Jewish Wedding Music

Jewish weddings are meaningful and special. The music chosen for the ceremony at a Jewish wedding is often traditional. During the ceremony, the bride will walk to meet her groom and walk to the chuppah (wedding canopy) accompanied by traditional Jewish wedding songs such as "Dodi Li," or "Erev Shel Shoshanim," or a choice of a modern Hebrew song such as the popular "Lechi Lach," by composer Debbie Friedman, or "The Wedding Song," by Craig Taubman. These songs are stately and beautiful, with lyrics that come from traditional Hebrew texts, such as the Song of Songs and the Torah.

During the ceremony, the cantor (singer) may sing or chant the "Sheva Bracho"t (traditional seven blessings) as well. While this is not something the guests would sing along with, chanting is a kind of singing, albeit usually unaccompanied. There may, however, be a musical arrangement for the "Sheva Brachot," in which case there could be instruments. It depends on the wishes, culture and religious denomination of the Jewish family having the wedding.

Also, at a Jewish wedding, after the ceremomy there will be recessional music of a celebratory nature. This is usually something upbeat, such as "Siman Tov U'Mazel Tov" or another Klezmer style favorite.

Klezmer music is a style of traditional Jewish music. Instruments include clarinet, violin, guitars, and drums, though there could be accordion and even a full orchestra. The sound of the music is folksy, with European origins, and is usually very festive, encouraging dancing.

Dancing at a Jewish wedding traditionally is done in a circle, called a Hora. There is a basic grapevine step to a Hora, and there are times when everyone in the circle may move together to the middle and then back.

During the celebration after the wedding ceremony, when a festive dance is being played, the guests may raise the bride and groom up on chairs and dance them around the room, with the groom holding one corner of a handkerchief and the bride holding the opposite corner.

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Jewish wedding traditions have deep ties to the past, and the rituals run from before the wedding through the reception itself. Rituals include two ceremonies, the signing of the ketubah, the smashing of the glass and a dance in which the bride and groom are lifted into the air.

At Jewish weddings, there are some dance traditions that have been passed down for generations. It's always up to the couple and those planning the wedding how much Jewish (Klezmer style) music they want to have incorporated in the wedding celebration.
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Religious traditions vary from person to person even in the same religious tradition. Many Jewish or interfaith couples decide to hire a Rabbi to perform or co-officiate the wedding ceremony. When hiring a Rabbi it is important for the couple to decide what Jewish traditions they want incorporated into the ceremony and where they want the ceremony held.

Weddings are milestones in people's lives. This is because weddings mark the transition from single life to married life. In addition, a wedding and getting married can and often does mark the end of a girl or boy moving out their parent's homes and into their own residences.

At Jewish weddings, there are some dance traditions that have been passed down for generations. It's always up to the couple and those planning the wedding how much Jewish (Klezmer style) music they want to have incorporated in the wedding celebration.
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