The chuppah is the canopy under which Jewish couples get married. The canopy is open on all four sides and is designed to be hospitable and welcoming to all guests. The canopy symbolises the shelter and privacy of the home which the couple will build together throughout their married life.
So how can you personalise the most important part of your day as a couple?
Firstly, the chuppah can be as lavish or as simple as you would like it to be. It can be an elegant minimalistic design or a chuppah covered entirely by flowers. Consider a chuppah outside in the open air. Ask four of your dearest friends to hold the poles for the chuppah so they can be an integral part of your ceremony. This symbolises the love and support they will provide you both during your married life together. You can design the canopy yourselves by making a quilt incorporating messages and photos from loved ones.
Secondly, the music you choose to walk down the aisle to is an opportunity to really be as creative or as traditional as you would like. Choose a piece of music each that represents you as a couple and the emotions that you want to feel as you walk down the aisle towards the chuppah.
Thirdly, one of the most traditional elements of the ceremony is the custom of the bride circling the groom seven times. This represents the symbolic building of a wall of love around the relationship that remains strong and secure. The less traditional couples may choose to just circle a couple of times.
There are many more traditions that the couple can play with slightly to make more personal to them as a couple, whilst still retaining the purity and the most sacred element of the Jewish ceremony.