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Jewish Weddings

chuppah holders

our wedding party is MOH & BM only.  we are having hand held chuppah & thought we'd honor/choose 4 guys as chuppah holders.  but i have no idea....

any guidelines/traditions who we should choose? 

should they wear tux? 

do chuppah holders walk down the aisle (in which case where is the chuppah & when do they start holding it?) or are they stationed at the front already holding the chuppah as the others walk down the aisle?

other traditions in this regard that anyone can share? 

Re: chuppah holders

  • RachiemooRachiemoo member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Our Chuppah was free-standing, so we didn't have any chuppah holders.

    My SIL on the other hand, did use chuppah holders.  She has 3 sibilings and her husband has 1, so they had their siblings do it (3 females and 1 male, so I don't necessarily think it has to be all guys, but that is certainly fine if you want it that way).

    They didn't have them walk down the aisle, they were just up front before the processional started, but I think it would be nice also if they walked down the aisle.

    I don't think that they need to wear anything special, I think if they follow the same dress code as the other guests, that would be good.
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  • sari5765sari5765 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Ours are being considered as part of the wedding party, walking up the aisle and wearing matching dresses, etc.
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  • edited December 2011
    Is it odd to have the holders be the wedding party?  We happened to have four people we wanted as the wedding party, so they're going to be the holders as well.
  • edited December 2011
    Chuppah holders can be anyone - part of your party, extra folks you want to honor, etc.  If you are worried about not giving someone an honor for holding the chuppah, then you can give them another honor - they can say a blessing, or bless the challah at the reception.  It's all up to you.

    We aren't having holders but our rabbi will require witness; they won't walk down, they will already be up there.  I think if we were doing holding chuppah poles, I'd have them already up there as well - but that's just me.
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks, slbriz34.  I've only been to a couple Jewish weddings, and all had freestanding chuppahs.   (Interfaith wedding -- I've been lurking around this board because I'm doing most of the planning, and FI hasn't paid attention to the little details at weddings, so I'm sort of trying to get a sense of what will feel traditional to him.  Our rabbi is awesome but is very much "do what you want" for this sort of thing and we're still trying to figure that out.) 

    I think the chuppah will just be sitting somewhere at the front; if we need to pick up a nice umbrella stand or something to set it in, we will. 

    We've got plenty of "jobs" to hand out to all the people we'd like to honor, so that's not a worry. 
  • leoraannaleoraanna member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We are doing things a little differently with our ceremony. We have a special hand made Chuppah and I have a lot of siblings (birth and step). The Chuppah is made of hand painted silk and we are having Hamsas hanging from each post. My FI and I are having his brother (only has one sibling), one of my brothers, one of my sisters, some cousins and friends in our wedding party. We didn't want to leave my other siblings out though so we are honoring the four of them by having them carry the Chuppah down the aisle, plae it in its posts, and having a seat. They will start the wedding precessional that way.

    We aren't asking them to wear anything special. We want everyone in our wedding to be very comfortable though so even our wedding party get to choose their own dresses and suits, just in the same colors. So, for our holders, we just want them to be comfortable and happy.

    I hope some of that is helpful for you and mazal tov!
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  • 2dBride2dBride member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    antimony, I can relate to your not wanting to have to assign people to chuppah holding duty.  At our ceremony, there were 15 people, counting the rabbi and us.  One was videotaping.  One was operating the CD of the wedding music.  One gave a reading.  Seven (including the MOH, the dude of honor, and the videographer) did the seven blessings.  One gave ha motzi after the ceremony.  Thus, there was only one person who did not already have some kind of honor, and that was only because she wasn't sure until the last moment whether she could be there.

    We actually built our chuppah on the frame of a portable popup gazebo.  (It's the one in my icon.)  That way, we could transport it easily from DC to MA for the ceremony, and back again for the reception, yet we did not have to worry about finding something to stick the poles into.
  • edited December 2011
    Yeah, it's a small wedding, though not that small, and thus if we had holders separate from the WP up there, it'd be like a sixth of the guests up there instead of sitting down, which seems a little much.  So the WP are holding the chuppah, and anyone doing readings/blessings (which we need to figure out aaaargh too much planning) will just come up and then sit back down.

    We do like the hand-held chuppah (it's gorgeous -- evidently made by an artist who was half of one of the first gay couples married by our Rabbi**  after it was legalized)  and it's free, which is a nice bonus.   And my mom is adding temporary attachment points to a hand-cut lace tablecloth my great-grandmother made, and we're using that for the canopy. 

    ** Who is the same one who officiated at your wedding; I know I replied to a post of yours over on indiebride at one point. 
  • 2dBride2dBride member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I'm jealous of the free chuppah!  Does the congregation have one now, or how did you find it?

    But you're right, I can't imagine that particular rabbi giving you grief over wanting to have your wp also be your chuppah holders.
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