Post # 1
The event space where I’m getting married lacks a real backdrop to actually have the ceremony. It’s basically a brick wall. So, in order to create a beautiful backdrop and pretty pictures, I thought of an arch. But every time I searched “beautiful arch,” I got something like this:
wamp-wamp. I wanted something with more drama and not so traditional. I also wanted to continue the religious theme throughout our wedding, as my fiance is a pastor, and I love Jesus.
In Hebrew, chuppah literally means “covered,” as in covered by God. It’s also a symbol of the home the couple will make together, and the four open walls signify hospitality. I think it’s a great symbol of starting your relationship under God and starting your home together.
Something like these? (maybe not as dramatic as the first one, DANG!)
On this last one, the bride chose to have her guests write blessings and have them put the notes on the branches before the ceremony. How beautiful is that? Being married under the support of your loved ones?
What’s stopping me from doing this is that I’m worried everyone will be like “What? they aren’t Jewish!” or I’ll offend a friend by stepping on tradition. I also know that I could adapt the look of some of the branch/flower chuppahs to an arch, but I like the depth of the canopy. So bees, what do you think?
Post # 3
Just don’t call it a chuppah. Call it a wedding canopy. problem solved.
Post # 4
First off, I’m christian, and I used to not think there was anything wrong with “borrowing” from the jewish faith, and using a chuppah in a non Jewish ceremony. However, after reading a post about this very topic on A Practical Wedding, I’ve come to realize that it can be seen as very very offensive to the Jewish community. Because it may offend some of your guests, I would look into creating a wedding arch, not a chuppah. I agree the example of one you showed was a little lackluster, but I’ve been to weddings with arches that were absolutely gorgeous. If you want a more varied opinion on the chuppah issue, I would post this in the Jewish boards. Good luck!!
Post # 5
LOL @ “wamp, wamp…” 😀
I personally don’t think there’s anything overtly religious about having some sort of canopy or archway at the end of an alter! Yes, technically it’s a Jewish traddition, but I’m pretty sure there have been multitudes of non-Jewish weddings that use a chuppah-like fixture, right?
Plus, as a Christian, I’ve noticed there are tons of Jewish traditions that Christians still follow. Do you know people that celebrate Passover, for example? I do! My *Christian* church used to host a Passover dinner! 🙂
I totally think you have nothing to worry about. And I majorly second the idea of the “blessings” arch — so awesome.
Post # 6
We had a interfaith wedding in a neutral site and were married by an officiant. My hubby is Jewish and I’m Catholic. I don’t see anything wrong with having a wedding canopy. True chuppah’s can have many different types of coverings, but I would think that if you had a family quilt or tallit on top, then it may be more tied in with the Jewish faith. Do what makes you happy AND have beautiful photos at the same time! Here is our gorgeous chuppa/canopy:
Post # 7
For the record, I’m Jewish and I would not be offended at all. In fact, I would be flattered that you liked one of our traditions so much that you wanted to adopt it.
Post # 8
@littlemissmango: Why is it offensive?
Post # 9
The most beautiful wedding magazine cover I’ve ever seen was MSW in winter 2008, with a gorgeous floral setting similar to the chuppah. Maybe you could do something similar, but not just like a chuppah?
Post # 10
If you are going to have Jewish guests in attendance, build something that is similar to the chuppahs that you love, but make it narrower, like an arbor, then it more closely resembles an arch which is typical of non-Jewish weddings. There are plenty of non-Jewish couples who get married in gardens with arbors and archways and gazebos and they make a beautiful focal point for the ceremony. Just don’t call it a chuppah.
If you don’t have any Jewish guests in attendance you can make it whatever shape you want and probably call it whatever you want. But “canopy” will probably raise fewer eyebrows than “chuppah” even if it translates to basically the same thing.
I’m so proud of you for looking up the meaning of the word! I’m all for Christian girls looking up Jewish traditions, to see if they are biblically historical and therefore potentially significant for Christians (as opposed to modern Jewish tradition which would have little meaning to a Christian.)
(Didn’t Lorelai have a chuppah for a wedding in Gilmore Girls and have this exact conversation? I think the verdict was “not offensive.)
Post # 11
I really love the meaning of a chuppah, Im not jewish, but I cant imagine someone being upset or offended by it just because you aren’t of that faith. Maybe im naive though!
Post # 12
I married a Jewish man and I am not Jewish, nobody was offended when we had a chuppah. Maybe don’t point it out as that, but I think you are covered. The vast majority of Jews as liberal/reform (in this country) and would certainly realize that they don’t own/didn’t create the symbolism of the bride/groom’s new household during a marriage ceremony. I think that the PP that said people would be offended needs to give Jews a little more credit. It’s not as though you are stealing a sacred vow and flouncing it!
Post # 13
I did! I didn’t think anything of it… it loved the look of it and loved what it conveyed. Our Christian minister didn’t care either 😉
Post # 14
of course you can have it. jewish brides arent the only ones who can get married under a canopy of some sort actually most brides if they arent married in a church by the altar are married under some type of arch or canopy – try googling “wedding canopy” and you will see what i mean.
just dont call it a chuppah and you wont offend folks.
Post # 15
You could take the ideas of the chuppas you like and make them into an arch just as easily, I would think, if its something you are really worried about!
I don’t think it would be offensive, but I am not Jewish. Maybe ask this on the Jewish board? Will you have any Jewish guests in attendance?
Post # 16
I kind of wanted to keep the word chuppah and maybe mention it in the ceremony, because of what it means, but by no means do I want to offend anyone with it, that’s why I asked. And in the end if it’s too touchy of a subject, we’ll pull the word and bring the back closer to make more of an arch. I’m not obsessed, just liking the idea.
I don’t think we’ll have any Jewish guests, but I can’t be 100% sure.
@simplifiedbride: can you send me the link to the practical weddings blog entry on this? I’ve been snooping around but can’t find it.
I think I’ll post this on the Jewish board and see what responses happen there. Thanks girls!!