Gillian will be marrying Pete on 8th September 2017 (just 3 days from now!) in a Jew-ish wedding at the Ballroom at Ellis Preserve in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, so today is her final blog before her Big Day! You can click here to read all Gillian’s planning posts to date.
THREE FACTS: (1) Gillian is Jewish and Pete is Catholic (2) A Rabbi and a Priest will officiate at their wedding (3) Gillian is a Health & Wellness Coach and Pete is a Travel Occupational Therapist.
What’s The Right Ketubah For You?
Anyone who has started planning a Jewish or Interfaith Wedding has thought of what they want their Ketubah to look like. It’s an important part of the Jewish wedding ceremony and it’s something that you will hopefully hang on the walls of your home forever. So where does any modern bride start when planning this element of her wedding? Obviously Smashing The Glass, Pinterest, Etsy, and the World Wide Web. Only to realize that Ketubot (plural form of Ketubah) also come with their own gammat of choices to be made.
What text should you choose, should you have English and Hebrew, who should you ask to sign your Ketubah, what size paper do you want, and how much do you want to spend? The choices are endless, and then you have to pick an aesthetic you like to match – that you and your future spouse both like!
Gillian’s DIY Ketubah!
When I set out to find a Ketubah I loved, I asked my fiancé Pete (who is Roman Catholic) to help. He had no reference point into what a Ketubah should look like or say, but he did have an opinion on two things: the color scheme and the price tag.
We scrolled through Etsy, polled the Smashing the Glass community, and inquired with friends and family. Everything we found that we LOVED was well over our $200 budget. I found these gorgeous laser cut Ketubot that even went up to $1200 – before framing!
So obviously that was not a true option, and I felt a little disheartened that I might have to settle to stay within a reasonable budget. It was something I wasn’t thrilled about, this was supposed to be a piece of artwork that we could have in our home and a keepsake from our big day.
For Real, DIY?
Now I don’t want to lose you, but my solution to this Ketubah ‘dilemma’ was to make my own. When I first told Pete about this idea, he really couldn’t even veto it because he didn’t know what that meant or entailed – and neither did I.
I am NOT a graphic designer, I’m NOT an artist, and I wouldn’t even call myself a super fashionable person. But I am crafty and once I have an idea I like, I don’t quit. I put together our Ketubah pretty quickly after I had decided I wanted some sort of globe or map (because we love to travel). I felt it would be timeless and something we would always enjoy looking at.
Image: Niv Shimshon Photography from Shannie & Steve’s Jewish Wedding
Keep It Simple
The key to DIY is to keep it simple – I had found beautiful watercolor graphics online (for FREE!), one looked like a globe and I just went with the inspiration from there. There is so much available for free, I recommend looking at sites like: Creative Market, The Hungy Jpeg and Design Cuts. All have freebies that you can download, including beautiful fonts.
Deciding what our Ketubah would say was a bit more of a challenge, but the beauty of the internet is you can read all the different texts until you find the one that fits you and your future spouse’s beliefs, relationship, and style. Or if you are really feeling up for the DIY challenge you can write your own.
Here’s the thing though, not everyone is going to want to take on this big of DIY and that’s ok. You can still do a DIY Ketubah, but you are going to need some assistance. Instead of finding your own graphics, you can go to a site like Fiverr, or ask a friend who is handy with Photoshop. You will be limited to a certain extent – no laser cut Ketubot with this route, but if staying within your budget and having a beautiful piece of artwork is important, it’s a great option.
We chose to have limited Hebrew wording, so that was simple for me to Google and incorporate. If you are looking to have a full paragraph in Hebrew (and don’t know how to write it yourself), you can see if your Rabbi will write it for you or purchase just the text portion of your Ketubah as a PDF file from someone on Etsy and then combine with your own graphics.
But Then Where Do You Get It Made?
So I had to do some research on how to actually get the Ketubah made because I knew it had to be on special paper and DIY only works with good execution! Most Ketubot are made on archival quality paper utilizing giclee (pronounced zhee-clay) printing – which is just a fancy word for the process of printing high quality digital prints using ink jet.
I found multiple sites online that would do it, some would even frame the print for under $75. We went with a company called Giclee Today who printed and shipped our 16”x16” Ketubah for $26.50 on archival Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Paper. It just arrived and it’s beautiful! I’m getting it framed at Michael’s Craft Store, and lucked out using a 70% off coupon! The whole Ketubah was under $175 with framing, and is everything we could have wanted. I think it also makes it extra special to know I designed it.
Image: David Klein from Sarah & Ben’s Jewish Wedding
If you choose to order something from Etsy, from The Ketubah, Ink With Intent or any other online site to find your modern Ketubah – just know you have more options than you first may think. You can also go the route I did and DIY or just dabble in DIY and have someone help you piece together your perfect Ketubah. No matter what you choose, just make sure it’s meaningful to you and your future spouse, because regardless of price or size it will be special to you from now until forever.
Gillian & Pete’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:
Photographer — Blaise Szallasi
Videographer — Wise Films
Venue — Ballroom at Ellis Preserve
Bridesmaid’s dress — Adrianna Papell, BHLDN and Hayley Paige Occasions
Hair + Makeup – Samantha White
Invitation — Wedding Paper Divas
Flowers — Love Bug Unique
DJ – Joe Vespe of JSV Entertainment
Rabbi – Rabbi Bradley Bleefeld
Engagement photos – Cassie Morlet