There is a bride room for the bedeken (unveiling) before the chuppah complete with bridal chair. The signing of the marriage certificate takes place on the bimah after the chuppah. Please email the office as soon as you have a date for your wedding, to ensure use of the Synagogue for your special day.
KetubahDuring the first part of the ceremony (during the reception, usually) the ketubah (marriage contract) is signed and witnessed. Written in Aramaic, the ketubah details the husband's obligations to his wife: food, clothing, dwelling and pleasure. It also creates a lien on all his property to pay her a sum of money and support should he divorce her, or predecease her. The document is signed by the groom and witnessed by two people, and has the standing of a legally binding agreement, that in many countries is enforceable by secular law. The ketubah is often written as an illuminated manuscript, and becomes a work of art in itself, which many couples frame and display in their home.
BedekinAfter the signing of the ketubah, the groom does the bedekin, or "veiling". The groom, together with his father and future father-in-law, is accompanied by musicians and the male guests to the room where the bride is receiving her guests. She sits, like a queen, on a throne-like chair surrounded by her family and friends. The groom, who has not seen her for a week, covers her face with her veil. This ceremony is mainly for the legal purpose of the groom identifying the bride before the wedding.
ChuppahFollowing the veiling, the chuppah (canopy) stage of the wedding takes place. The groom is accompanied to the chuppah by his parents, before the bride comes to the chuppah with her parents, with a cantor singing a selection of traditional marriage songs. Once under the chuppah, the bride circles the groom seven times, symbolizing the idea of the woman being a protective, surrounding light of the household, that illuminates it with understanding and love from within, and protects it from harm from the outside. The number seven parallels the seven days of creation, and symbolizes the fact that the bride and groom are about to create their own "new world" together.
Under the chuppah, the officiant then recites a blessing over wine, and a blessing that praises and thanks G-d for giving us laws of sanctity and morality to preserve the sanctity of family life and of the Jewish people. The bride and groom then drink from the wine. The blessings are recited over wine, since wine is symbolic of life.