Wednesday, 1 October 2008

You say Chuppah, I say Huppah...

Hello my dear coordinators (and brides!!) and welcome to the official 2008/2009 "busy season"! While I am on vacation, one of our very own coordinators, Tamara Bradley from Incredible Weddings and Events, is our guest blogger and she will be talking about Chuppahs, or Huppahs as we call them down here! (P.S. If you would like to be a guest blogger, please email me and let me know your topic or we can come-up with one together!!).

In case you are already lost, this is a huppah (one of ours!)!!

WHAT IS A CHUPPAH/HUPPAH ?? by Tamara Bradley

A chuppah (Hebrew: חוּפָּה) (also spelled khuppa, chupah, or chuppa - plural: chuppot or chuppahs, Hebrew: חוּפּוֹת) is a canopy traditionally used in Jewish weddings. It consists of a cloth or sheet — sometimes a tallit ("prayershawl") — stretched or supported over four poles, and is sometimes carried by attendants to the ceremony's location. A chuppah symbolizes the home the couple will build together.


The word chuppah originally appears in the Hebrew Bible (Joel 2:16; Psalms 19:5). The chuppah represents a Jewish home symbolized by the cloth canopy and the four poles. Just as a chuppah is open on all four sides, so was the tent of Abraham open for hospitality. Thus, the chuppah represents hospitality to one's guests. This "home" initially lacks furniture as a reminder that the basis of a Jewish home is the people within it, not the possessions.

A traditional chuppah, especially within Orthodox Judaism, recommends that there be open sky exactly above the chuppah[1]. If the wedding ceremony is held indoors in a hall, sometimes a special opening is built to be opened during the ceremony. Many Hasidim prefer to conduct the entire ceremony outdoors. Please remember that a traditional chuppah needs to be exactly 7 feet high!!
Traditionally using a family heirloom such as a Grandmother`s tablecloth, or Prayer shawl can be attached under the main Chuppa fabric for support if the fabric is lace and aged as wind can tear lace,taking great care in pinning the fabric so it does not rip!!
Below are beautiful examples that can be found at Gallery Judaica.

In these more modern times, a chuppah can be made of any material. Silk or quilted chuppot are increasingly common, and can often be customized or personalized to suit the couple's unique interests and occupations. Additional flowers can be added along the top edges and sides as long as all four sides of the Chuppah are open.

While we often use Huppahs in Vallarta for decorative purposes (as opposed to, say, a floral arch), it is important that, when we do have a more orthodox Jewish couple, we know and understand the requirements for a more traditional Chuppah (as well an understanding of the customs and traditions) and ensure that our florist (or designer!) is also familiar with the set-up, so hopefully this information will be helpful to you in the upcoming season. Down below are some examples of Chuppahs we had last season!

Thank you Tamara for the blog and I hope you all tune-in for mid-October as I'll cover the color scheme of red and blue!!


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