Jewish Wedding Ceremony Rituals

Jewish wedding ceremonies are carried out with utmost religious customs as being married is an important aspect of their life and Italy has a rich Jewish cultural heritage. As with other religious weddings, Jewish wedding rituals begin from the stage of engagement to weeks leading up to the wedding ceremony.

The wedding ceremony can be held on any day of the week to the exception of the Jewish Sabbath and Jewish festivals at any synagogue such as the beautiful masterpieces in Rome, Florence, Naples and Venice or beautiful gardens in one of Italy’s landscapes. The couple is traditionally married under the supervision of a Rabbi and underneath a specially decorated canopy called a “Chuppah” – which symbolizes the home the couple will build and share together in their marriage.

Common rituals performed at a Jewish wedding:

  • Ufruf – This is a special ceremony for the groom, held at the synagogue a week before the wedding. It involves the groom participating in the service and announcing the upcoming wedding to the congregation, with sweets being showered on him, and refreshments following the service.
  • Mikveh – This is known as a Jewish ritual bath for cleansing. The bride is expected to visit the Mikveh a week before the wedding ceremony to cleanse herself spiritually in the water and recite a special prayer in order to enter the marriage in a state of purity.
  • Traditionally, the couple is not allowed to see each other in the week preceding the wedding.
  • Fasting – It is traditional for the couple to fast on the day of the wedding to cleanse and start their marriage on a clean slate, symbolic as the way Jews fast on ‘Yom Kippur’ – The Day of Atonement.
  • Ketubah – This is the Jewish marriage contract setting out the legal terms of the marriage, it is read aloud and signed by the couple prior to the main ceremony in the presence of four witnesses and the service officiator.
  • Bedecken – Veiling of the bride by the groom, symbolizing the groom’s commitment to clothe and protect his wife.
  • The ceremony ends with the groom breaking a wrapped glass with his foot to which the guests will shout Mazel Tov! to congratulate the couple.

Italian Gala are Italy’s leading wedding planning experts, with years of experience in planning Jewish weddings. To find out more information, contact our team today!