Detroit Jewish Wedding Traditions

A traditional Jewish wedding is full of meaningful rituals and traditions.
For the Jewish bride (kallah) and groom (chatan) it is tradition for them to not
see each other one week before the wedding. Prior to their wedding ceremony they
greet their guest separately and call this “Kabbalat Panim”.

Next comes the badeken, the veiling of the kallah by the chatan. This is a
sign of the groom’s commitment to clothe and protect his wife. The ceremony will
take place under a chuppah (canopy), and this symbolizes the home the new couple
will build together. The chatan, followed by the kallah, are usually escorted to
the chuppah by their respective sets of parents. There are two cups of wine to
be used at the ceremony. The first cup to accompany the betrothal blessings and
the sanctification prayer. In Jewish law, a marriage becomes official when the
chatan gives an object of value to the kallah. Then comes the reading of the
ketubah (marriage contract) which outlines the chatan’s responsibilities. This
must be signed by two witnesses. The seven blessings (Sheva Brachot)
will then be recited, accompanied by the second glass of wine.

To conclude the
end of the ceremony a glass is placed on the floor and the chatan shatters it
with his foot and shouts “Mazel Tov”. The kallah and chatan then leave the
chuppah together. After their meal at the reception the Birkat Hamazon (Grace
after meals) is recited, and the Sheva Brachot are repeated. It is also
customary the week following the wedding for friends and family to host meals in
honor of the kallah and chatan. This is called the week of Sheva Brachot in
reference to the blessings said at the end of each of these meals.

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