Finding the right ketubah can be harder than finding the groom!
The buying process can overwhelm even the most organized bride. We’ve got the insider’s guide with expert advice to help you find the right ketubah for your Jewish wedding and home that is truly your soulmate.
Prioritize Your Preferences
Just like planning your wedding you’ve determined what is most important to you and the same should be determined with your ketubah. Is the unique design going to be the most important or are you on a tight budget? Figure out what your highest priorities are before shopping.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What’s our budget?
You can pick up a standard Orthodox ketubah from your rabbi or local judaic store for as low as $10. However, if you want a ketubah that is a piece of artwork, prices typically start at $100. An average personalized artistic ketubah can cost around $350. A fully custom, hand calligraphed ketubah can run as high as $4,000.
How soon do we need our ketubah?
If you want to get exactly what you want, we recommend you place your ketubah order 6-8 weeks in advanced of your wedding date. Consider where the ketubah will be shipped to and if you’re going to be traveling before your wedding. Anything closer to the wedding and your choices will be become limited since some ketubahs take longer than others to prepare.
What style do we want our ketubah to be in?
Ketubahs come in a variety of styles from traditional to modern and can be simple or intricate. Some ketubahs have been inspired by artists such as Jackson Pollack or Klimt. Figure out your style as a couple and that can inform what style you want your ketubah in. For more ideas jump ahead to “Design Diva”!
Do we want a completely unique ketubah?
Custom ketubahs can be hand done by artists and include lots of personal details such as a memory or your wedding anniversary but they also require more time allotment (4-6 months) and a higher budget, which can range between $500-$4,000.
Rabbi Knows Best
Whether it’s Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Interfaith, Same-Sex or an Egalitarian ceremony, it’s important to find the right officiant or rabbi for you as a couple. Your officiant or rabbi should be consulted before ordering your ketubah.
- Ask your rabbi or officiant if they have a preference for your ketubah text.
- Are there any restrictions and/or specifications he/she has for your ketubah? Orthodox rabbis require that the ketubah text be Aramaic only and no spaces or breakage within the text.
- Does your rabbi want to fill in the names? Ketubahs can come with spaces for your names, the location and wedding date to be written in by the rabbi or a calligrapher. It can be done by the company or artist you are ordering from. Some couples like the look of the information written in the day of whereas others like the uniformity of one seamless document.
Be a Design Diva
This is the part where you really get to think about what design you both will love and want to look at, not only on the day of your wedding, but every day for the rest of your marriage. There are thousands of options and styles to choose from. Many couples have trouble narrowing down their choices from the amazing selection available today because the options are nearly limitless.
- Do I want my ketubah to match my wedding theme, color and decor?
If your invitations are a delicate papercut, why not continue that element in your ketubah choice with a Gefen Papercut or Holding Hands Ketubah Papercut? Getting married in the outdoors? Ketubahs can depict those surroundings with landscapes and trees, which are a popular ketubah element.
- Are there any artists I love that can inspire my ketubah choice?
If you love calligraphy and text based ketubah designs – look to ketubah artist Adam Rhine and Izzy Pludwinksi. Perhaps you love watercolors and fluid brushstrokes – then Nava Shoham and Michelle Rummel are your girls. Do you want a ketubah that is replicated from the archives of Judaism like from The Jewish Museum Collection? If you love Impressionism or Monet, ketubahs such as “Four Seasons” could be perfect for you. Love Chagall’s work? Check out “My Beloved is Mine”. New Ketubahs like “Paint Swash” recall Modern art such as Jackson Pollack and Mark Rothko to Michelle Rummel’s Gustav Klimt inspired “Fulfillment” ketubah series and the “Klimt Abstract in Gold” ketubah.
- Are there any personal details or quotes I want in my ketubah?
There are a number of ketubahs that incorporate popular and wedding related quotations such as, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine…” within the ketubah design like in “Infinity of Love – Lapis Blue Ketubah” or “I am My Beloved’s – Midnight Ketubah”. Some ketubahs can have a custom phrase added for an additional cost for instance in Enya Keshet’s “Cycles of Life Personalized Papercut – Sand Weave Ketubah.
Don’t Be Late for Your Very Important Date!
You don’t want to wait until the last minute to order your ketubah. Make sure you give yourself at least 6 – 8 weeks to place your order since certain choices can affect the shipping time. If you are planning on getting a custom, hand done ketubah, make sure to give your calligrapher plenty of time. Working with an artist one-on-one is great to get a ketubah with personal touches and details but can take time to complete a layout and for the artist/calligrapher to do all the ketubah by hand, rather than a stocked ketubah that only needs the details filled in.
- When is our wedding?
- Do we have enough time to get the ketubah we want?
- If it’s a destination wedding; should it be shipping to my home or directly to the hotel? If you need to travel to your wedding destination you might want to consider shipping it directly there or not getting a stretched canvas or hold off getting it matted before the wedding. It will be easier to travel with the ketubah rolled in a tube. You can lay it flat the day before the wedding to be be displayed at the chuppah ceremony.
Expert Tip: If you’re searching on ketubah.com, there is a Time-to-Door estimator for every ketubah to help you best estimate how quickly or long it will take to get your ketubah. It even adjusts as you make your choices!
Say Yes to the Text
It’s most important that your ketubah have the appropriate text for your Jewish wedding ceremony. The ketubah text should be meaningful and relevant to you as a couple.
- Do we want the ketubah to mention our religions? If you are an interfaith couple, this may be something to ask yourselves.
- Does this ketubah text reflect us as a couple?
- Do we want to write our own ketubah text? The price can vary per ketubah on how much it costs to get a custom text. Digital calligraphy can run between $135-$195. Hand done calligraphy usually starts at $1.00 a word.
To Personalize or Not to Personalize
That is the Ketubah Question!
Many ketubahs are available with spaces left blank for the couple’s names, wedding date, and location, for the rabbi or a calligrapher to fill in before the wedding and some ketubah companies can fill in that information for a small additional cost.
- Do we want a calligrapher to fill in the personalization information?
- Does my rabbi/officiant want to fill in the personalization information?
- Will I be happy with a ketubah filled in with handwriting that doesn’t match the font?
Size Does Matter!
While size may not matter in other choices you’ve made so far in life, it can definitely matter for your ketubah.
- Where are we going to display our ketubah after the wedding? Do we want the ketubah to be the centerpiece of the wall? You can consider the color palette and style of that room into your ketubah choice. Since there are a few different locations in your home that your ketubah can be displayed in like your living room or bedroom, you can consider what other pieces (if any) will surround your ketubah or if it will be the focal point of the room.
- If the ketubah is too small will we have a hard time reading it, signing it, and seeing the artistic details?
Expert Tip: Not all ketubahs have size choices – such as some papercuts – so pay close attention if this is something that is important to you.
Depending on which ketubah you’ve decided on – some may have different stock options. Some offer paper, washi paper, canvas, or stretched canvas. Each of these materials have a variety of finishes to the artwork on your final ketubah. Ketubahs should be printed on fine art, 100% cotton fiber content, acid-free, pH-neutral paper so that your ketubah can last a lifetime. This thick and texturized paper is meant for artwork to appear clear and luminous forever.
- Do we want to frame the ketubah or hang it right up in our home? Stretched canvas doesn’t need a frame and is ready to be displayed at the wedding and in your home right away.
- If we’re having an artist or friend do the art work does he/she have a specific stock they like to work on?
Expert Tip: Read our quick Paper Stock Choices Explained by The Experts post to learn more about the paper stock possibilities your ketubah can be made on.