Neither Dave nor I are super religious, but we are happy with how we were raised and wish to incorporate tradition and meaningful elements into our wedding ceremony.
One item I recently decided to pursue is “The Chuppah”. Based on the ehow description, the Chuppah is made of a rectangular [or square] piece of fabric, large enough to stretch over the couple. It can be made of any kind of cloth. It can be handmade or bought ready made. It can be decorated as desired by the couple and is often embroidered with Biblical verses concerning love and marriage, or with blessings and prayers taken from the wedding ceremony.
The Chuppah symbolizes the home that the couple will build together.
While Dave and I are already living in a home that we purchased together, the Chuppah will symbolize the life that we will build together.
It will have our vows embroidered on it. It will contain meaningful words and symbols that represent who we are and what we will be together. The colors, patterns, and fabric will be selected so we can hang it in our home.
I don’t know the first thing about sewing, but I do like numbers and can use Photoshop. I came up with the layout below to use as a guide when searching for symbols and words to represent our lives coming together.
Judaism is a religion that emphasizes the importance of life. Jews are encouraged to be good, ethical people and enjoy the time they are given on Earth. A common Jewish toast is “l’chaim!,” which means, “to life!.” It is said at celebrations in anticipation of all the good things to come.
Because it means “life,” the Chai is consequently a symbol that captures an important aspect of Judaism. According to the gematria, which is a mystical tradition that assigns a numerological value to Hebrew letters, the letters Het (ח) and Yud (י) add up to the number 18. The Het has a value of 8 and the yud has a value of 10. As a result, 18 is a popular number that represents good luck. At weddings, bar mitzvahs and other events Jews often give gifts of money in multiples of 18, symbolically giving the recipient the gift of “life” or luck.
Why is this important? The dimensions of the Chuppah I am designing are 54″ x 54″. This is a multiple of 18. So there you go.
There are 3″ flaps along the border a large square in the center surrounded by 7″ squares. I love the number 7. Some say it’s God’s number. I’m not saying that per se, but there are 7 notes in a music scale, 7 wonders of the world, 7 days in a glorious week, 7 items or numbers are the typical capacity of what’s called the brain’s working memory (aka why it’s so easy to remember phone numbers), and the maximum number of games played in a playoff series in the NHL, MLB, and NBA is 7. These are just examples of how I see the number 7. You can wiki this magical number for symbolism that speaks to you.
Dave’s favorite number is 12 and 12/12 is also my birthday. Therefore, you will see several 12″ squares evenly spaced around the outer edge of the Chuppah. Combined with the center, they also make up a hashtag symbol or number sign. This is relevant due to my love for numbers and social media. #Awesome.
After I designed the outline for this Chuppah, I did some research. What’s the typical size, what methods or techniques do people use when making Chuppahs, etc. I discovered a photo of one that I liked. To my surprise it was created by a woman in Newton – not more than 20 minutes from where I live. Of all 30 examples on this particular webpage – this was one of two from Massachusetts. I googled her name and found her work email address. I took a shot in the dark and just this morning received a response. #Amazing.
Then I started thinking – I have 9 months, maybe I can make this thing myself. So I found HipStitch (also in Newton) and signed up for a class next week. #Unbelievable.
More to come as the Chuppah unfolds #Ipromise.