3 Unique Jewish Wedding Keepsakes

These options will make your special day last a lifetime.

When the lights go out and the music fades, you’ll want to remember your wedding for the rest of your life. All couples work to make their weddings beautiful and special, and for couples who incorporate Jewish rituals and traditions into their celebration, there are even more opportunities for unique touches.

As more of my friends and loved ones get married in beautiful Jewish ceremonies, I’ve been thinking about the best ways to ensure the joy and happiness a couple feels on their wedding day will live on forever. There’s always the option to go for a classic scrapbook or photo album, but in a digital age it’s not always a guarantee that a couple will print out their photos (though I do strongly recommend it!). If you want something more tangible and explicitly Jewish to commemorate your special day, allow me to suggest three highly customizable options.

Turn Your Broken Glass Into a Mezuzah

The best tradition at Jewish weddings is the breaking of the glass. It’s fun, exciting and a  much-needed moment of levity for people like me who spend the ceremony crying more than the couple.

For every Jewish wedding I’ve been to so far, at least one member of the bridal party has told me they have no idea what to do with the shards of glass once it’s been broken. Great news: I have solved the problem for you.

One of the most unique methods of preservation is something I saw for the first time in my favorite catalog growing up: The Source For Everything Jewish. I used to scour the pages looking for the prettiest Star of David jewelry that almost always ended up being gifts for my girl friends at their b-mitzvahs. But something special that always caught my eye was the mezuzahs that contained glass shards from weddings. The company would mail the couple a colorful glass and when the ceremony was over, they would send the shards back to the company to have them returned in a glass tube that circled a mezuzah. While tragically The Source For Everything Jewish is no longer around, these same products still exist today. There are also several variations: encasing the shards in a resin mezuzah or having the broken glass repurposed into a vase, bowl, wine stopper, menorah or candlesticks used for Shabbat. You can find artists to create these mementos for you on Etsy (I love Love and Latkes, Shukis Judaica and Mazel Tov Designs, but if you go searching, you will find many options!). If you prefer the DIY option, you can use the shards to create something small like a glass mosaic picture frame that holds a photo from your wedding day, or something larger like a tiled side table that can hold your favorite plants, candles or tchotchkes.

Choose a Ketubah That Is Literally Art

For those with more traditional Jewish ceremonies, preserving the ketubah is paramount. There are many companies dedicated to custom ketubah artwork, but the one I found most special is Flowers of the Press. They specialize in flower preservation, and they recently posted a reel on Instagram of a commissioned piece with wedding bouquet flowers surrounding a couple’s handwritten vows. Because the ketubah is meant to be in possession of the bride, it feels most appropriate to frame it with her bouquet as a daily reminder of the beauty behind the vows shared between the couple. Whether this piece is displayed in a common area in the home or privately, this sacred document must be protected after the wedding, and what better way to do that than by turning it into art?

Frame The Fabric You Hold During the Hora

Another fun Jewish wedding tradition is dancing the hora. You’re hoisted in the air by your strongest friends and family members and you and your partner are joined by nothing more than a piece of fabric! A great way to preserve this memory is to frame that which connected you and your new spouse. While it’s easy to use a simple napkin that might be sitting on a table during the reception, there’s no reason why you can’t opt for something a little more extravagant or meaningful. For instance, you might want to use an old handkerchief from your bubbe, something with your wedding date embroidered on it or maybe a piece of cloth signed by those who held you above your shoulders.

Of course, the point of your wedding is to live in the moment and experience your special day fully with your partner and your community. Whether you decide to preserve pieces of the joyous occasion or not, you’ll always have your memories. But if you want to save some tokens from your wedding, specifically some Jewish ones, I hope this list inspires you. Whether you opt for professional methods of preservation or the do-it-yourself route, these options will turn your memories into tangible objects and will make sure your special day lasts a lifetime.

Hannah Paperno

Hannah Paperno (she/her) is a Washington, D.C. based marketer and event planner who spends her free time visiting thrift stores and baking. She has two darling cats, Pumpernickel and Scrapple, and often has a different hair color every time you see her.

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