Understanding Jewish Wedding Terms. Our Jewish Wedding Word Glossary / Dictionary.

Mazel tov! Whether you're planning a Jewish wedding or attending a Jewish wedding, it's always exciting to celebrate love. But it's also confusing. If you find yourself wondering what the difference between a Bedeken and a Tisch is, then this post is for you!

Jewish wedding terms

Also to note is that if you're planning a Jewish wedding (mazel again!), you don't have to include all of these items. You are allowed to pick what is significant to you, or also tweak these traditions to fit your wedding. Instead of circling the groom 7 times, what if you circled each other? Or what if you each smashed a glass? Do it! Use these beautiful Jewish customs to help you create a Jewish wedding that is 100% you.

Other Jewish Wedding posts you may be interested in:

Jewish Wedding Terms

  • Aufruf: a service where the couple is honored with an aliyah usually the Shabbat before the wedding.
  • Bedeken: aka veiling. Before the ceremony, the groom places the veil on over the bride's face and confirms that this is the correct woman he wants to marry! You don't want to end up like Jacob who was tricked into marrying the already veiled Leah instead of Rachel.
  • Benchers: prayer books containing the blessings for the meal.
  • Chazan: aka Cantor who is a trained professional who sings during the ceremony.
  • Chuppah: a four-sided canopy that symbolizes the couple's future home together. It is open on all sides because people are always welcome into the home!
  • Circling: the bride circles the groom seven times to symbolize the seven days of creation.
  • Hora: fun dance where the bride and groom are lifted up on chairs to the Hebrew song Hava Hagila.
  • Ketubah: a ketubah is a non-legally binding Jewish marriage contract signifying the commitment that is signed before the ceremony by two Jewish non-relative witnesses, and often the officiant and bride and groom as well.

jewish wedding

  • Mazel tov: Hebrew for Good Luck! And common to exclaim at weddings.
  • Mikvah: a Jewish ritual bath usually done by the bride.
  • Seven Blessings: during the ceremony, and often recited in English and Hebrew, these blessings focus on the joy of the day.
  • Smash Glass: the groom breaks a glass with his foot to conclude the wedding ceremony and everyone yells Mazel Tov! This symbolizes the fragility of relationships. Read more about this tradition here.
  • Tallis: a prayer shawl normally worn by men.
  • Tisch: before the wedding, the bride and groom separate with their respective genders and have discussions, get advice, etc.
  • Yarmulke/Kippah: a cap usually worn by men to symbolize respect of the Jewish faith.
  • Yichud: after the ceremony, the couple takes a few minutes alone in a private room. Historically to consummate the marriage :)

    Any Jewish wedding terms we missed?


    Shop Judaica Wedding Gifts

    Back to blog

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.