The Ultimate Jewish Wedding Checklist

bride signing gefen papercut ketubah
Bride from Style Me Pretty signing Gefen Papercut Ketubah Photography by John Schnack

Your To-Do list is already a mile long but with a Jewish wedding there are a lot of little details you can’t forget! We’ve put together a thorough wedding planning checklist specifically for your Jewish wedding ceremony so you won’t be saying “oy vey” on your wedding day.

6-12 Months Ahead

checkbox-unchecked-150x150Book your rabbi, cantor or wedding officiant

Finding the right rabbi or officiant for you as a couple might turn out to be more of a challenge than you might expect. If you have one that you are close with, ask in advance as you never know if they might already be booked for that day. Having an officiant that knows you and what kind of ceremony you’re going to have is essential to having your perfect wedding day. Be sure to give them a Save-the-Date!

4-6 Months Ahead

checkbox-unchecked-15x15Discuss with your officiant about attire, Jewish wedding customs and traditions you may want to include and any ketubah requirements they may have

Jewish Wedding Ceremony Chuppah Brett Matthews
Brett Matthews Photography from Mazel Moments

Your officiant will be able to tell if you if there are any attire restrictions like covering your shoulders for the chuppah ceremony.

There are tons of Jewish wedding traditions so it’s important to talk to your officiant and spouse about which you want to include, and what you’ll need in order to fulfill them, from a glass to break under the chuppah and what kind of ketubah you’ll need. Check out our Ideas to Rejuvenate Jewish Wedding Traditions post for more.

checkbox-unchecked-15x15Register for Gifts and Judaica

Alessi Challah Board from The Jewish Museum
                                       Alessi Challah Board

Did you know that you can register for your judaica too? After registering at Bed Bath & Beyond why not pick pieces you love? From kiddish cups for Friday nights to Passover plates, you can register for your judaica and you won’t end up with five menorahs! 

You can register at stores like the Jewish Museum Shop in New York City and sites like Zola allow you to add items from a variety of stores so you can fill your new home with judaica you love.

 

checkbox-unchecked-15x15Order Yarmulkas imprinted with your names and date of your ceremony

Some couples choose to have their wedding date and names printed onto kippah/yamalkas for guests to wear during chuppah ceremony. You can even get them in your wedding colors!

Wedding Yarmulkes Kippot Jewish Wedding Ceremony
Personalized Yamakahs featured on Mazel Moments

checkbox-unchecked-15x15Order personalized benchers for after the wedding meal

Grace After Meals BenchersIf you are having Grace After Meals at the end of your wedding reception couples like to give out benchers with their monogram, names, and the wedding date, embossed or printed. A bencher makes a great favor for your guests to remember your wedding.

Check out Empire Press or kippas.com online or in Brooklyn to order yours!

checkbox-unchecked-15x15Choose the type of Chuppah you would like

Chuppahs can be covered in flowers or can incorporate Jewish psalms or personal touches into the decor of your chuppah. Figuring out what you want will be half the battle. The other half is finding the vendors or florist to do the best job!

chuppah by birch events gefen papercut ketubah ruth stern warzecha
Chuppah by Birch Events from Photography by Sol Edelman featuring Gefen Papercut – Winter Ketubah

2-4 Months Ahead

checkbox-unchecked-15x15Decide and order your ketubah

Choosing which ketubah you want may take longer than you expect. You should also give yourself this time in case the artist needs more time or if you’re ordering one online it may take some time to process and create.

checkbox-unchecked-15x15 Finalize the details of the wedding service with your officiant

Since you’ve already reserved your officiant, now is the time to finalize all the wedding ceremony details that you will be including on the day-of including any readings or blessings and who you want to honor.

1-2 Months Ahead

checkbox-unchecked-15x15Obtain a marriage license

Don’t forget your state marriage license! Check your local government website to see what you need complete the application and how long it takes.

checkbox-unchecked-15x15Check with your officiant if they have any criteria for your wedding bands

Some Orthodox rabbis require that your wedding bands not have any stones on them so ask in advance.

checkbox-unchecked-15x15Proofread your ketubah

It may have been looked over two or three times but it’s always good to have another read through, even by another set of eyes like by your officiant or one of your mothers.

mother and daughter signing ketubah Robert Saslow Love's Mosaic Ketubah
Bride and mother signing Love’s Mosaic: Emerald and Jade Ketubah featured on Style Me Pretty

2-4 Weeks Ahead

checkbox-unchecked-15x15Get a glass for breaking under the chuppah

You’ll need a glass for the moment everyone loves when the groom (or both of you!) break the glass to let the celebration start. You can use an everyday light bulb or choose a beautiful glass that can be repurposed into a home mezuzah or menorah like from Gary Rosenthal.

copper wedding mezuzah with breaking glass by gary rosenthal
Copper Wedding Mezuzah with Blue Breaking Glass

checkbox-unchecked-15x15Purchase a plate for the mothers to break before the wedding

checkbox-unchecked-15x15Ask designated honorees to be ketubah witnesses, recite blessings etc

You should ask/tell any friends or family members that will have special responsibilities on the day of the wedding from ketubah witness signatures, holding the chuppah poles, and any readings you want to have during your ceremony.

The Day Before

checkbox-unchecked-15x15Ask a friend to handle the ritual elements: ketubah, kiddish cups, rings, glass and plate

Worrying about all the ritual items shouldn’t be on your mind on your wedding day. Make sure one person has them or that your wedding planner is taking care of them. You’ll want to know who to contact when you’re looking for the broken glass pieces if you’re making something out of it after the wedding.

praying jewish prayers image

checkbox-unchecked-15x15Prepare to start fasting at sunrise tomorrow (if you’re choosing to fast)

There is a tradition that your wedding day is like Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, so a bride and groom should fast.  If you are fasting make sure to drink lots of water and have a protein filled dinner the day before.

Downloads

  • Ketubah Jewish Wedding Checklist
    Ketubah Jewish Wedding Checklist

    Download our Ultimate Jewish Wedding Checklist so you don't forget any of the important items unique for your Jewish wedding ceremony. Bring this list to your rabbi or officiant to discuss the religious elements of your wedding. Then check things off your list so you won't be saying "oy vey" on your wedding day!

 

1 Comment

  1. Aliyah,

    Thanks for writing this extremely informational article! I am helping plan my cousin’s wedding and his bride is Jewish so I was wondering if there are any fun, post ceremonial games, events, or ideas that you can think of? She had requested a Tarot Card reader which is doable and fun but anything in that same vein, thank you so much!

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