If you have graced a Jewish wedding ceremony with your presence before, then you may have seen a chuppah. A chuppah is a sort of canopy that is held up over the couple as well as their rabbi officiant with four sticks. Some chuppahs are simple with just four stick anchored to the ground holding up a variety of light, white fabrics as well as the groom’s tallis. In other cases, the chuppah will be lavishly decorated with an assortment of intricately woven fabrics and fresh flowers. In more traditional ceremonies, the chuppah will be held aloft by the groomsmen for the entirety of the ceremony. The chuppah is actually a very significant element in any Jewish wedding since it represents the home that the couple will be building together under God. Since this is such an important element in your upcoming Jewish wedding, you will definitely want to know how to make it. Here are 2 ways depending on how traditional your ceremony will be.
- Traditional chuppah. As mentioned previously, the traditional chuppah is a canopy consisting of 4 sticks and the tallis of the groom. Each stick will be held aloft by a groomsman over the couple. If this is how you want the chuppah made, then you will have to get four 8-foot sticks, preferably made of cane or bamboo. Visit your local wood or hardware supply center and have these pieces custom cut. On the big day, get the tallis and use the four strings on it to connect it to the 4 bamboo sticks. The upper part of the bamboo sticks can be adorned with flowers or white fabric as a sign of purity. During the ceremony, assign 4 strong men to hold the chuppah aloft. You may want to consult a rabbi to ensure that the specification of this traditional chuppah is correct and in line with the Jewish practices of marriage.
- Standing chuppah. Over the decades, the chuppah has evolved from the traditional type to more lavishly decorated ones. In fact, the chuppah has even made appearances in non-Jewish weddings (particularly garden and beach weddings), due to its beauty and practicality. The modern chuppah does not require 4 men to hold it up high. It only needs a base for each stick to anchor on. To create modern chuppah, you will have to purchase 4 sticks of PVC pipes, 10 feet per pipe should do. You will need to purchase 4 planters, the ceramic kind, as well as potting soil. Prior to the wedding, you can set the chuppah up already by painting the pipes in any color you like; white is a good color to use. Once that is done, anchor the pipes in the planters and stabilize them with soil. One pipe goes with one pot. Once the pipes are standing free, position them at the four corners of the stage, the place where the couple will be standing along with the rabbi.
On the actual day, you can proceed with the decorating of the chuppah.
First off, attach the tallis and other fabrics on top to provide the
canopy effect. Connect them all four pipes. Decorate the PVC pipes as
well by lining it up with fabric and flowers from the ground up.
There you have it, the simple two ways to make a chuppah. Of course,
you can decorate the chuppah even more if you plan to have a more ornate
one. It is really up to you since it is your special day.