Whether the canopy over the bride and groom is a traditional tallit, a hand-painted piece of art, decorated in flowers, or carried by friends, it represents the new home that the couple will create together. The space under the chuppah is beautiful and sacred, and though the bride and groom may only have eyes for each other, the decor and ambience they choose for their chuppah can set the tone not only for their wedding, but for their home together.
Traditionally the chuppah was raised under the stars, and each corner held up by a member of the family or community. Today it may be more common for the chuppah to be stationary, supported on four poles and erected indoors, but the concept remains the same. Open on all four sides, the chuppah represents both the roof over the new couple’s heads and the hospitality they will offer from their new home together, the openness on all fours sides symbolizing the openness of their home to their family and friends.
More than just a beautiful visual, the ancient ritual of raising the chuppah is at the very core of the modern Jewish wedding. Regardless of where a wedding takes place–in a dramatically lit ballroom or barefoot by the ocean, the chuppah remains a timeless and perfect way to create the protected and shared space for the bride and groom to share the first moments of their new lives together.
These photos of traditional and unique chuppahs are perfect Monday morning inspiration for your own wedding plans! Want more chuppah ideas? Check out the most recent issue of The Modern Jewish Wedding Magazine!