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Important Links for Wedding Planning

Marriage Licenses

Couples are responsible for obtaining their marriage license in advance of the ceremony. In New York State, you may obtain your marriage license at any town or city office in New York State.

For CITY OF ITHACA Marriage License Information please click here.

Some couples choose to go to the mikveh. For new interpretive rituals click here.



Traditional components of a Jewish Wedding include:

1. A Ketuba.  You may choose one that is traditional, modern, or a blending of the two. You may also be interested in a Shtar Shutafut which replaces the ketuba with a loving contract of partnership.

You will need two Jewish witnesses to sign the ketuba that are not related to you or each other. 

2. Bedeken.  This is a ritual in which the bride traditionally covered herself with a veil before the ceremony. In a modern twist we meditate on the Torah text Gen 24:65 in which Rebecca veils herself going to meet Isaac for the first time, and their eyes lift to one another. This can be a beautiful opportunity immediately before the ceremony for the couple to have a quiet moment together, to lift their eyes to one another and say "this is the one I am going to marry."

3. Chupah.  The chupah represents the home the married couple will make together.  Many area caterers or wedding venues have a chupah available to rent. Couples can also make their own using four poles and a tallit or piece of fabric.  Friends and family are honored to be enlisted to be chupah pole holders during the ceremony.

4. Ring Ceremony (Kiddushin).  Traditionally there was a single ring, without gem, over which the groom would "acquire" the bride.  The text is problematic in its patriarchy. Modern couples usually use two rings, with each partner quoting a piece of Torah text that is meaningful in declaring love and partnership.  There are some beautiful texts and ceremonies I as rabbi can help you think through. Or we can stick close to the traditional and well loved words of our ancestors. 

5. Nissuin (Sheva Brachot).  These are seven blessings which can be recited by the Rabbi or by multiple wedding guests.  Adaptive approaches are found here.

6. Wine.  We need three glasses and wine for a Jewish wedding, twice when the marriage couple drinks during prayer rituals, and once at the end to stomp on. Pick a thin glass or light bulb and bring a cloth to wrap it in. 

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