Tuesday, October 5, 2010


The Chuppah, or Huppah, (pronounced who-pah) literally means "covering" in hebrew.  It is also known as the wedding canopy.  The bride and groom, along with the Rabbi, and sometimes even moms and dads (if space allows) stand under this during the wedding ceremony.

"The huppah symbolizes the new home to which the bridegroom will take his bride. In this context, the appearance of the bride and groom together under a huppah before an assembly who have come to witness the event is in itself a public proclamation by them that they are now bonded together as man and wife. It is a prelude to intimacy, and thus a significant element in nissuin [marriage]. "

All huppahs need: four poles, or sides, and a covering.  The top must be covered, no exceptions.  A good friend of mine has a funny story about their florist, who made their chuppah, and ran out of fabric, so it was not entirely covered. I believe there was a tablecloth used to fill-in the gaps.  The space above your head must be covered!
 A fancy Chuppah example {source}

Here's what our Rabbi sent us, in regards to the chuppah:

We honestly do not know what we are doing for our chuppah, yet.  Three people generously offered to make us one and cousin Laurie offered to let us borrow hers from Hill Havurah.   For my sister's wedding, as her maid of honor, as directed I went to Home Depot to buy four, seven-foot tall wooden poles.  We then decorated them with ribbons, in her wedding colors, and covered it.  My sis and bro-in-law covered it with a beautiful piece of lace purchased in Poland, where we can trace our ancestry.  They have also offered to let us borrow this lace.

Because of so many people offering to help, we might just do it ourselves.  You are probably thinking, "What?! Why not accept their assistance?"  Well, see, we don't want to offend anyone by choosing one person over the other, so borrowing/making one ourselves leaves no one feeling like we chose one person over the other.

Sidenote: I've observed an interesting phenomenon with wedding planning.  Either people are dying to help, to the point of being over-helpful, or people don't help at all.  There are few people who master the skill of being effectively helpful.  In all comes with a good heart, I'm sure.  It's hard to please all the people, all the time.

Anyone else run into this?
Anyone have a chuppah they want to give us, no strings attached, and purdy?! :)

Disclosure: Snippets of this text were taken or inspired by The Huppah Or Wedding Canopy article on My Jewish Learning.  Most of it I already knew :)


  1. So, even though my last name is commonly a Jewish last name, and even thought the Republican Jewish Association is trying to convince me I'm jewish (long story) I sadly do not know much of my family's heritage.That being said I don't know the tradition but can you put them together? I have only the veil that is being offered to me and wish I could have help. it would have more meaning I assume.

    Actually my step mom is offering me her dress, which is gorgeous but I started thinking about what went on in that dress and the wedding night and that's my DADDY... so I'm passing and I am working around how to not be rude cause initially I begged her to let me use it.

    But back to you, can you put one on each side or (gasp) piece them together- or is that blasphemy?

  2. That was a gorgeous picture!

    I too ran into that problem. i appreciated help, but sometimes it was just too much.

  3. I've seen so many variations of the chuppah - I've seen the fancy-schmancy chuppahs that are dripping with expensive flowers to a plain white cloth with 4 sticks. No matter what direction you go, it's the meaning of it that matters!

    When I got married 5 years ago, we used my husband's tallit from his Bar Mitzvah, which was also used by his father during his Bar Mitzvah. It was a beautiful cloth with purple hues, which were the color of our wedding. The fact that it had so much family history made it that much more meaningful!

    I think if you have a cloth that has family history to it or a story, that would be the best way to go! Otherwise, you can buy something new and start making your own family history. :)

    Best wishes to you during your wedding planning!


  4. You're lucky to have so many offers to help with it! We ended having to rent it though our florist - but then again, none of us will have to deal with set up or take down, and we know it'll be there....worth it to me :) Just found your blog and I'm planning too, so I'll be following!

  5. You can use our back yard and the vast number of tools we have acquired (or borrow from sara!) We need to get a nail gun to finish the molding around the floors anyway =)


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