Judaism is full of many Jewish symbols and meanings. Additionally, God’s creation of Eve is his final creation. It was not good that Adam was alone and when Eve came Adam and Eve were completed. It is natural and good for people to come together and be united in marriage.
Kiddushin is the Hebrew word for marriage and it means to sanctify or make holy. There is a bond between the couple that is holy and the Jewish symbols in the wedding reflect that. The groom is set aside for the bride as the bride is set aside for the groom.
The chuppah – the canopy- symbolizes the home that they will have together. It symbolizes the marriage they will have and the life they will have together. As the bride and groom approach the chuppah traditionally the bride will walk around the chuppah, but often both the bride and groom circle the chuppah together. The bride may circle the groom and then the groom circle the bride symbolizing that they are the center of each other’s lives.
Feminism has greatly influenced Jewish weddings and is no longer looked at as the groom acquiring the bride but the bride and groom uniting together. The Ketubah is more than a document showing the promises to each other, but it is also a statement of love.
The Ketubah can be used to describe the couple's love they have for each other and the home that they want to build together. It can contain promises made to each other and the values that they have. The Ketubah is a covenant of lovers which describes the commitment that they have for one another.
Traditionally, the ring is a simple band symbolizing that there is no end and no beginning. During the ceremony the groom presents the ring to the bride and she may recite the Jewish marriage formula. Then the bride presents the groom with his wedding ring and he recites the Jewish marriage formula. If the couple has wedding vows they would recite them at this time.
The Kiddush cup is important, also, as it represents the union between bride and groom. Today, two Kiddush cups are used. One is to represent either the bride's family history or the groom's family and the second is to represent the new, cherished union between the new couple.
The most famous Jewish symbol in the wedding is the breaking of the wine glass. Traditionally, the groom breaks the glass but the bride is also included in breaking the glass. Together the bride and groom break the glass which symbolizes that you need to be good to one another because once something is broken it can be difficult to fix. The breaking glass is also for good luck and everyone shouts out "Mazal tov!" once the glass is broken.
The Hora is the traditional wedding dance where the bride and the groom are lifted up in their chairs. The guests then circle round the couple dancing. The chair lift is to honor the bride and groom and remind the bride and groom that God is with them in their marriage.
Traditionally, the bride and groom were to be treated as royalty and that is another reason for the chair lift. It is tradition that during the chair lift dance they hold onto a white cloth that connects them. The symbolism of the white cloth comes from orthodox tradition.
The wedding is full of Jewish symbols that all lead to the union of the bride and groom. The union is sacred and is sanctioned by God. Throughout the wedding there are many reminders both verbally and in symbols of the devotion to God that we have. The bride and groom will live a happy married life being devoted to God and God leading them to eternal happiness.