Wedding & Call up

A Modern Orthodox wedding is full of ritual and tradition. It is a truly joyous time where the Chatan (groom) and Kallah (bride) not only commit to one another but also choose to connect themselves to our collective heritage and their Jewish future as a family.

ark-weddings2There are a number of aspects to consider and decisions to be made during the planning stages.  We recommend organising a meeting with Rabbi Gabi early in the process who will advise you of the various decisions that need to be made along the way. Our admin team are also happy to assist with queries regarding the Call Up and ceremony.

The following outline the elements of a Modern Orthodox Jewish Wedding:

The Call Up

In Ashkenazi tradition the chatan is called up on the Shabbat morning prior to the wedding; usually a week prior to the ceremony. The reason for the timing is that traditionally the Chatan and Kallah don’t see each other for the week before their wedding so the call up often marks the last time they see each other before the Bedeken. In Sephardi tradition the Call Up is the week after the chuppah.

During the service the chatan is called up to the Torah. After the Call Up there is singing and cheering in celebration of the Chatan. In some traditions the women throw lollies as a demonstration of the wish for the couple to have a sweet and fruitful marriage. Other aliyot go to the Chatan’s family or close friends. At ARK Centre we invite the families to complete the aliyot form in the weeks prior to the Call Up. Contact the office for a copy of the aliyot form.

The Wedding Ceremony

There are several ceremonial traditions that take place on the wedding day. They include:

Bedeken (veiling) – the kallah is seated, often with her immediate family and bridesmaids around her, and the chatan enters the room with his immediate family and groomsmen. This is the first of many times during the day where Rabbi Gabi leads the families in song. The chatan checks to make sure this is, in fact, the woman he has agreed to marry and then lowers the kallah’s veil. The Bedeken is scheduled for approximately 20 minutes prior to the chuppah.

Chuppah (canopy) – this is where the serious, and incredibly joyful, ceremony takes place. The chatan awaits his kallah with his parents under the chuppah. The bride, accompanied by her parents, joins the chatan under the chuppah and proceeds to circle him seven times finishing on his right hand side.
Rabbi Gabi leads the brachot under the chupah. He guides the chatan and kallah in reciting brachot (prayers) and in drinking wine from the Kiddush cup. In keeping with tradition the union is only official when the chatan offers the kallah something of value – a ring – after reciting the heartfelt brachah. Rabbi Gabi then reads the ketubah (wedding certificate) and gives it to the kallah’s mother to hold for safe-keeping. Afterwards there is the recitation of the Shevah Brachot (the Seven Blessings). Traditionally the family will have asked members of the family or close friends to say or chant these brachot. Rabbi Gabi typically sings the last of the brachot as it leads into a wonderful song that further elevates the already high spirits of all involved. The final formal act under the chupah is when the chatan breaks the glass with is foot as a symbol of remembering the destruction of the Second Temple. The sound of the glass smashing is a sign to all that the ceremony is complete and the couple are officially wed. Mazel Tov!

Yichud – After the chupah the couple are escorted to a room where they can spend a few moments alone. As they have been fasting, and have only had the wine under the chuppah to drink, this is a time to have something to eat as well as collect their emotions before moving on to photos and the reception.

Signing Documentation – After the ceremony the couple, along with their nominated witnesses, sign the civil documentation that is then lodged with the Office of Births Deaths and Marriages. In order to get a legal copy of your marriage certificate the couple must apply directly to the office approximately six weeks after the ceremony.

A Musical Occasion

Ask anyone who has been to a chuppah where Rabbi Gabi has officiated and the will tell you just how memorable and fun the ceremony was. This is partly due to the passion he imparts and partly due to the musical components of the ceremony. Music is a strong part of all we do at ARK Centre and so Rabbi Gabi encourages all Chatanim and Kallot to include musicians under the chuppah for that extra special experience.


Please complete the following fields to enquire about having your wedding with ARK Centre:

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