Choosing a hand-held huppah for your wedding is a wonderful way to honor four special people with the role of huppah-bearer. But how do you incorporate the huppah into the procession?
In Medieval times, when the huppah first entered Jewish wedding tradition, the huppah bearers met the bride at her home and escorted her to the site of the ceremony holding the canopy over her head. That’s not practical for most couples today.
For modern weddings, there are two main ways to incorporate the huppah into the beginning of the ceremony.
The first way is for the huppah bearers to bring the huppah into the ceremony space before the procession officially begins, either carrying the huppah down the center aisle or entering from a room to the side of the ceremony space. The appearance of the huppah sets the stage for the beginning of the ceremony, letting your guests know that the wedding is about to begin.
The second option is to let the huppah bearers lead the procession, entering as the music begins and walking down the aisle slightly ahead of the wedding party. They don’t need to walk apart from each other and keep the huppah fully open. Rather, they can walk a comfortable distance apart from each other, as the width of the aisle allows. Then, as they reach the ceremony space and take their places, the huppah canopy opens to its full size, creating a dramatic moment to open the ceremony.
When the wedding ceremony is over, the huppah bearers remain until the couple, wedding party, and officiant have left the space. Then, they can follow the wedding party back down the aisle.
See Huppahs.com’s hand-held huppahs.
[Image: Under the Chuppa at Jewish Wedding from Jewish Encyclopedia (1901-1906) via Wikimedia Commons]