Welcome to the second installation of our Persian Jewish wedding customs blog-series! We’ll be continuing from where we last left off which was about “Before the Wedding” and will discuss the ceremony for a Persian Jewish wedding.
On the Jewish side of traditions:
The Khuppah (also spelled as chuppah)
Much like the western tradition where the wedding party begins the procession followed by the bride, after the Ketubah signing ceremony, the Jewish wedding ceremony begins with the procession of friends and family, followed by the bride and groom. The Khuppah is a canopy symbolizing the home the couple will build together. It is under the Khuppah where the couple along with their parents will stand for the duration of the ceremony. Couples can decide to decorate their Khuppah to match their wedding theme and can be as elaborate as they want.
During the ceremony: Kiddushin and Sheva Brachot (Seven Blessings)
The Kiddushin is where the groom will place a ring on the bride’s right index finger thus marking them as husband and wife. You can opt to do a double ring ceremony where you can also place a ring on the groom’s right index finger. The Sheva Brachot (Seven Blessings) are good wishes for the couple that are recited by the rabbi or shared among honored guests. The entire ceremony is spoken in English, Hebrew and Farsi.
Breaking of the Glass
Probably one of the most popular features of a Persian Jewish hybrid wedding is when the groom shatters cloth-wrapped glass with his right foot. At the sound of broken glass, guests yell, “Mazal Tov!” and this concludes the ceremony. Although there are many meanings behind the breaking of glass, it is thought to commemorate the destruction of the Holy Temple in Israel.
On the Persian side of traditions:
Persian wedding ceremonies have two parts: the first is the “aghd,” where we witness the bride and groom sign a legal contract. The second part is the wedding reception known as “Jashn-e-Aroosi” which traditionally lasts from 3 to 7 days, but many couples are opting to have both parts take place the same day.
The aghd ceremony takes place on a a beautiful and elaborate spread on the floor or on a raised platform/stage called the “sofreh aghd.” Since there are many components to the sofreh aghd, we have it all mapped out in a separate blog, “Persian Weddings: Sofreh Aghd”