Customs And Traditions
It is customary for the bride to wear white and a headdress & veil. Jews from oriental countries wear elaborate costumes richly embroidered. The groom may wear a “kitel” (a white garment) along with a tallit.
Before the ceremony, the groom, in the presence of witnesses, undertakes an act of “kinyan” (the obligations of the Ketubah). This is done by taking a handkerchief or some other object by the Rabbi, lifting it and returning it. The groom and witnesses then sign the Ketubah. The groom is then led to the “Chuppah” by two male relatives facing Jerusalem.
The bride is led in by the Mothers usually to the accompaniment of a blessing of welcome chanted by the Rabbi. Sometimes the bride is led in 7 circles around the groom to ward off evil spirits. The bride stands to the right of the groom and the Rabbi recites the marriage blessings over a goblet of wine. Both the bride & groom then drink from the glass.
The groom places the wedding ring on the forefinger of the bride’s right hand and recites the marriage formula. The “ketubah” (marriage contract) is then read and the 7 marriage benedictions are recited. In most ceremonies, the groom then crushes the glass under his right foot and the Rabbi invokes the “priestly blessings”. The couple is then escorted away.