Lately, you may have noticed us beefing up our wedding ceremony readings section. That’s because it’s often the very hardest part of wedding planning! Whether you’re non-religious and looking for something modern and secular, or delicately weaving together two cultures in one wedding, what to say during your ceremony can be complicated.
By reaching out to wedding vendors – those seasoned folk on the wedding ‘front lines’ – we’ve been compiling favorite secular snippets from books, songs, movies and more. Attending more weddings can one can count, these pros compile favorite wedding traditions. On top of that, we love learning about wedding traditions from various cultures and religions. Los Angeles wedding planner, HoneyFitz Events, highlights a beautiful reading from Jewish tradition: The Seven Blessings:
“For Jewish weddings, the ‘Seven Blessings’ are the heart of the Jewish wedding ceremony, which is recited over the couple as they are standing under the chuppah and can be given by friends, family members or the officiant.”
Traditionally, a parent will wrap the couple in a prayer shawl called the tallit before the Seven Blessings (or Sheve Brachot, in Hebrew) reading. Jewish couples modernizing the tradition will often ask friends and family members to recite each blessing or share their own modern blessings as the traditional Hebrew version is sung.
Traditionally spoken in Hebrew, we’re sharing the English translation below.
“Sheva Brachot”, The Seven Blessings
Blessed are you, YHVH our elo’ah, cosmic majesty, who shapes the fruit of the tree of knowledge.
Blessed are you, YHVH our elo’ah, cosmic majesty, who creates everything as their glorious signifier!
Blessed are you, YHVH our elo’ah, cosmic majesty, who fashions our cosmic potential!
Blessed are you, YHVH our elo’ah, cosmic majesty, who fashions each person in their likeness. You have planted within us your creative potential and given us the means that we may perpetually flourish. Blessed are you YHVH, fashioner of our cosmic potential!
May she who was left bereft of her children, now delight as they gather together in joy. Blessed are you YHVH, who delights in Tziyon with her children!
Let these loving friends taste of the bliss you gave to the first man and woman in the Garden of Eden in our earliest memory. Blessed are you YHVH, who delights with bridegroom and bride!
Blessed are You, YHVH our elo’ah, cosmic majesty, who illuminates the world with happiness and contentment, love and companionship, peace and friendship, bridegroom and bride. Speedily, YHVH our elo’ah, let it be heard in all the intentional Jewish communities, and in the gates of the City of Peace, cries of joy, song, merriment, and delight — the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride, the jubilant voice of bridegrooms from their canopies, and of youths from their feasts of song. Blessed are you YHVH, who delights in bridegroom and bride together!
Incorporating the Seven Blessings in Your Wedding Ceremony & Decor
If you’re a Jewish couple planning a traditional Jewish wedding, certainly you have already incorporated this beautiful reading into your ceremony. However, perhaps you’re a multi-cultural couple wondering which pieces of each culture deserve a shining moment in your ceremony? We vote to add the Seven Blessings into your ceremony readings (so long as your officiant and modern ceremony allow!)
We love any way to incorporate wedding traditions throughout your wedding decor as well. If reading in Hebrew, consider adding a calligraphed English translation in your ceremony programs. Or perhaps, hire an artist to make a beautiful sign to display in your reception area. We also recommend writing them in your keepsake vow books, so you revisit this beautiful blessing for years to come.
Get inspired by other unique ceremony readings to include in your modern wedding ceremony.