Jewish Wedding Traditions: The Huppah

Jewish Wedding Traditions: The Huppah

Jewish Wedding Traditions: The Huppah

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A professional officiant answers all your questions about the huppah Jewish wedding tradition. Photo by Amy Wilton Photography

A professional officiant answers all your questions about the huppah Jewish wedding tradition. Photo by Amy Wilton Photography

So, I’m not technically jewish, but I am really drawn to some of the Jewish wedding traditions. You may have seen my post about the Yichud Tradition, which I incorporated into my wedding. Well, we also incorporated the huppah (also known as chuppah, chupah, or chuppa) into our wedding. I love the symbolism of this traditional element. 

What is a huppah?

The Knot complete guide to weddings describes the Jewish tradition of the huppah this way: 

This canopy, held aloft over the [couple getting married], dates to the tent of Abraham and those nomadic desert days when all Jewish wedding ceremonies were held outdoors. Back then the huppah was used to create an intimate, sanctified space. Today it represents your new home (with open sides, inviting friends and family in).

Who holds the huppah?

At our wedding, we had three of my sisters and one of my husband’s sisters holding the four corners of our huppah.

What is the huppah made from?

The covering of our huppah was white cotton with corners embroidered in elaborate flowers by my mother. The poles of our huppah were straight and sturdy white birch poles that were harvested by my brother-in-law and nephew. Not only did I love the idea of the sheltering home over our heads during our ceremony, but using the huppah allowed us to include many of our family members in our ceremony. 

Can you use a huppah indoors?

I’m particularly fond of the wedding huppah used outdoors and made from branches or natural elements, but many people choose a huppah even for an indoor wedding. They can be decorated with flowers or left as simple bare branches. Either way, using a huppah might be a nice addition to your ceremony.  

One of my specialties is including non-religious Jewish traditions into your secular ceremony.

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