In the Tanakh, the huppah is referenced to be a part of the ceremony of marriage. The design of the huppah was believed to originate from one of Abraham's tents, used for hospitality and open on all four sides. Today, family or close friends hold the poles of the huppah during the ceremony to commemorate this tradition.
- Today, the bride or her family usually provides the huppah for the wedding. Some brides use heirloom huppah’s that have been handed down, while other choose to create their own and unique huppah.
- The customary huppah is made out of velvet materials that are elaborately embroidered and fringed around the edges. Brides can purchase the materials to make this style through a wedding supply shop.
- A huppah is built square similar to a quilt or blanket in its design, so a bride needs only to sew a straight stitch on a sewing machine or by hand. What makes the huppah unique is the material used in its creation. Brides experienced in embroidery can create their own design or if time is a factor, use stencils or hand paints to design the fabric.
- Brides who are not experienced in sewing or very design orientated can borrow their father or grandfather’s prayer shawl (tallis) to serve as the huppah canopy. Another way to create the canopy is to hire an artist or tailor to create a memorable huppah canopy.
- Once your canopy is finished you can purchase or rent the poles needed finish the huppah canopy. Sometimes the temple may have huppah poles, so be sure to ask them before going out to get them. It is worth asking to borrow them in order to save some money.
- A final and modern way of creating a huppah is by having an experienced florist create one for you out of flowers, using a wrought iron arch instead of poles. This pretty design looks wonderful in photos but also adds fragrance to the ceremony.
In the Jewish tradition, weddings were usually held outside with a huppah so that the ceremony would be blessed and in the presence of God. Today, many weddings are held indoors using the huppah canopy, but traditionalists may wish to hold the ceremony under a skylight in order to maintain its original use.