Updated: Feb 3, 2021
Designing a Chuppah is an extremely sacred act.
The Chuppah represents the new home that a couple is creating together as well as the wings of the Shechinah (feminine aspect of G!d) sheltering the couple in a safe and loving expanse!
To create a Chuppah there actually are only two things involved:
1. There is the Chuppah structure itself, simple in it's 4 legged nature.
2. Then there is the Chuppah covering, usually a Tallis (prayer shawl) from an ancestor or living family member to represent the tent-like structure that Abraham, our forefather hosted strangers in.
However, creating a space that feels sacred, beautiful and alive with love is truly what the Chuppah is about. So how do we create that and what are my 5 go-to things that I believe every couple should have on or under their Chuppah?
Something that smells divine and transports you to the garden of eden and to feel the divine around you. You can think floral like Gardenia, roses, jasmine or fruiting branches. In this Chuppah that I designed for an early July wedding, I used fruiting peach branches which smell just like heaven herself! Or, if flowers are not your thing, what are your favorite scents, maybe have a bag of fresh coffee or freshly scraped vanilla beans. Whatever it is, it has to be a scent that lifts up both of your spirits!
A little table. I know, not what you were thinking, but having a little table is crucial to hold the Kiddush cup, the wine, the blessings and of course the glass that is going to be broken at the end of the ceremony!
Water. Water. Water. I don't know why at all the weddings I've been to and all the ones I've worked that there is never water for the couple. It's crucial, it's the source of life...Let the couple drink! It's nerve-wracking being up there.
A way to interact with your Chuppah. Look, I know, I'm over here re-visioning Jewish ceremony (my favorite thing to do) but I do think there is something really important with engaging with this structure that is used as a metaphor for your future home. How can you touch, smell, embrace the shelter that is holding you in this sacred ceremony? I don't have the answers, but think on it...and if you want to discuss more, reach out!
Lastly, everyone MUST, and I mean MUST have a Chuppah that they feel represents them. I don't care if your Chuppah is covered in flowers, (as much as it's fun to do), I want you to have a Chuppah that feels uniquely and authentically like YOU and the essence of who you two are as a couple. Think about the color, texture, material, height, shape...Think about the decoration or lack thereof. We so often think now that Chuppot must be covered in floral or they are somehow not as beautiful, but that doesn't actually matter (and this is coming from someone who gets paid to floral Chuppot) What is it that would feel most like HOME and SAFETY and SACRED SPACE to you and your beloved? And whatever that answer is, that should be how you create your Chuppah!
I'm here to brainstorm, dream and scheme with you! There is so much beauty in crafting this mini home for yourselves...allow the process to be fun, innovative and exciting.
Don't let wedding planning be route, there is so much in it for you to take a run wild with...
So let's GO!
Photo by Inbal Sivan Photography @inbalsivanphoto
Floral artistry by Naomi Azriel Lifestyle Design @naomiazriel