The traditional answer to this question presumes two Jewish people, a bride and a groom, and the traditional elements in this rite as understood for centuries. The details of the rites have varied over time and place. In the Middle Ages, the two parts of the ceremony might have a year between them! That has evolved over the past thousand years. Here is the essential ceremony outline of a traditional Jewish wedding today:

Part 1 The “Betrothal” or “Erusin” section of the ceremony

The ketuba/marriage document is signed by two appropriate witnesses prior to the ceremony

Bride and Groom are under the huppah/wedding canopy

The opening blessing over the “fruit of the vine” (kosher wine/grape juice) marks the moment as sacred

The Erusin/Betrothal blessing is recited

The groom rings the bride with a statement of sanctification

The ketuba/marriage document is read

The officiate often addresses the couple with some personal remarks

Part 2 The “Sanctification” or “Kiddushin” section of the ceremony

The Sheva Brachot/Seven Blessings finalize the sanctification of the couple-hood

The groom breaks the glass, and the couple exits the huppah/wedding canopy

There are common variations of the standard ceremony today, depending on your rabbi. Many times, a traditional ceremony will include a dual gifting of rings and accompanying statements. Often a couple will opt to include personal statements around the reading of the ketuba/marriage document. Of course, there is always the option of inviting dear ones to recite the Sheva Brachot/Seven Blessings in Hebrew or English, depending on capacity. There are more ways to personalize your wedding ceremony, so be sure to check back for more on that topic soon!

5 Things to Consider for Your Jewish Wedding

The ketuba is usually signed as a prenuptial moment; it can be private or public as the couple wishes. That said, some couples opt to sign it under the huppah!

There are some important rules about who can serve as witnesses for a traditional Jewish wedding, so check in with your officiant if a fully kosher ketuba is important to you!

Most, but not all Jewish officiants, welcome a double ring ceremony. Some have requirements about how it is done in the ceremony.

White wine or grape juice under the huppah conceals spills from nervous hands…especially if a white garment is involved!

There are countless options for the translations to the Sheva Brachot. Be sure to ask your officiant what is their typical preference, and make sure that it works for you.