The moment you say “I do” will be ingrained in your memory for the rest of your life—a wonderful memory that's also captured by your photographer (and if you have a videographer, them too!). So you’ll want to make sure your altar is truly something special. Planning a Jewish wedding? One of the most important parts of the ceremony is the chuppah.
What Is a Chuppah?
A chuppah is a canopy under which a couple stands for the duration of their ceremony, traditionally joined by both sets of parents and the officiating rabbi. It represents the new home that the newlyweds will build together, symbolized by the cloth covering and four poles that outline the structure.
A chuppah is a beautiful way to honor tradition while also expressing who you are as a couple and creating a focal point for the ceremony. From classically-draped chuppahs to those adorned with bold blooms or lush greenery to those with a unique spin on design, there are countless ways to assemble the altar of your dreams. "Spend some time researching not only chuppas but garden structures and modern canopy beds," advises chuppah designer Holly Vesecky. "Look around at inspiring materials and different shapes to give it a custom feel." You can even pay tribute to your ancestors by incorporating an heirloom cloth into the canopy or include friends and family by asking them to physically hold up the posts in a show of their support—just be sure that the construction is always handmade, so as to uphold tradition.
Meet the Expert
Holly Vesecky is a florist and principal of Hollyflora, a full-service floral design studio. She has been creating floral masterpieces and chuppahs for over 15 years.
Looking for some chuppah inspo for your own ceremony? We've rounded up 30 of the most picture-perfect chuppahs from real weddings around the world.
Adorn With Soft Florals
Natalie and Garrett’s ceremony was held in the center of the room, so visibility was paramount to the chuppah design. Revel Decor delicately placed florals to allow guests to see the couple without obstruction. Hydrangea, roses, inverted orchids, calla lilies, and greenery created a cascading-rain effect surrounding the newlyweds, while the ethereal white birch structure and soft white blooms made for an exceptional contrast to the industrial aesthetic of Revel Fulton Market.
Go Boho Chic
Bride Rebecca wanted to marry her earthy boho vision with the classic ballroom venue. To do so, Love n' Fresh Flowers designed a chuppah that was both elegant and celebrated the season. The prolific botanical decorations included a base of autumnal foliage—namely oak leaf and smoke bush—layered with heirloom chrysanthemums, dahlias, garden roses, and anemones, topped with unexpected touches like pomegranates, privet berry, and kangaroo paws (yes, that’s the name of a plant!).
Frame a Beautiful Background
For Michelle and Ethan’s nuptials at the Harry Parker Boathouse, this simple chuppah was the perfect complement to the breathtaking backdrop of the lake. The non-traditional triangle structure was handmade from bamboo foraged from the bride's parents' backyard. As a finishing touch, the chuppah was minimally decorated with an asymmetric accent of green ivies and white Hawaiian orchids.
"Make sure it’s sound," advises Vesecky. "The wind can pick up and blow the chuppah over ruining the ceremony. Either weight the bottom or secure it to the ground and make sure the person setting it up knows how it’s put together."
Get Garden Fresh
The inspiration for this chuppah, like the rest of the wedding, was a rich garden with a hint of elegance. Enchanted Garden Floral Design executed the bride’s vision by mixing vibrant blooms with loose and textured greens to create light, organic movement throughout. The birch structure was the best way to incorporate an understated touch of wood without compromising elegance.
Mix Nature With Tradition
This outdoor summer ceremony at the Mountain Top Inn embraced nature completely. The magnificent chuppah was dressed with hydrangeas, light pink roses, and peonies, as well as dollar and seeded eucalyptus. The effect was abundant and earthy, while still impeccably elegant. The hand-painted silk cloth draped above the structure was purchased in Jerusalem (a suggestion from the groom’s grandfather).
Use Your Favorite Flowers
To complement the seaside vistas of Ana and King’s coastal nuptials, Square Root Design built this structure out of driftwood branches. The bride loves flowers, especially roses, so the chuppah was completely covered in Pink Floyd roses, white O’Hara garden roses, Juliette garden roses, and kiwi green hydrangea.
"The material and construction should be taken into consideration if you're on a budget," says Vesecky. "Bamboo or driftwood can be easily sourced for free or low-cost mounted in clay pots with cement and zip-tied together. Copper pipes from the hardware store will cost a bit more but the joinery is premade and easily resourced."
Embrace Locally-Grown Foliage
This couple loved the idea of creating a rustic yet delicate look using birch paired with locally-grown thorny olive foliage, lisianthus, and hydrangea paniculata. “We knew it would be hot (it was 100 degrees), which influenced the flower and design choices," says Andrea Gagnon of LynnVale Studios. "The type and freshness of the blooms helped make this beauty last through the ceremony and into the evening.”
Take It to the Sea
Sabrina and Yishai immediately knew they wanted a beachy vibe to complement the oceanfront vista of their chosen venue. Hollyflora utilized dried pampas grass, palm leaves (foraged and dried by Vesecky herself), buckwheat, and baby’s breath in the chuppah to introduce a new-age bohemian aesthetic with tons of texture. "This was one of those late calls," recalls Vesecky. "The couple wanted an outdoor wedding but rain was in the forecast. We only had an hour to assemble the aisle as well as the chuppah, so we had all the materials at the ready and just went for it."
Extend an Olive Branch
A ceremony space featuring a 400-year-old sculpted stone fountain needs little more décor. In an effort to not overpower the stunning, rustic Italian architecture, Kyle and Olivia opted for a simple chuppah draped in white fabric to complement the white roses already occupying the space. Olive branches topped the structure to effortlessly blend with the natural environment.
Blend With the Surroundings
Having chosen a beautiful outdoor wedding venue in mountainous Virginia, Chloe and Jonathan wanted to let the scenery and beautiful grounds shine. The chuppah's structure was covered in verdant greenery and scattered baby's breath giving it the look of having grown from the soil itself, completely blending with the lush forests beyond.
Ditch the Flowers
Not keen on a chuppah filled with florals? Take a note from this couple who opted for a simple structure of gold-toned poles and a laser-cut canopy from Chuppah Studio. “Stripping out all the florals and just having this one very modern centerpiece felt like it could be really cool,” says bride Paulie of her vision.
Match the Dress
The bride's unique, blush-hued Naeem Khan dress was the inspiration for the entire wedding, including the floral design on the chuppah. A restrained display of orchids, calla lilies, and greenery against the stark structure created an eye-catching motif befitting the sculptural gardens that surrounded it.
Alexandra and Zachary knew they wanted a sophisticated black-and-white theme for their New York City wedding. To breathe some life into the color scheme, they chose an ultra-modern lucite chuppah topped with verdant greenery and ferns and not a single flower. Towering circular votives surrounded the chuppah and illuminated the space. "Candlelight was important to me," recalls Alexandra. "I think it evokes a special mood and makes the space feel intimate."
An Architectural Approach
Farryn and Jake wanted to pay homage to their religious customs and traditions without losing their individuality to them. They planned to exchange vows beneath a chuppah, but decided to encase the structure under a custom wooden dome. "While a chuppah has four sharp corners, a dome is soft, circular, and never-ending," the bride says. "We loved the polarity of the designs and meanings." White orchids decorated the construction.
Minimalism doesn't have to be boring or stark, it can actually be quite sweet, too. The proof is in this chuppah built from bamboo sourced from bride Jillian's parents’ backyard. As a final touch, a swag of astilbe and yarrow florals hung from the fresh and airy design.
Make It a Family Affair
Hilah and Ben's wedding was all about family, making the bride's family ranch in Jackson Hole the ideal venue. Hilah's father even built the chuppah himself and, to continue with the family-forward approach, the canopy was composed of talits that belonged to her brother, grandfather, and groom. Rugs and hides that befit the mountainous terrain led to the structure while roses, orchids, and stems of greenery hung to one side.
Emmeline and Eric always envisioned a minimalist and modern wedding day with classic touches. With clean lines and matte black coloring, this chuppah seamlessly blends into the industrial space. Powdery-pink roses bring a touch of romance adding some much-needed softness to the aesthetic.
Justine and Hrishikesh's multicultural nuptials showcased a union between their Hindu and Jewish traditions. Nancy Kaye of Mark's Garden combined inspiration from the Hindu mandap and the Jewish chuppah to develop a very unique, and very personalized, structure. Marigolds, garden roses, ranunculus, apricot, persimmon, and gold and yellow fuchsia made a bold statement. "We wanted to incorporate the colorful and vibrant décor of the groom’s Hindu background so we decided to have a marigold, orange, and saffron yellow color scheme," explains bride Justine.
A White Wedding
Alexa and David's alpine wedding was perfectly captured in their aspen-branch chuppah construction. Draped in diaphanous panels of ivory fabric and brimming with trailing floral arrangements, we can't think of a dreamier setup to exchange vows. An heirloom tallit created the canopy, a tradition that was also followed by the groom's parents at their own nuptials.
Incorporate Wood Elements
With a garden-party theme and a Brooklyn Botanic Garden venue, it's no surprise that Allison and Felipe's chuppah was designed to be one with nature. Precisely placed amidst a grove of trees, the wood-framed chuppah perfectly echoed its surroundings and didn't look at all out of place. Crawling greenery and blooms were entwined around the poles mimicking the rich summer foliage.
Hang Flower Curtains
For Willa and Beattie, it was paramount to keep the skyline views unobstructed during their Brooklyn rooftop ceremony. In a playful yet modernist take on chuppah construction, the frame was draped with strings of chrysanthemums that looked as if they were floating in mid-air. The sunset hues that streaked across the sky served as the inspiration for the color scheme.
Anna and Eric's mountainside nuptials had a decidedly camp-style aesthetic and their chuppah was no exception. With a rustic wooden design, the frame nailed the theme without obscuring the limitless views of the majestic Poconos in autumn. For florals, Italian ruscus and smilax vines naturally wound their way around the structure while blush garden roses and hydrangeas added softness.
Jackie and Matt's wedding focus was all on the panoramic mountain views, too. The simple wooden chuppah anchored the space without getting in the way of the vista, while bright blooms and verdant greenery spoke to the Laguna locale. To balance the setting without adding height, geometric lanterns and floral arrangements were set on pedestals of varying levels around the space.
Build With Birch
Letting nature speak for itself, Ilana and Grant opted for a chuppah built of thick birch logs for their Lake Michigan beach wedding. To keep with the coastal boho theme, the frame was topped with garden roses and flanked by bundles of olive and eucalyptus branches. “We really wanted the beauty of nature to do the talking,” explains Ilana.
Focus on the Front
Leura and Paige chose to exchange their vows on the front lawn of a historic Argentinian estate, surrounded by birds and the bounty of nature. The chuppah was kept simple and sweet, draped in a gauzy white fabric befitting the bridal event. Trailing greenery and a garland of pale-hued roses and hydrangeas established a beautiful focal point at the front.
While this suspended chuppah doesn't have four posts, it certainly has wow factor. With an indoor ceremony but lofty goals of achieving a warm and outdoorsy vibe, Anna and Joshua decorated the suspended structure with tons of organic foliage. Hanging candles provided the warmth and glow of any outdoor fête while bare wood and a rustic canopy added a homegrown texture.
Show Clear Intentions
Geo and Jay's indoor ceremony was surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the green environment just beyond. An ultra-modern lucite chuppah kept the interior space airy and crisp without sacrificing those gorgeous leafy views. Circular arrangements of roses, hydrangeas, and orchids in fresh hues adorned the top of each pillar.
Make It Pop
Erika and David's California ranch wedding was all about the vibrant Mexican flair that paid tribute to the bride's heritage. The simple chuppah was decorated with panels of airy, white fabric and punctuated with punchy arrangements of roses and anemones in fittingly bold tones. The combination of neutral colors and vivacious hues were perfectly juxtaposed against a bucolic vista of endless green (and sheep!).
A Multicultural Mix
Chanelle and Ben's industrial nuptial space was the perfect blank canvas for their organic and bold wedding style. The two sought to combine aspects of both of their distinct family heritages and customs throughout there wedding and especially during the ceremony. This unique chuppah highlighted their endeavors with a prayer shawl created by Ben's grandmother serving as the canopy and Ghanian kente cloths hanging from each pole to represent Chanelle's background. “We wanted it to respect both of our families’ traditions without being too overtly religious,” explains the bride.
Add a Personal Touch
Having chosen a Portuguese vineyard for their ceremony, Bari and Stephen wanted to bring in an earthy, romantic vibe with their chuppah. Tucked amidst gardens of olive trees, the chuppah was designed to evoke the natural beauty of the venue with pampas grass lining the structure and bold florals adding a bright pop of color to the base. The finishing touch was a custom tallit, gifted by the couple's families.