Contrary to Brett really, really wanting to have his friends hoist him on a chair at our reception, we are not Jewish. I have been told Felsman is a traditional Jewish name so I have been asked many times if I plan stickily Jewish weddings. Of course the answer is no, I plan all sorts of ceremonies and receptions with clients from all different backgrounds and cultures. I find different traditions fascinating and love knowing the symbolism behind them (hence these traditions posts).
Although I am not Jewish, (even with the last name Felsman) I find many of their traditions deeply touching. One of my favorite ceremony traditions of any culture is the huppah. It is deeply rooted in the Jewish faith and holds a beautiful meaning for the couples who incorporate it in their wedding. The huppah was the home of Judaism’s first couple, Abraham and Sarah. It has a canopy covering held by four poles and is open on all four sides. It is believed to be a visible representation of the physical and spiritual home the couple will share in marriage.
Meg from one of my all time favorite blogs, A Practical Wedding Blog, explained it better then I ever could. She included this in her wedding program:
The huppah is raised, for most of us, once in a lifetime. It is not permanent, but it is the promise of a home. Friends and family stand at the corners, helping to anchor the fragile structure down, the roof is a tallith so the couple is covered in holiness and the memory of commandments. The huppah does not promise that love or hope or pledges will keep out weather or catastrophe, but its few lines are a sketch for what might be. The flimsiness of the huppah reminds us that the only thing that is real about a home is the people in it who love and choose to be a family. The huppah is the house of promises. It is the home of hope.
The huppah symbolizes home, family, religion and hope. Who wouldn’t want those things included in their marriage? So, even if you’re not Jewish, think of what you want your ceremony to represent and bring the spirit of the huppah and all that it stands for to your big day.