Tag Archives: huppa

How to Safely Use an Older Tallit for a Huppah

Simple elegant huppahAre you thinking of making a wedding huppah from an older, well-worn tallit, like a grandfather’s tallit, but concerned that the tallit is too frail to be tied to huppah poles? No one wants to risk damaging such a special heirloom. I thought I’d pass along great idea from one of our Huppahs.com clients who faced the same dilemma.

Our client rented a Simplicity Huppah and laid his grandfather’s tallit over the top of the canopy without tying to the tallit to the poles. The ends of the tallit draped over the edge of the canopy, so the fabric and fringe were visible.

The couple were able to wed under the tallit worn by the groom’s grandfather free from any concerns about damaging the tallit.

Thanks for sharing, Robert, and Mazel Tov!

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Reader Question: How Do I Attach 2 Tallits Together to Make a Wedding Huppah?

Question: We are thinking of making a huppah canopy by combining the groom’s father’s tallit and his grandfather’s tallit. Do you have any recommendations for how we might do this?

Answer: The idea of making a wedding huppah canopy from more than one tallit, or prayer shawl, is a definite trend. At Huppahs.com we’re getting variations on this question more and more often.

Jewish couples have been marrying under huppah canopies made from tallits for centuries (Quick point: The Hebrew language plural for “tallit”, also spelled “tallith” would be “tallithim ” or “tallisim”. However, I’m using tallit as an English language word, so I’m using the plural “tallits”). Through the ages, the bride and groom stood under the groom’s tallit, in keeping with the symbolism of the huppah as the couple’s physical home and their shared spiritual space.

Many of our clients use our huppah poles with their own tallits or a tallit of a family member to create a very personal huppah.

Today, the idea of combining the tallits of more than one person is seen as a way to honor people who are special to the bride and groom and to represent the presence of these people in the couples’ lives.

As a huppah and tallit designer, I can recommend a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Compatible Lengths: Make sure the two tallits you want to attach together are the same length.
  2. Final Canopy Size: Every fabric canopy will drape in the middle. The larger the canopy, the more the drape. You’ll want to make sure that the size of the combined tallits isn’t so large that it drapes too low in the middle. Also, the larger the canopy, the more it will weigh, and heavier canopies pull more on the huppah poles. Be sure to use poles that are strong enough to handle the weight of the combined tallits without bending. For Huppahs.com’s poles, we recommend a canopy size that is no larger than 60″x80″ (1.5mx2m). That size yields a nice drape, and the poles are easy to hold.
  3. Tallit Age: If you are using an older tallit, such as a grandfather’s tallit, look it over carefully to make sure the fabric isn’t frail or threadbare. Stitching two prayer shawls together will make small holes in the tallits, and when the canopy hangs the huppah poles, the weight of the tallits will pull at the fabric along the seam. Make sure the tallits are strong enough to hold up well to this kind of treatment.
  4. Religious Nature of a Tallit: Keep in mind the religious role of the tallit. Wearing a tallit for prayer isn’t just a tradition, it’s a practice rooted in religious obligations laid out in the Torah. The Biblical and spiritual power of the tallit lies in its shape, with four corners, and the ritually knotted strings on the corners. Sewing two prayer shawls together changes this physical structure. It reduces the tallit to a symbol, rather than a garment that, when worn with the intention to fulfill a religious commandment, can raise prayer to a higher level of spirituality. And although sewing tallits together can create a huppah canopy with great emotional meaning, my recommendation as a huppah and tallit designer is to use only one tallit for your huppah, to ensure you are preserving the tallit’s religious and spiritual power.

Given these practical and spiritual considerations, my recommendation in most cases is to use only one tallit for a huppah canopy and honor additional special people in other ways. Here are some options:

  1. Ask them to hold a huppah pole.
  2. Ask them to recite one of the seven blessings during the ceremony.
  3. Acknowledge them during a speech or toast at the reception.

Update: Here’s another option for using two tallits that doesn’t involve sewing them together: Attach one tallit to the huppah poles, and lay the second tallit on top of the first. You would want to make sure that the fabric of the first tallit is strong enough so that it won’t rip at the point of the tallit where you tie it to the poles, especially since the fabric will be carrying the weight of two tallits.

This would be a way to combine two tallits without sewing them, and it would be a way to include a second tallit that is older and frail or too delicate to sew or carry weight.

This idea comes from a Huppahs.com client who wanted to use a grandfather’s tallit that was too frail to be tied to the poles. His solution was to start with a Simplicity Huppah and lay his grandfather’s tallit on top of it. A great idea.

Do you have any other suggestions for honoring special people on your wedding day? Please share them in the comment section.

Jewish wedding New York park ivory silk chuppahRELATED:
Real Jewish Wedding: Natalie + Richard Wed Under an Ivory Silk Huppah in a New York City Park

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Real Life Jewish Wedding: Under an Organza Huppah at Brooklyn, New York’s Prospect Boat House

wedding at New York Prospect Park May 2012

Big thanks go out to Nancy for sending us this photo of her son and new daughter-in-law marrying under a Huppahs.com’s Organza Huppah earlier this month. The site for the wedding was the historic Prospect Park Boathouse, one of Brooklyn, New York’s most elegant landmarks.

“We all loved the ethereal feeling of the organza huppah,” Nancy wrote, “Set against the bucolic setting of the Prospect Park Boathouse, we could do no wrong. Bride and groom were thrilled.”

And we were thrilled to see the photo. Thanks for sharing, Nancy. Huppahs.com wishes you and your family all the best!

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Huppahs.com Wins WeddingWire’s 2012 Bride’s Choice Award!

Thank You to all Huppahs.com clients who voted to award us WeddingWire’s 2012 Bride’s Choice Award! We appreciate the time you took to vote and all your wonderful comments.

We are honored by every client who chooses Huppahs.com to provide the huppah for their wedding, and we will continue to work hard in 2012 to make every client’s huppah a source of joy!

The WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards ™ recognizes the top local wedding professionals from the WeddingWire Network that demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the organization, the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ are awarded solely based on the reviews from over 1.2 million newlyweds.

Awards are determined by a combination of four factors: Overall rating (quality), total number of reviews (quantity), review performace from 2011 (recency), and consistency of reviews from year to year (consistency). This year’s recipients represent the top 5% of WeddingWire’s vendor community, across all service categories and all regions throughout the US and Canada.

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7 Ways to Decorate a Wedding Huppah

chuppah decorated with garland#1: Attach Garland to the Edge of the Canopy
A garland of fresh leaves or flowers around the edge of the huppah canopy brings a bright energy to the wedding space. The garland should be fairly light-weight. Use light flowering branches, wildflowers, or herbs. You can DIY the garland or more…

chuppah-with-bouquets#2: Attach Bouquets to Poles
You can evoke a world of different wedding styles depending on the types of flowers and other elements in the bouquets: romantic roses, shabby chic lavender, rustic sunflowers, wheat stalks tied with gingham ribbon, simple white hypericum berries, or bright pink and orange more…

Huppah decorated with garland swags#3: Drape Swags of Garland Between the Poles
If your huppah has valances, that is, fabric pieces hanging at the sides, draping garland from pole to pole in front of the valances creates an interesting visual interplay of color and texture.

This is another approach that works best with fairly light garland, otherwise the huppah can more…

Huppah with flower petals
#4: Scatter Flower Petals on the Ground

If your wedding ceremony is outside, scattering flower petals on the ground under the huppah evokes a sense of natural beauty that is easy and inexpensive to achieve. If you are getting married outside in the spring, you might be lucky enough to have nature spread a carpet of blossoms more…

Huppah decorated with ribbons#5: Hang Ribbons from Poles
Add color and movement to your huppah with long ribbons that catch the breeze. Ribbons make simple and inexpensive wedding decorations. They should hang one-third to one-half the length of the huppah poles. You can keep the look simple with one color, or combine ribbons in all the colors of your more…

Huppah garland wrapped around poles#6: Wrap Garland Around the Poles
This is another huppah decorating option that works especially well for outdoor weddings.

If you are using a huppah or poles from Huppahs.com, attach the garland to the screw at the top of the pole with florist wire. Anchor it to the bottom more…

Huppah undecorated #7: Don’t Add Any Decoration at All
Your last option in decorating your huppah is to not decorate it at all, but to leave it unadorned and keep the emphasis on the people standing beneath the huppah and the ceremony.

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How to Decorate a Huppah #7: Don’t Decorate It at All

Huppah undecoratedThe last in a series of posts about decorating your huppah…

Your last option in decorating your huppah is to not decorate it at all, but to leave it unadorned and keep the emphasis on the people standing beneath the huppah and the ceremony.

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How to Decorate Your Huppah #4: Scatter Flower Petals on the Ground

Huppah with flower petals
One in a series of posts on how to decorate your huppah…

If your wedding ceremony is outside, scattering flower petals on the ground under the huppah evokes a sense of natural beauty that is easy and inexpensive to achieve.

If you are getting married outside in the spring, you might be lucky enough to have nature spread a carpet of blossoms across your wedding space. If not, spread your own petals on the ground in the huppah space and maybe even in the aisle leading to the huppah. You can scatter the petals before the ceremony or incorporate it into the procession. Scattering flower petals is a great role to give one or two young bridesmaids or flower girls.

Natalie and Richard show how they used this technique, along with ribbons and tassels, for their real-life wedding.
Jewish wedding New York park ivory silk chuppah

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How to Decorate Your Huppah #3: Drape Swags of Garland Between the Poles

Huppah decorated with garland swagsOne in a series of posts on how to decorate your huppah…

If your huppah has valances, that is, fabric pieces hanging at the sides, draping garland from pole to pole in front of the valances creates an interesting visual interplay of color and texture.

This is another approach that works best with fairly light garland, otherwise the huppah can look top heavy. Use greenery, flowers, or leafy herbs.

Use florist wire to attach the two ends of a length of garland to the tops of adjacent poles. Let the garland drape across the face of the valance.

For a more formal look, leave some garland hanging down at the poles. The ends of the garland should hang slightly lower than the lowest point of the draped section.

Huppahs.com’s poles, both the huppah poles for sale and huppah poles for rent, have circular screws at the top that are used for attaching the canopy and can also be used for attaching garland or other decorations.

Related posts:

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How to Decorate Your Huppah #2: Attach Bouquets to Poles

chuppah-with-bouquetsOne in a series of posts on how to decorate your huppah…

You can evoke a world of different wedding styles depending on the types of flowers and other elements in the bouquets: romantic roses, shabby chic lavender, rustic sunflowers, wheat stalks tied with gingham ribbon, simple white hypericum berries, or bright pink and orange gerberas for full-on fun.

To make this work, your poles will have to have a good anchor to attach the bouquet; either an indentation at the top of the pole to which you can tightly tie ribbons or florist wire, or an anchor attached to the pole.

Huppahs.com’s poles, both huppah poles for sale and huppah poles for rent, have finials with indentations at the top that are often used to attach bouquets. The poles also have circular screws at the top that are used for attaching the canopy that can also be used to attach bouquets or other decorations.

Related posts:

More new wedding planning posts…

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How to Decorate a Huppah #1: Attach Garland to the Edge of the Canopy

chuppah decorated with garland
The first in a series of huppah decorating ideas…

A garland of fresh leaves or flowers around the edge of the huppah canopy brings a bright energy to the wedding space. The garland should be fairly light-weight. Use light flowering branches, wildflowers, or herbs. You can DIY the garland or have your florist make it. Garland is also available from online florists.

Huppahs.com’s Simplicity Huppah was designed to make this type of decoration easy. The canopy has small loops around the edges to which you can easily attach your own garland with florist wire.

Related posts:

More new wedding planning posts…

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Top 6 Wedding Huppah Rental FAQs (aka chuppahs, huppas)

Simplicity Huppah TinyAnswers to the 6 questions we are most frequently asked at Huppahs.com:

1. Does Huppahs.com rent only hand-held huppahs?
Yes, all of our huppahs are hand-held. This most traditional style of huppah is easy to put up and take down, and easy to transport to where ever you need it.

2. What cities does Huppahs.com serve?
We lease huppahs everywhere in the U.S. We ship by FedEx.

3. Do I ship the huppah back in the same box it came in?
Yes. Repack the poles and canopy in the box they arrived in, and apply the pre-paid return shipping label.

4. When I return the huppah, do I deliver it to a FedEx office, or will FedEx pick it up?
You can do either – your choice. Drop it off at a FedEx location near you or call FedEx at 1.800.463.3339 to arrange a pickup.

5. When should I order my huppah?
At least 3 weeks before the wedding to take advantage of $55 shipping (which includes a pre-paid return shipping label). For the best selection, reserve your huppah 3-4 months before the ceremony.

We can get a huppah to you with less than 3 weeks notice, but the shipping cost will be higher. We’re a great last-minute huppah solution.

Check availability online or by phone at 301-300.0950.

Lace Huppah rentals6. What’s the best way to incorporate a hand-held huppah into the procession?
Most often, the huppah bearers lead the procession. The huppah bearers can also enter from the side of the ceremony space just before the procession begins. The arrival of the huppah is a breath-taking moment that focuses everyone’s attention on the ceremony…and your imminent arrival!

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Outdoor wedding plans? Weatherproof your huppah.

Huppah-decorated-with-ribbonsThis morning I woke up to the sound of thunder and heavy rain on my window. By this afternoon, the weather was sunny and warm, but we’re expecting to wake up to heavy rain again tomorrow.

The changing weather reminded me of a wedding where I delivered a huppah last summer. It was a sunny day with occasional fast-moving clouds, some of which dumped rain. The venue was a beautiful inn with gorgeous lawns nestled in the mountains of Virginia. The bride wanted the outdoor wedding of her dreams, but the wedding coordinator, worried about the rain, was pressing the bride to have the ceremony indoors and let the facilities folks start setting up chairs.

The bride insisted that they wait as long as possible before deciding that the wedding had to be moved indoors. We knew that the hand-held huppah could be used as easily for an indoor ceremony as an outdoor ceremony. The coordinator knew how long it would take to set up the chairs. At zero hour, the sun was shining, and the bride chose to have the wedding outside. The coordinator signaled the facilities manager, and the chairs were arranged within minutes. The last chair was put in place just as the first guest, the bride’s grandmother, arrived. I watched from inside. The ceremony was beautiful. As the groom kissed the bride, a gust of wind lifted the huppah canopy, and a light sun shower began to fall. Perfect.

I love a job where I get to cry happy tears on a regular basis.

The bride got the outdoor wedding she wanted, but only because we knew that the hand-held huppah could be used indoors or outdoors with equal ease (and I knew that my canopy fabrics are chosen in part to hold up well in case they get caught in the rain). A stationary huppah would have to have been set up well in advance of the ceremony, and inside because of the uncertainty about the rain. A stationary huppah probably could not have been moved inside at the last minute. In the case of unexpected rain, a stationary huppah might not be able to be moved indoors at all.

If you are planning an outdoor wedding, you and your coordinator will almost certainly be making back-up plans in case of bad weather. Using a hand-held huppah is the easiest way to weatherproof your huppah.

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Wedding Venue Profile: Woodend Nature Sanctuary, Maryland

wedding chuppah
Maryland wedding venue mirrorThe beautiful room in which we took the photos you see now at Huppahs.com is at Woodend Nature Sanctuary, owned by the Audubon Naturalist Society, in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just a few miles from Washington, DC.

Woodend is consistently recognized by The Knot, Brides, and Washingtonian Magazine as a top wedding venue. The sanctuary has gorgeous indoor and outdoor event spaces that accommodate up to 150 people.

Audubon Naturalist Society is the oldest and largest independent nonprofit environmental organization in the Washington, D.C. area. When you hold your event at Woodend, you not only enjoy a beautiful setting, you also support the organization’s environmental education programs and their efforts to preserve open space and work for clean air and water.

See photos and get more information about Woodend Nature Sanctuary…
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Spring Brings New Huppahs to Huppahs.com!

Take a look at Huppahs.com’s new line of rental huppahs, including three new designs:

wedding chuppah
Simplicity Huppah

wedding chuppah
NEW
Organza Huppah
chuppah
NEW
Ivory Silk Huppah
chuppah
Lace Huppah
chuppah
NEW
Battenburg Lace Huppah

Location: Woodend Nature Sanctuary, Audubon Naturalist Society (Chevy Chase, Maryland)
Photos: Jason Weil

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How old is the practice of using a huppah for Jewish weddings?

Chuppah Middle AgesHuppahs (also spelled huppas, chuppahs, or khupas) became a part of the Jewish wedding ceremony during the Middle Ages in Europe, about the same time and place that men began covering their heads with kippot (yarmulkes). The Middle Ages sounds like a long time ago, but when you consider that Judaism’s history reaches back 5,000 years, the wedding huppah is a relatively young custom.

The earliest huppah poles were only a few feet tall. Four young men would hold the poles as they escorted the bride, who walked under the huppah, from her home to the synagogue.

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Why does a Jewish wedding ceremony take place under a huppah?

The huppah serves as a visible representation of the home, both physical and spiritual, that the bride and groom will share as a married couple. Traditionally, the bride creates their shared spiritual space as she steps under the huppah and circles the groom.

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What Makes a Huppah a Huppah?

Outdoor huppahThe huppah’s structure evokes a tent — specifically, the tent that was the home of Judaism’s first couple, Abraham and Sarah, 5,000 years ago.

A huppah (also written chuppah or huppa) has a fabric canopy held aloft by four poles or a frame with four legs. The huppah is open on all four sides, as the tent of Sarah and Abraham is said to have been because of their great hospitality.

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An Evening Wedding along the Great River Road

I had to show you these photos of a very pretty evening wedding, from Surrendering to Serendipity, Gayle Harper’s blog about her travels along the Mississippi Great River Road. Serendipity indeed. While staying at the 150-year-old Nottoway Plantation she found preparations underway for this wedding and captured it on film. As dusk fell, the reception began.

Mississippi Wedding Huppah
Louisiana Jewish wedding
Purple Wedding Decor
Nottaway Plantation Jewish Wedding
Source: Surrendering to Serendipity
Photos: Gayle Harper

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Winter Wedding in the Garden? This Couple Shows You How

Miri and Hank share a deep sense of engagement with the environment. The couple met through Habonim Dror, a youth-movement that supports making green choices. “We spent many summers at camps enjoying the beauty of nature.” Because of this, Hank and Miri strongly support environmental causes.

When it came time to make their love for each other official, they were not going to leave their love for nature behind, but they were planning to marry in the middle of January. How to have a garden wedding, surrounded by the natural environment they both love, in the middle of winter? The answer: Miri and Dan celebrated their wedding in the middle of New York’s Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, at the Palm House, which resembles a conservatory with its large pane windows on the gardens — and night sky — outside.

chuppah Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Huppah at Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Jewish wedding Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Source: The Green Bride Guide
Photos: Perfect Photo and Video

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Brown and Green Wedding in an Alpine Forest

Carrie and Ben raised their huppah in an alpine forest in Beaver Creek, Colorado, outside of Denver. For their color scheme, they chose brown and a very refined shade of green. The natural elements in the decor, including pine cones and wildflowers, are used with restraint, so that we can appreciate their natural beauty.

outdoor jewish wedding forest
outdoor jewish_wedding_colorado
fall wedding place cards
green brown wedding
brown_green_wedding_colorado
Source: The Wedding Chicks | Photos: Karie McClain | Coordinator: Debbie Orwat, Save the Date Events | Flowers: Plum Sage Flowers

Brown and green wedding accessories
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A Handcrafted Harvest Wedding

autumn wedding apple place cards

Apple place cards.

Mosey and Alexander’s wedding was destined be a home crafted and home grown affair. Mosey creates a line of recycled woolen crafts and wedding items, and Alexander works on a sustainable farm during the summer. And with lots of friends and family members who are artists, bakers, farmers and gardeners, many of whom contributed their talents to the wedding, the event was bound to become not only a community celebration, but also a celebration of community.

In planning the wedding, the bride and groom were inspired by the local Maine woodlands and the autumn harvest, especially the apples in the local orchard. The wedding colors were moss, apple, and the hues offered up by the locally available foods and flowers.

Home grown autumn Jewish wedding huppah

Mosey and Alexander under their huppah. The huppah was built by a friend who is a talented woodworker.

autumn huppah decorations

The bride's mother decorated the huppah poles with bittersweet and crab apples from the backyard.

autumn bridal bouquet

The flowers were picked the morning of the wedding at a local sustainable farm by the ladies in the family. The bridal bouquet: Ranunculus, larkspur, yarrow, eucalyptus, straw flower, snap dragons, Chinese lanterns, and zinnias.

DIY flower girl dresses

The flower girls wore simple white cotton dresses embellished with satin and grosgrain ribbon.

Candied apple hors d'oevres.

apple tartlets autumn wedding cocktail menu

Apple tarlet hors d'oevres.

Autumn wedding reception menu

Guests were invited to share handmade pies, tarts and cakes.

autumn wedding reception table decor

For the reception, the wedding moved to a local restaurant and art gallery. Tablescape of moss, Chinese lanterns, acorns and tiny pumpkins.

autumn wedding cake

The big splurge: Wedding cake by Wendy Kromer with forest elements crafted in marzipan.

Photos: Karen Rusten

Source: From Seedling to Sachet: Growing Your Own Wedding by Mosey.

Wedding East River State Park BrooklynAnd Check this Out:
Real Life Wedding: Hipsters Marry in their Native Environment

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