our favorite Jewish wedding traditions which make the time distinctive and special.
This is the part of the Jewish wedding ceremony where the groom places a veil on the bride, who is surrounded by the two mothers and other women. This marks the groom’s intent for his bride alone, and demonstrates that he is committing to the bride for the beauty of her soul, and not simply her appearance. The veiling is a simple action, but it is loaded with symbolism and hearkens back to early wedding accounts in the Torah.
“Chuppah” means canopy or tent, and it is where the wedding ceremony takes place. This location is rich with both past and future meaning. Historically, the Israelites dwelt in tents as they wandered before entering the promised land, so it is acted-out again in the present. The traditional chuppah’s 4 open sides also point forward to the couple’s future hospitality to all guests, just like Abraham and Sarah did in Genesis.
Breaking the Glass
And, of course, no discussion of Jewish wedding traditions is complete without mentioning the breaking of the glass. It is a powerfully symbolic act of irrevocable change – signifying that the bride and groom have begun a life-altering commitment to each other. Some traditions see this moment pointing back to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, reminding everyone of their ethnic history, identity, and beliefs.
Kosher Wedding Catering
No wedding is complete without a festive meal to bring joy to all! But, because of the Torah’s dietary restrictions, it can be extremely difficult to find a wedding caterer who is kosher certified. Fortunately, Zayde’s Kosher Catering in Orlando can provide full-service, kosher wedding meals for your special day. We have 3 separate kitchens for meat, dairy, and pareve storage and preparation to ensure every meal is kosher. If you are interested in hiring us for your wedding, please give us a call at 407-996-0250.