Chuppah To It

The huppah (or chuppah) is probably the most distinctive element of the Jewish wedding. The huppah is made of a tallis or beautiful cloth held aloft over the bride and groom by four poles. Holding the poles is a special honor, given to family or friends that the bride and groom wish to honor. The chuppa creates a beautiful focal point for the wedding. The huppah represents he Jewish home that the bride and groom will make together. It is open on all sides, symbolizing that guests will always be welcome in their home.

We don’t discuss the religious aspect of marriage here at Manolo for the Brides very often. It’s not that we have a problem with it, but rather, I think, because we consider it a matter between our readers and their various visions of God…or lack thereof. If you have a religious tradition, then you know whom to turn to for advice: the spiritual leader of your faith community. NtB and I are here to help you with fashion, etiquette, pretty or tasty things, and the emotional aspects of your wedding journey. Frankly, that’s quite enough to have on two plates. And while I can’t speak for NtB on this, I know that any spiritual advice you got from me would be highly suspect to any organized religion going.

But there are a few places where the spiritual and the fashionable meet and there’s one I’m a bit surprised I’ve never tackled or seen tackled in this space before: the chuppah.

As noted above in a quote from this interfaith marriage advice site, the chuppah is a deeply meaningful symbol of home, hearth, and hospitality. Those are three things I can absolutely get behind. Of course, since Mr. Twistie and I are both utter heathens entirely without any known Jewish background on either side, we did not have a chuppah, but I have always loved them. So today I thought it would be fun to look for some examples of what’s going on in chuppah art today and pass on a few sources to anyone who might be in the market. The one at the top of the article, incidentally, may be found here. I love the colors and the joyful flowers.

Of course, there’s more than one way to show joy, and this one tickled my funny bone. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I love the graphic quality of it. If the bride and groom are fond of comic books or graphic novels, this might well float their boat.

The same site, though, has less…cartoonish ones, as well. Take, for instance, this one. That’s quite a work of art.

And speaking of gorgeous, I’ve quite fallen in love with this one. After all, it has peacocks and peacocks are glorious things.

If you’re looking for a chuppah, or for ideas in creating your own, check out the sites I’ve noted or do a search of your own. There are some gorgeous ideas out there sure to fit your taste and your budget.

6 Responses to “Chuppah To It”

  1. Fabrisse says:

    When some friends of mine got married, they decided to combine traditions. He didn’t convert to Judaism, but they had the traditional marriage contract and a chuppah.

    He and his father were both very good with their hands, so they carved the supports themselves. The cloth was the family tartan. It was a lovely blending of traditions.

  2. Twistie says:

    I do love and adore that thought, Fabrisse! Lovely, indeed.

  3. Pencils says:

    We had a lovely chuppah. I bought a nice linen tablecloth, and sent it to a professional embroiderer to be done with Arts & Crafts designs. Mostly roses which went with the bouquets and the rest of the floral decor. My sister sewed ribbons to it which we used to attach the chuppah to poles. We got so many compliments on our chuppah, and now it’s our best tablecloth. We used it for our first Thanksgiving.

  4. Little Red says:

    Oh, Pencils, that sounds so beautiful.

  5. bela says:

    In a fit of bride insanity, I decided to quilt my own chuppah. First quilting project. The ladies at the quilt shop thought I was completely nuts. I ended up only having time to piece the thing together and basting it to a bed sheet, because it was EIGHTY INCHES BY EIGHTY INCHES. I have no idea what prompted me to make a chuppah-gigantron, but I did. One of these days, I’m going to have it made into a quilt, as it is really lovely but kind of unwieldy for a novice quilter (I also work 60+ hours a week and will never get it done if I go for it on my own). Came out really nice, though.

    We ended up borrowing a chuppah frame from my husband’s family’s temple. I still have no idea how it got itself assembled, though, as I realized that I had all the hardware in my purse while I was getting my hair done 🙂

  6. Twistie says:

    Bela, I’m sorry your project went so awry, but I have to say your tale gave me quite a good belly laugh to start the day. This is why it’s so important to know your limits in both skill and time before taking on the really big wedding projects. I do hope you get it properly quilted one day. There’s nothing like being able to proudly display a piece of your own handwork and tell the story behind it.

    As for how the borrowed chuppah came together without the hardware…sometimes miracles still happen. I’m delighted one happened for you.