The Chupah........is a tent-like canopy under which the rabbi, bride and groom stand during the ceremony. It symbolizes the future home to be shared by the couple and under which they stand together in support of each other.
The Ketubah.........is a Jewish Marriage certificate in which you will find all the responsibilities, commitments, and vows that keep a marital relationship alive and flourishing.
The Rings........are a symbol of the continuity of life and, also, as a declarative to the outside world that each is committed to the other and expresses their fidelity to each other.
The sharing of wine....wine is an integril part of all religious ceremonies. In this instance, it speaks of the idea that sharing from one goblet is symbolic of all the sharing that the couple will engage in.
The Glass.....is a thin piece of glass; a light bulb or some such thing, wrapped in cloth and is broken, by the groom at the end of the ceremony. It symbolizes the destruction of the Holy Temples and that, trials and tribulations can and will always arise. It, also, symbolizes the adament commitment that the groom makes to his bride.
Unity Candles..........some couples enjoy the idea of having immediate family each light a candle as a symbolic gesture of their acceptance of the union between the two families.
Unity Sand Bowl.........Similar in idea to the candles, some couples prefer to have family and friends fill a bowl with different color sand. It makes for a beautiful center piece in the couple's home. (see the photo album for one version).
Candle Lighting by couple...bride and groom each hold a candle and then, jointly, light a third. This symbolizes the joining of the two under G-D's light. Sometimes, a havdallah candle is used because it is three candles twisted into one.
Hand Fastening....This a a beautiful ceremony, taken from the Irish, in which multi-colored ribbons are laid over the couple's wrists, during part of the ceremony. The ribbons are removed during the ring exchange ceremony.
Circling.....In former days, the bride would circle the groom seven times, as a sign of her enveloping him with her love. Today, both circle each other for the same purpose.
Separation......It is a good idea for the couple to not see each other between the dinner hour of the day before and the precise moment that they join each other in walking down the aisle. Not only does it give each person some "free space to reflect", it also, makes the joining, fully dressed for the celebration, to be a moment of splendor and awe.
The Kiss.....the kiss serves as a seal of all those declarations and vows that the couple made to each other during the ceremony. In a business agreement, those commitments would be sealed with a handshake. In marriage, the kiss speaks volumes.
Yarmulka/Kippa/head covering....We stand, always, in the presence of God and it is appropriate for a Jewish male to cover his head during a prayer or ceremony. The bride, most often, wears a viel for the same reason.
Tallit......some couples decide to be wrapped in a large tallit/prayer shawl to show their understanding that they are enveloped in God's love.