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Videos & Links

What to Expect at a Jewish Wedding Ceremony

Articles from My Jewish Learning

Planning Your Jewish Wedding

Which Jewish Clergy Will Officiate at Interfaith Weddings?

How to Find Someone to Officiate at Your Jewish Wedding

Engaged? Jewish Traditions
Before a Wedding

Books for Your Library

Beyond Breaking the Glass,
by Nancy Wiener
(Central Conference of American
Rabbis, 2001).

The Creative Jewish Wedding Book,
by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer
(Jewish Lights, 2004).

The Jewish Way in Love and Marriage,
by Maurice Lamm (Jonathan David, 1991)

Jewish Weddings: A Beautiful Guide
to Creating the Wedding of Your Dreams
by Rita Milos Brownstein (Simon & Schuster, 2003).

The New Jewish Wedding,
by Anita Diamant
(Fireside, 2001)


Options for the Ring Exchange

Compiled by Rabbi Avivah Erlick

The ring exchange portion of the wedding ceremony consists of reciting a phrase from the Bible, and then placing a ring on the right index finger of your beloved.
The recipient then moves the ring from the right index (i.e. “pointer”) finger,
which is mythically connected to the heart, to their left ring finger.

Each member of the couple can choose which of the following phrases they would like to say before they place the ring, and whether they want to say it in both Hebrew and English, or just English. The rabbi guides the participants to recite their formula, word by word, so there’s no need to worry about having to memorize it.

The traditional phrase, said before placing a ring on the finger of a bride, is:
הֲרֵי אַתְּ מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לִי
Harei at m’kudeshet li
Behold, you are sacred to me, today and forever.”

To express the same sentiment to a groom, the words would change to:
הֲרֵי אַתָּה מְקֻדַּשׁ לִי
Harei atah m'kudash li
Behold, you are sacred to me, today and forever

Here are some other popular options, all beautiful phrases from the Bible with a long tradition of connection to weddings (and which do not change depending on the gender identity of the recipient). Most are from the Song of Songs, an ancient love poem to the Divine, known as the Song of Solomon in the Christian tradition.

אֲנִי לְדוֹדִי וְדוֹדִי לִי
Ani l’dodi, v’dodi li
“I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine.”
(Song of Songs 6:3)

מָּצָאתִי אֵת שֶׁאָהֲבָה נַפְשִׁי
Matzati et she-ahavah nafshi
”I have found the one in whom my soul delights.”

(Song of Songs 3:4)

זֶה דוֹדִי וְזֶה רֵעִי
Zeh dodi v’zeh ra-ee
”This is my beloved, this is my friend”

(Song of Songs 5:16)

מַיִם רַבִּים לֹא יוּכְלוּ לְכַבּוֹת אֶת־הָאַהֲבָה וּנְהָרוֹת לֹא יִשְׁטְפוּהָ
Mayim rabim lo yuchlu l’chabot et ha-ahavah, u-n'harot lo yisht’fu-ah.
“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can rivers drown it.”
(Song of Songs 8:7)

וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי לְעוֹלָם
וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי בְּצֶֽדֶק וּבְמִשְׁפָּט וּבְחֶֽסֶד וּבְרַחֲמִים
וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי בֶּאֱמוּנָה, וְיָדַֽעַתְּ אֶת יְיָ
V’erastich li l’olam.
V’erastich li b’tzedek, u-v’mishpat, u-v’chesed, u-v’rachamim.
V’erastich li be-emunah, v’ya-da-at et Hashem.

I will betroth you to me forever.
I will betroth you to me with righteousness and with justice, with goodness and with compassion.
I will betroth you to me in truth; and we will come to know God.”
(Hosea 2:21-22)

חַסְדֵי יְיָ כִּי לֹא־תָמְנוּ כִּי לֹא־כָלוּ רַחֲמָיו: חֲדָשִׁים לַבְּקָרִים רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ
Chasdei Hashem ki lo-tamnu ki lo chalu rachamav. Chadashim lab-karim rabah emunatecha.
“Loving-kindness never ceases. Compassion never fails.
They are new each morning. Great is your faithfulness.”
(Lamentations 3:22-23)