In this section, you will find all the steps involved in preparing for a Jewish wedding ceremony.
For more information about having your wedding at VBS or involving one of our Clergy members in your special day, please CLICK HERE to contact our administrative offices.
I. Preliminary Rituals
A. Kinyan ("contracts") Signing Documents:
State Marriage License
Ketuba ("marriage agreement") – witnesses, Jewish, non-relatives
B. Bedeken, Veiling & Blessing
II. The Wedding Ceremony
A. The Procession
B. Opening Blessings
Blessed are these who come here in the name of God.
May the source of power, blessing and glory, bless this groom and this bride.
C. Erusin - Betrothal Blessings – recited over a full cup of wine.
Praised are you, YHVH, whose presence fills the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine.
Praised are You, YHVH, whose presence fills the universe, Who has sanctified us by your commandments and has commanded us to pursue intimacy through marriage. Blessed is God who sanctifies the people Israel with the rites of marriage.
D. Exchanging Rings - ring is placed on right forefinger. Ring is whole, unbroken, and has no stones.
HARAY AT MEE-KOO-DESHET LEE B'TA-BA-AT ZO K'DAT MOSHE V'YISRAEL.
By this ring, you are consecrated to me, as my wife, in accordance with the traditions of Moses and Israel.
HARAY ATA MEE-KOO-DASH LEE B'TA-BA-AT ZO K'DAT MOSHE V'YISRAEL.
By this ring, you are consecrated to me, as my husband, in accordance with the traditions of Moses and Israel.
E. The Ketuba is read aloud and presented to the bride [and groom].
F. There is a custom of wrapping a tallit around the newly married couple as the Sheva Brachot are recited.
G. Sheva Brachot – Seven Wedding Blessings -- recited over a second full cup of wine. Here is an interpretive translation:
The first blessing is the blessing of holiness in moments.
Source of Life and Creation, we pray that this wine is a sweet reminder of everything sacred. We recall the first time you met and the holiness of your union brings us to this moment in joy. Praised are You, Adonai our God, Creator of holy moments.
The second blessing is the blessing of sharing.
We have all seen your love blossom in time. As you share your lives together, the challenges and struggles, the joys and triumphs, you bless us with the strength and the courage to share and grow. Praised are You, Adonai our God, the One who shares in all creation.
The third blessing is the blessing of inspiration.
You are an inspiration – each of you finding the other on the path to fully becoming yourself. As the two of you now become one, you inspire within us all the will to find our part in fulfilling the sacred task of bringing wholeness to the world. Praised are You, Adonai our God, the One who inspires in us wisdom and spirit.
The fourth blessing is the blessing of reflection.
Like the candles of Shabbat that will shine brightly in your home, the dazzling fire of your love illuminates your souls joining as one. This love you now reflect emanates with the image of God. Praised are You, Adonai our God, the One whose reflection brings light into the world.
The fifth blessing is the blessing of joy.
The fullness of this wine is the symbol of joy that gladdens our hearts. As you both now profess your love openly before your family and friends, so too may your love forever be a source of joy in life’s most sacred moments. Praised are You, Adonai our God, the Source of joy and gladness.
The sixth blessing is the blessing of friendship.
As you take responsibility for each other, may your friendship always be a reminder that God dwells between you. May your words to each other be gentle and supportive, and may your hands hold firm when you lift the other up from the shadows and bask in the radiance of success. Praised are You, Adonai our God, the One who strengthens the bonds of friendship.
The seventh blessing is the blessing of hope.
“Let joy and gladness again be heard in the hills of Judah.” Today you make real that which was ideal - you fulfill wishes that were once only a dream. The sacred canopies of love and friendship shelter you as you step forward from this moment with the greatest blessings of peace and unity. May each day in your marriage together renew your vows to one another with hope. Praised are You, Adonai our God, Vision of hope for a world renewed.
H. Rabbi speaks to the couple.
I. Benediction (Blessing)
J. Groom breaks a glass.
III. After the Ceremony
A. Yichood ("Intimacy") – Bride and groom are given some moments of privacy.
B. The Wedding Feast – It is an obligation of guest to entertain the bride and groom. The Seven Blessings are recited following the Grace after the meal.
Many brides and grooms decide to have a wedding booklet for their marriage ceremony. It serves as a guide to the guests and a keepsake.
If you would like to create your own customized wedding booklet, here are three examples you can view and/or download, edit and print.
WORD Wedding Booklet
WORD Wedding Booklet
WORD Wedding Booklet