Sample Wording for a Reform Jewish Wedding Program

Read on for a helpful Reform Jewish wedding program template.
by The Knot

Religious elements or traditions can enrich a wedding ceremony, but determining what to include in the program to reflect your beliefs as a couple can be difficult. We've gathered sample programs from several religions to get you started. Use them as a guide and add your own spin to make your day truly personal. Below is some helpful sample wording for a traditional Reform Jewish wedding program.

Front Cover

Wedding of

Bride's Name

and

Groom's Name


Date

Temple Name

City, State

Inside Page 1

The Wedding Processional

Rabbi

Cantor

Name Bride's grandmother

Name Bride's grandfather

Name Groom's grandmother

Name Groom's grandfather


Bridesmaids

Name Relation to the Bride

Name Relation to the Bride

Name Relation to the Bride

Name Relation to the Bride

Name Relation to the Bride


Woman of Honor

Name Relation to the Bride


Groomsmen

Name Relation to the Groom

Name Relation to the Groom

Name Relation to the Groom

Name Relation to the Groom

Name Relation to the Groom


Best Man

Name Relation to the Groom


Groom's Name

will walk to the huppah with his parents,

Father's Name

and

Mother's Name


Bride's Name

will walk to the huppah with her parents,

Father's Name

and

Mother's Name

Inside Page 2–3

Jewish Reform Ceremony Explanation (Optional)

Wedding Ceremony

A Jewish wedding is not merely between two individuals, or their families and circle of friends; it is a cause of celebration for the entire Jewish people. A wedding is not just about two people finding happiness; it's more about the potential of this couple to make the world a better place by the virtue of being together as one.

It is a Jewish belief that when two people who are destined for each other get married, they complete one another.


The marriage of

Bride's Name

and

Groom's Name

was blessed at

Temple Name

on

Date

in a ceremony called

aufruf

during which

Bride's Name

and

Groom's Name

were called to the

bimah

and given honors before the Torah.


Prior to the ceremony, the civil marriage license was witnessed and signed by

Witness' Name

and

Witness' Name

The ketubah (Jewish marriage document)

was witnessed and signed by

Witness' Name

and

Witness' Name

The ketubah was traditionally a revolutionary concept, protecting the bride's rights and obligating the husband to look out for her welfare. Today, the ketubah reflects the equality of bride and groom and reflects their mutual obligations to each other.


The wedding takes place under the huppah, symbolic of the home

Bride's Name

and

Groom's Name

will build together. The huppah has no walls; the marriage begins with just a roof, and

Bride's Name

and

Groom's Name

will build the walls with love and friendship, based on a foundation of respect and trust. The huppah is open on all sides so that family and friends will always feel welcome.


A blessing of

krikat erusin

or betrothal, is recited over the wine, followed by another in praise of God, who brought

Bride's Name

and

Groom's Name

together.

Bride's Name

and

Groom's Name

drink from the same cup of wine to represent the life that they will share from this day forth.


Next comes the giving and accepting of rings. Jewish custom requires that wedding bands be made of a single piece of metal with no adornments breaking the circle, representing the wholeness achieved through marriage and the hope for an unbroken union.

Groom's Name

will place the ring on

Bride's Name's

right index finger to represent that marriage is an act of law, saying, “Behold, you are set apart for me with this ring according to the laws of Moses and Israel." After reciting his vow, he will transfer the ring to its permanent place on her left ring finger to represent that the marriage is an act of love. The bride does the same to the groom. The

ketubah

is then read and presented to

Bride's Name

After the chanting of the seven marriage blessings—

shva b'rachot

—the couple drinks from a second cup of wine.


At the conclusion of the ceremony,

Groom's Name

will step on a glass and break it. This ancient practice has many interpretations. One of the most traditional is that it reminds us of the destruction of the holy temple in Jerusalem and the many losses that have been suffered by the Jewish people. Another explanation is that love, like glass, is very fragile and must be protected because, once broken, it is hard to put back together again. A more contemporary interpretation is that the sound travels through time and space to share their joy with all who have loved them, both those who are separated by distance and those separated by time. Immediately following the ceremony,

Bride's Name

and

Groom's Name

will leave the huppah and spend their first few minutes as husband and wife alone together in a private place. This is called

yichud

or seclusion.



Special thanks to Rabbi Paul Swerdlow, Northport, New York

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