This is a guest post by Lauren Dubell-Beadle, founder of The Chuppah Design Co who created the chuppah above
Image: Babb Photo from Clelia & George’s Jew-ish wedding
Before the dress, before the center pieces and before the personalized cocktails, your guests will see the symbolic chuppah that you will be married under. If you are like me, you will want that first impression to pack a punch and tell a story at the same time.
Why have a chuppah?
The chuppah goes back a long way and holds a lot of tradition within its simple four-posted structure. Its symbolism is vast, but ultimately the chuppah represents a couples first home that they will build together.
It is open on all four sides to represent the open hospitality the couple will give in their home to their family, friends and acquaintances… fitting more than a handful of your guests under the chuppah would be a challenge!
So the open sides help all your guests feel part of your ceremony. Today many non-Jewish couple choose to include a chuppah in their wedding for its symbolic nature and Jew-ish couples (like my husband and I) also want to have a chuppah, but may come across some challenges finding a rabbi who will willingly marry them or bless them under a chuppah.
US couples may not have the same issue, but if you are lucky enough to find Rabbi Paul Glantz free for your UK (or European) based date then make sure you snap him up! The chuppah was the first ‘Jewish thing’ we knew we wanted at our wedding and our insistence on having one led us to planning a wedding that was truly done ‘our way’. We wanted it to be the start of our meaningful and personal day.
Image: The Image is Found from Michelle & Joseph’s Jewish wedding
Where to get inspiration?
So where do you start with planning your chuppah? Most people make the decision if they want to DIY their chuppah or not before they actually decide what they want… and you can definitely do that… we did.
We knew we wanted to make it ourselves in keeping with the idea of the new couple building their home together and we really didn’t want anyone else’s help for this one part of our day. However, it is important to decide what sort of chuppah will fit in with the overall style of your wedding.
Do you want something simple and traditional (that could be relatively easy to DIY) or do you want a massive eye-catching art installation style that will be pinned and shared all over Instagram after the big day? The latter you may wish to get some help with!
Whilst you’re scrolling you can begin to think of the style you are heading towards and how you might be able to turn those inspirational images into a reality. Here you might decide if you are DIY-ing or looking for some support from a florist and a rental company or a design service (like me!) for the truly one-off personal chuppah.
How to turn your vision into reality?
So, you are a newly engaged bride-to-be with a massive wedding Pinterest board and a whole load of new hashtags to follow on Instagram… so how do you turn all these ideas into something for your big day?
Do you go for it and DIY the whole thing or get someone in to do it for you? Both definitely have their merits. If you choose to DIY your chuppah then I’d suggest doing a bit of research before you plan it all out.