Glossary of Jewish Wedding Terms

If you’re unfamiliar with some of the Hebrew Jewish wedding words, our glossary may help you with the common Jewish wedding related phrases you may come to hear.


Aidim – (also spelled Eidim) – Witnesses. Plural of ‘Aid’ – Witness.

Aidei Kesuba (Aidei Ketuba) – Witnesses on the Kesuba.

Aidei Yichud – Witnesses that remain by the door of the seclusion room after the Chuppah.

Aufruf – The Shabbos that immediately precedes the wedding during which the groom is called for an honorary ‘Alliyah’ to the Torah.


Badeken – Veling ceremony prior to Chuppah.

Birkas Erusin (Birkat Erusin) – Prenuptual blessing recited by the officiating Rabbi over the first cup of wine.

Chosson (also Hatan) – Groom.

Chuppah – (also Huppah) – wedding canopy


D’vai Haser – a poem attributed to Rabbi Dunash ben Labrat that is inserted into the Zimun right before Birkas Hamozon (Grace after Meals) after the wedding and during Sheva Berachos.


Eidim – (also spelled Aidim) – Witnesses. Plural of ‘Eid’ – Witness.

Eidei Kesuba (Eidei Ketuba) – two witnesses that sign on the Kesuba. Eidei Yichud – two witnesses that remain outside the seclusion room following the chuppah.

Erusin (also Kiddushin) – betrothal, the first part of the Jewish wedding ceremony.


Hachnasas Kallah – 1. Accompanying the bride to the wedding ceremony. 2. The charitable act of helping to arrange for wedding needs of a needy couple.

Huppah – (also Chuppah) – wedding canopy.


Kabbolas Ponim (Kabalat Panim) – reception prior to the ceremony when the bride and groom receive their guests.

Kallah – Bride.

Kesuba (Ketuba) – Marriage Contract.

Kiddushin (also Erusin) – betrothal, the first part of the wedding ceremony whereupon the groom places a ring on the brides finger.

Kittel – a white robe worn by the groom during the wedding ceremony. Kinyan – a formal acceptance of an obligation of the Kesuba and the Tannaim usually done by taking an object such as a pen or a napkin and lifting it.


Mesader Kiddushin – lit. arranger of the betrothal, i.e, the Rabbi that performs the wedding ceremony in accordance with Jewish Law.


Nesuin (lit. lifting, taking) – marriage. The second stage in the Jewish wedding ceremony.


Ponim Chodoshos (Panim Chadashot) – (lit. new faces) Two ‘new’ guests at the Sheva Berachos party that were not present at the wedding ceremony.


Sheva Berochos (Sheva Berachot) – lit. Seven Blessings. These blessings are recited under the Chuppah and for seven days after the wedding after a festive meal in honor of the new couple if ten men are present. Thus the party meal also became to be called by the same name.

Shoshbinin – close Family and Friends that accompany the bride and groom to the wedding canopy.

Shtick – props and other objects used to bring joy to the bride and groom. Simcha – Happiness.

Simchas Chosson Vekallah – (loosely) the dancing part of a wedding when the guests entertain the bride and groom.


Tabaas (Tabaat) – wedding ring.

Tannaim – lit. conditions. Originally a separate ceremony that served as a formal announcement of the engagement when the wedding date would be set as well. Now, only a formality; a Tannaim contract is signed and usually read aloud prior to the Badeken.

Tish – (lit. Table) – A place where the groom receives his guests; the signing of the Kesuba takes place here.


Vort – lit. ‘word’ (Yiddish). An engagement party to announce a couple’s engagement.

Viduy – Confession prayer recited in many communities by the groom and the bride on the day of their wedding just as it is said on Yom Kippur.


Yichud – Seclusion. Several minutes immediately after the Chuppah when the new couple is left to be alone in the Yichud room.


Zimun – introduction to the Grace After Meals where a leader calls out for others to say Grace.