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Where to get a chuppah
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Religious & Spiritual >
Where to get a chuppah
I'm not a very religious or observant Jew, but my partner & I
are having a commitment ceremony next summer, and I want to
have a huppa. Okay, where do I find one? So far, I?ve only
found one place online, and they cost $600-$800.
Alternatively, does anyone know of quilters or craftspeople who
work with fabric who could make a huppa?
If you are having the ceremony at a synogogue they will have the
4 poles to use and may even have a ''huppa'' but I think you can
really use any blanket, fabric that you find beautiful or
meaningful to you and your partner- something old and
sentimental or something new for your new home together! It
symbolizes a home afterall!
I had my friends make quilt squares (approx 12x12 ''). I bought
some coordinating fabric and stitched it together. It was not
quilted, but someday I will at least have some one 'tie' it for
me. I specified a color family. some people glued and beaded,
others linoleum printed, appliqued, embroidered, or quilted,
Fabric paint would have been acceptable to me too. Another idea
is to go to China town and find a table cloth. They have
embroidered ones and ones with nice 'cut work' (for lack of a
better name). Then your huppa becomes your holiday/special
occasion table cloth, an heirloom (albeit stained). you could
also fabric paint a meaningful scene or invite friends in for
crafts (potatoe prints? leaf reliefs?)on white muslin. I like
the angle of having friends contribute. For supports we bought
dowls (essentially broom handles) at the hardware store,
inserted hooks in the end and spray painted them white. We also
did a may pole thing w/ ribbons. My friend's florist took care
of her huppa. It was made of branches, light chiffony/lacey
fabric, flowers and greens. Mazel Tov! The huppa is a lovely
metaphor for commitment.
A few thoughts: You may have a friend who can sew a
huppa, as a wedding gift. Or if you're using a florist, some
have huppas to rent, too. You may also be able to borrow a
huppa from someone, which is what I did.
When my partner and I had our wedding (we consciously chose not
to call it a committment ceremony), I designed a huppah using an
antique tablecloth as the base. I strip-pieced fabric and then
cut triangle which were then made into the shape of a jewish
star. I did the same type of thing with other material which was
than made into a celtic know (my sweetie's not jewish by birth).
They were appliqued onto the tablecloth, the celtic knot inside
the jewish star. I had the help and talent of a dear friend who
is a much better seamstress than me. The hardest part was
deciding how to attach it to the poles - we worked it out, I
think we used uphostersterly(sp) tacks and we careful with it so
as to impart as little damage as possible to the material. We
really should find a place to display more permanently. It
mostly sits in a closet for the last 7 years.
When my wife and I got married, we rented a chupa from Afikomen
on Claremont in Berkeley. I can't remember what it cost, but
I'm pretty sure it was under $100.
I purchased a beautiful piece of golden silk at one of the
Indian stores on University where saris are sold. They have
great selection of fabirc by the yard in rich colors and
wonderful textures. My florist, Barbara Erfani (on San Pablo)
had beautiful chuppah poles made of tree branches that I rented
for a fee. Perhaps she would rent them to you without using her
floral services. You should also try Afikomen on Claremont, the
JCC or one of the local synagogues to see if they rent
chuppahs. Good luck!
My brother and sister-in-law got married with a HUPPA made by a
friend. If you have anyone mildly artistic in your midst, try
suggesting it as a wedding present-- I'm sure it'll be a boon
both to you and the person creating it!
As to design and religious considerations, I'm sure it's not too
hard to find out the specs.
We made our own huppa for next to nothing. We borrowed 4 wooden
posts from a friend. I'm sure you can buy them at a wood supply
store. They were round and smooth and about 7 or 8 feet tall.
It helps if they are long so the holders can rest them on the
floor- otherwise, it gets heavy and someone is sure to start
drooping a pole- not great for the photos! The width should be
comfortable for holding- not too bulky. We decorated the poles
with wide ribbons wrapped around them at an angle. The huppa
material was just a piece of pretty cloth. I wish I could
remember how we attached the cloth (obviosuly most important),
but I'm sure there are several options: velcro would probably
work well. We then had our florist make 4 little bouquets that
attached at the top of the poles where the cloth was attached.
It was beautiful! Hope this helps.
My husband and I had a very nice chuppah constructed from four
long bamboo poles, held by each of our four siblings. We tied a
large tallit at the corners to form the canopy. A friend did the
flowers for us and attached bouquets and gauzy bows to each
bamboo pole. Cost, probably about $100 including the tallit.
Like the commercial says, ''Memories, priceless.''
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage.
Kathryn and Leo Levenson,Congregation Netivot Shalom
I have two suggestions - one, Nancy Katz, a fabric artist, her
company is Eye of the Needle, does beautiful silk painted
huppas. She can also make your huppa so it divides in half
afterwards into two tallitot for you and your partner. Her
studio number is 510-843-5280. The second possibility is to
contact Celebrations, the wedding store that is connected to
Afikomen. They rent out huppas. Afikomen's number is 510-655-
1977. One thought, you say you are not a ''very religious or
observant Jew'' well, join the crowd! If you and your partner
are considering joining a community in the east bay, just know
that there are lots of Jews just like you in the synagogues that
will simply say, welcome!
a member of Temple Sinai
We rented a chupa from Afikomen on Claremont. They have
a few to choose from, ranging from the simple to the ornate.
We had it for the weekend, and the price was reasonable.
You could also make your own. A friend of mine made one
by sewing together two table cloths, one from her mother
and one from the groom's mother. Mazel Tov.
There's no reason a chuppah should be so expensive. A chuppah
can be any fabric. My advice is, find something beautiful and
use it. Make sure it's big enough for both of you to fit under
it. Some Jews like to use a tallit (a prayer shawl), but this
is optional. My information comes from Isaac Stein's ''A Guide
to Jewish Religious Practise'' which is guidebook for the
Conservative movement of Judaism, p 402. Other movements have
other customs. And finally: congratulations.
My husband and I used a lace tablecloth that had belonged to my
grandmother. Our florist attached it to 4 posts covered with
flowers and ribbons and voila! It was beautiful and filled with
This may not even be close to what you're thinking, but here's
what we did. We are an interfaith couple, married by a rabbi in
Golden Gate Park. We bought 4 bamboo poles at OSH, attached a
lovely table cloth of my mother-in-law's (the Jewish side) and
had our siblings and 2 close friends carry it and hold it during
the ceremony. It was quite moving actually, and memorable when
it first got stuck in the trees coming down the ''aisle''. Good
We used a large tallit, held by four people who where important
to us. Ours was extremely simple, but a number of friends have
made them using a tallit and poles. You could talk to the people
at Afikomen, or the rabbi who's doing the ceremony for ideas.
This site is what you're looking for: http://www.sfjcf.org/resource/
Click on ''Chuppot & Floral Arrangements'' under ''#14 Simchas &
For our wedding, we used the tallit my father gave us, and four
birch poles we got at the SF flower mart. You then decorate the
corners with flowers (also from the flower mart). We have used
the tallit for our daughter's naming, and will use it for our
son's bris...and so on.
hi. i had a VERY reformed jewish ceremony a number of
years ago and i made my huppa. i bought four wooden
poles and knobs to go on top at Home Depot. then i got an
appropriate length of white cloth and i painted designs and
symbols that were important to us and which represented
our home and future together. i decorated the poles and put
secured openings in the huppa cloth that could be attached
by screwing the knobs down into the ends of the wooden
poles. it was a hit at the wedding. and a lovely and unique
You can rent or buy a huppah at Afikomen, on Claremont Ave
(near Ashby) in Berkeley. I'm not sure what the cost is, but
my sister rented a huppah from them last July and didn't
mention the cost being staggering.
Hello, if you have time to make your own chuppa, it's very
inexpensive and brings a much more personal element to the
ceremony. It was very easy for us once we found the right
supplies and neither of us is very handy or creative. We made
it by filling four galvanized buckets with cement. We inserted
a piece of PVC pipe in the centers for the poles to fit into.
We decorated the buckets with artificial flowers and ivy using
a hot glue gun. We used sturdy wooden poles to insert in the
buckets and had the florist decorate the poles with vines. We
attached a large tablecloth to the tops of the poles. Some
people use a prayer shawl or some type of tapestry that is
meaningful to them. The only problem we had was that our
wedding happened to be on a blustery day and we had to have
people steadying the poles every once in a while.
Have fun if you decide to create your own!
Mazel tov on your upcoming commitment ceremony! I made a huppah
for my sister that did involve a fair amount of work but not too
much money or skill that maybe a friend would do for you. I
asked (by email) my sister's friends and family for words that
they would like to give them (ie blessings, family, joy, an
ocean of petals, etc. whatever they wanted). Then I took 100%
cotton muslin fabric and painted on (with different color fabric
paints) the words in a spiral. We also painted a grapevine (in a
spiral under the words) but I don't think you'd need to do that.
Then I sewed on a fringe edge by hand (because I don't know how
to work a machine! but you could also pay someone). I attached 4
plastic rings to the corners and voila, a chuppah! For our
chuppah, we had a friendship quilt but if you don't have a
quilting friend, it seems to be fairly expensive to pay someone.
Also synagogues and Afikomen in Berkeley/Oakland will rent
huppahs for a day and I think that's fairly inexpensive. Good
luck and again, mazel tov.
The florist we used for our wedding, Barbara Erfani, provided a
lovely chuppa for our wedding for much less money than any other
option we investigated. She's on San Pablo in Berkeley, phone #
is 525-3523. We found her a bit brusque on the phone, but not in
person, and we were very happy with the price and quality of her
Hi. Here's my perspective - I'm Jewish and my husband isn't but
we had a Jewish wedding ceremony and made our own. We felt it
had so much more connection to us and the meaning of the chuppah
as a symbol of the extension of our home. There is no need to
rent one for $600 that has been used by others when you can
create a personally unique one yourself - that has way more
meaning to you and everyone who comes to the ceremony!! In our
case, I was fortunate, I had a sister-in-law who could sew so
she bought some white material. Cut it into a large rectangle,
sewed on a simple 2-3 in ruffle around the edge. We then had her
write some portion of the 'on friendship' segment from The
Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. And did some other designs in the
corners. Here are some thoughts for you:
1. Buy a talit and connect it to 4 poles.
2. Buy some cloth (like I mentioned above) and perhaps you have
a friend with good handwriting. They can buy this handwriting
pens/paint at Michaels. If you want more religious type cloth
I'm sure you could find it.
3. Talk to a tailor or seamstress about how they could help you.
4. To soften it up you could connect some flowers/vines to the
Hope that helps.
Yes, there is a HUPPAH place!
You can rent Huppa's from Afikomen on Claremont Avenue in
Try some of the major florists in the East Bay and SF. Many do
elaborate weddings and have huppas in their rental inventory.
You can also try a place in Richmond called Hartmann
Studios/Green Valley Plant Rental.
Stonemountain & Daughter Discount Quality Fabrics at 2518
Shattuck Ave in Berkeley (tel: 845-6106) has a book of local
seamstress recommendations. I was just there today and saw a
couple of listings of people who specialize in ceremonial and/or
religious quilting/sewing. Just ask one of the salespeople for
the binder which is kept behind the counter.
Well, if you are having your ceremony outside, you do not need a
huppa, as being under the heavens is all you need! If you are
having your ceremony indoors, or really want a huppa, I don't
believe that it needs to be of any particular material. But for
better advice, we were married by the head of the Jewish
Humanistic Society in Berkeley( I've forgotten her name off
hand), but they would be a fabulous resource for you! Mazel Tov!
I love the meaning and beauty of a Chuppah, Since I wanted
something unique and one that didn't look commercial I
made my own. It was lot's of fun and easy. When we put it
up some of our friends helped. It was one of the added
benefits and felt like a community barn raising. I made the
Chuppah out of 8 foot bamboo poles; 4 vertical and 4
horizontal around the top. We tied them together with rope in
the corners and place each of the vertical posts in a pretty
flower pot filled with sand. In advance I wrapped each pole
with ribbon and then we wrapped long branches of leaves
around each of the posts. We placed more leaves around
the base of the poles. For the ''roof'' we tied sheer and
opaque ribbons across the top, rows and rows of pastel
yellow, green and white. It was incredible. And best of all
probably spent under $200. After the wedding I planted
flowers in the vases and for more that a year following the
wedding I used the ribbons to tie gifts, reminding each
person that the ribbon came from my chuppah and
symbolized love . If you want more detail please email me
and I can direct you to my sources for ribbons, bamboo and
We just bought a beautiful piece of fabric and used that for a chuppah. I
have two friends who each had gorgeous handmade chuppahs - friends
and family made squares for a quilt and then the squares were sewn
together. Afterwards, the chuppah was hung on the wall in their home.
Really beautiful and very special. Congratulations on your commitment
this page was last updated: Jun 15, 2006
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