The Wedding Ceremony

The purpose of Jewish wedding is to celebrate the transformation of two individuals into a loving partnership.  The function of the ceremony is to define the boundaries of this relationship, and to indicate that it has received the full sanction of the community and of God.  When you meet with Rabbi Allen to address the particulars of the ceremony, he will share with you how the ceremony addresses these ideas and brings you both to the next shared stage of your lives.

The Shabbat Before the Wedding


It is traditional for the couple to be called up to the Torah on the Shabbat prior to the wedding to offer a blessing and to be blessed.  This ritual can also take place for couples who marry in another synagogue or out of state. The rabbi will offer a special blessing to the couple.  Following the blessing the couple is literally showered with candy to wish them a sweet life together.

The Shul usually provides the aufruf candy. If you wish to provide your own, the aufruf candy needs to be kosher and soft.  A list of acceptable hecksherim is available at Beth Jacob.  We recommend soft candy like the Sunkist fruit jellies (individually wrapped). You will need about 800-1000 pieces.  We will have baskets for your use.  The candy must be brought to shul before Shabbat.  If you have assigned specific people to hand out candy for the couple’s aliyah (check with Rabbi Allen for aliyah order), please inform the usher.

If you sponsor or co-sponsor a Kiddush lunch

Many couples sponsor a Kiddush lunch that Shabbat for the congregation, family and friends as part of their celebration of their marriage.  This is another opportunity to host a seudah mitzvah.  Often other families are celebrating a Bar or Bat Mitzvah and the Kiddush lunch is then co-sponsored.  If you wish to sponsor or co-sponsor the Kiddush, please speak with Sean Murphy to make appropriate arrangements in advance.  Be sure the office has the correct wording of the sponsorship for the weekly service sheet.

Practical Matters

Items to bring for the signing

You will need to bring a scarf or handkerchief that will be used ritually during the signing ceremony.

For state-sanctioned marraige, you will need your marriage license for the Rabbi to fill out.  You should choose any two witnesses for the license; they should not be immediate family members. For the signing of the Ketubah,  you will invite two Jewish adults to serve as Ketubah witnesses.  A witness cannot be an immediate family member. It is a nice courtesy to make sure that Ketubah witnesses can both spell and write their Hebrew names.


We have a Chuppah at Beth Jacob and you are welcome to use it.  If you choose not to use the Beth Jacob Chuppah, we suggest a “trial run” to make sure that your chuppah material will work on the poles provided. Please speak to the Beth Jacob Administrator to make appropriate arrangements.


The wedding ceremony utilizes two Kiddush cups, rings, and a glass to break wrapped in a napkin or scarf.  (Alternatively, you can purchase, at a Jewish book store/gift shop, a glass wrapped in a satin bag, which is designed to save the broken glass shards.)  Kippot are required for all male guests (women optional). In addition, you may choose to have a guest sign-in book and a wedding program booklet (the text will need to be approved in advance by Rabbi Allen). Please provide the names of the people holding the rings under the Chuppah to the Rabbi. We will also need the wedding procession order and music cues.


Photographs and video may be taken during the ceremony as long as the camera is stationary throughout the entire ceremony. (No flash during the ceremony.)


Please check with Sean Murphy about the timing of the delivery and set up of flowers


Please check with Sean Murphy about the timing of the delivery and set up of music for the sanctuary and the social hall if you are holding a reception there.


If you have ushers to greet and seat people and/or to hand out programs please make sure that all men entering the Sanctuary wear a kippah. (This is optional for women).

Wedding Day Schedule

What time are people or deliveries arriving? Please notify the Beth Jacob administrator well in advance to make sure we are prepared.  Consider the arrival time for each of the following:

The Couple
Florist or other decorator
Hairdresser/make-up person

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