Jewish Wedding Program Template: Wording & Info
There are certainly a lot of details to attend to throughout your wedding planning journey, but designing and printing your wedding programs might actually be one of the most important parts of your nuptials. Why? "[Programs] explain Jewish traditions and rituals taking place at the wedding so that guests from all backgrounds can understand and feel more included in the wedding ceremony," Lisa Resnek Wyett, of Massachusetts-based Mark Harris Stationers, says. Whether you're planning a traditional Jewish wedding or a more modern one, you'll certainly want your family members and loved ones to be following along during the most important moment of your life.
You are in the driver's seat when it comes to what marriage ceremony information and wedding customs you choose to outline within this wedding guide, but there is a customary template you can follow, which we'll outline below. If you're planning to have a Rabbi or Cantor marry you on your wedding day, you can also ask your officiant for their input. "Couples usually ask me for guidance or have me edit what they've but together," says New York-based Cantor Leslie Friedlander. Whether you choose to DIY your programs or have them professionally printed, however, Friedlander also suggests keeping the descriptions you include within the program relatively brief. "You want people to pay attention to what's going on in the ceremony and not read the program during the wedding," she explains.
With that advice in mind, read on for an explainer of all the Jewish wedding traditions that you should include within your wedding program, plus a pre-written example of a Jewish wedding ceremony program to use as inspiration.
What To Include in a Jewish Wedding Program?
Here's everything you'll want to include in your wedding program, in order.
Welcome From the Couple
The Wedding Date and Location
The Order of Events With Short Explanations
- Signing of the Ketubah
- The Chuppah
- Kiddush and the First Cup of Wine
- Ring Ceremony
- The Seven Blessings (Sheva Brachot)
- Breaking of the Glass
The Wedding Party List
Thank You From the Couple
Jewish Wedding Program Wording Examples
Read on for a sample double-sided modern Jewish wedding program to use as inspiration for your own.
Welcome to the wedding ceremony of Olivia and Joshua.
Saturday, October 16, 2021
SIGNING OF THE KETUBAH
Prior to the ceremony the couple and immediate family gather to sign the ketubah, or the Jewish marriage contract, which outlines the couple's commitment to each other. The covenant is signed by the officiant, bride, groom and two witnesses.
Olivia and Joshua will be married under a chuppah, which is a canopy supported by four posts and open on all four sides. The chuppah symbolizes the home that the couple will make together, filled with love, hospitality and welcoming to all.
Traditionally, the bride circles the groom seven times under the chuppah symbolizing her protection of her husband. Today, the bride and groom will each circle each other three times before taking the seventh circle together to represent their safekeeping over one another and the home they'll create together with their new family unit at the center.
KIDDUSH AND THE FIRST CUP OF WINE
In Judaism, wine symbolizes joy and celebration. After Rabbi Green recites the Kiddush, or blessing over wine, Olivia and Joshua will each share a sip from the cup.
The bride and groom will place wedding bands on each other's fingers to represent their commitment to each other. In accordance with Jewish tradition, the wedding rings are unadorned by stones or decorations and placed on the index finger.
THE SEVEN BLESSINGS (SHEVA BRACHOT)
Olivia and Joshua have chosen to share blessings centering on love, compassion, celebration, and the miracle of creation. Danielle Finkel, a friend of the bride, will chant each blessing in Hebrew and English translations will be read aloud by the groom's friend Evan Davies.
BREAKING OF THE GLASS
Before the ceremony comes to an end, Joshua will step on and shatter a glass wrapped inside a glass bag. The breaking of the glass reminds us of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago and of the fragility and preciousness of life and relationships. When the glass breaks, wedding guests should shout "mazel tov" to wish the couple congratulations and good luck.
Following the conclusion of the ceremony, the bride and groom will spend a few minutes relaxing alone in a private room to celebrate and soak in their new relationship as a married couple.
PARENTS OF THE BRIDE
Elissa and Steven Becker
MAID OF HONOR
PARENTS OF THE GROOM
Helen and Richard Adams
Rabbi Joel Green
To our friends and family, thank you for being here to celebrate our union. It is a blessing to have you with us today and in our lives every day.
With love, Olivia and Joshua
Where To Buy Jewish Wedding Programs
Both synagogues and non-religious wedding venues typically don't provide printed programs for weddings, but it's easy to get them designed and printed on your own. You can search out a local stationer like Lisa Resnek Wyett of Mark Harris Stationers (perhaps using The Knot Marketplace) who can create totally custom designs. Alternatively, The Knot Invitations also offers editable wedding programs in a variety of styles that can be personalized based on the type of ceremony you're planning.