The Huppah represents a new couple’s first home. It is so emblematic of the Jewish wedding ceremony that the entire final half of the liturgy is nicknamed “Huppah” by Jewish tradition. Traditionally just a cloth held up by four poles, the huppah has evolved and there are many variations on the theme available for a wedding couple today.

One extremely important practical consideration to consider is the size of the huppah and the space it will take up at the ceremony. Some couples prefer that they and their officiant be the only people under the huppah. Other couples envision parents or other dear ones in places of honor alongside for the ceremony.

Indoors or outdoors, the huppah needs to be stationary. One option is to invite people to hold the poles. Talk with your officiant about how this might work for your ceremony, e.g. processing the huppah into the space, etc. A free-standing huppah will typically have the poles secured into a stand with a locking set screw or equivalent. This is especially important if the ceremony is being held outside! Speaking of outside, pails filled with stones offer a more rustic approach to a stand.

Some couples are totally into the D-I-Y scene, and construct a huppah frame from wood or PVC pipe, among other options. Some couples defer to their florist to provide and decorate a huppah, while others ask their coordinator to handle the details with a rental company.

The huppah lends itself to incorporating personal touches. Many couples find a way to bring in at least one tallit (prayer shawl) as part of the canopy. Some opt for an embroidered or printed canopy that reflects items and themes important to the couple.

Did you know that “back in the day” it was the custom to have the huppah under an open sky? It was a sign of good fortune for the couple! In fact, at one time there was even opposition to having the huppah inside a synagogue!

Five Key Considerations for Your Huppah

Most wedding couples and officiants will comfortably fit under a 7-foot tall canopy. A width of 10 feet will easily accommodate most motorized mobility devices.

Outside venues, notably elevations and beaches, are especially exposed to wind. Anchoring a free standing huppah in those conditions needs extra considerations!

Make sure there is room under the huppah for whatever choreography is necessary for your ceremony, e.g. circling. Also, a small staging table for the officiant is often helpful!

A dramatic flair for an indoor huppah is to have it suspended, without any visible poles! Clear monofilament line completes the effect, or festive ribbons highlights can incorporate any special colors the wedding couple has chosen.

Ensure that your wedding’s technical needs are met at the huppah! Sound amplification for the guests, audio feed for the video, lighting if needed; all these should be considered no matter the nature of the venue. Some venues can meet all these needs; other times it is up to the vendor.

Two dramatically different examples of the huppah below. Both were provided by florists. One is super rustic and floral. The other is made large enough to include a family tallit as part of the canopy.