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Same-Gender Modern Orthodox Jewish Wedding Ceremony (Feminine Version of Sheva Brachot)

This modified Modern Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony for lesbian and transfemme couples includes a feminine version of the Sheva Brachot (7 Blessings), a joint declaration of intent, signing and reading of the Ketubah, the Hakafot (dancing or circling around the spouse), a ring blessing, breaking of the glass, and more. Written by AMM ordained officiant Lori Prashker-Thomas. 

This is an original wedding ceremony script written by AMM Minister 'Rabbi' Lori Prashker-Thomas. 

 

This officiant script is written for lesbian and other femme couples who want to celebrate their marriage with a modified, modern approach to Modern Orthodox Jewish wedding traditions. It includes the feminine version of the Sheva Brachot (7 Blessings)

 

For a gender-neutral LGBTQ+ inclusive Jewish wedding ceremony script, try this one instead: 

 

 

KETUBAH SIGNING

Officiant

Before we have the ceremony, we will have the signing of the Ketubah. The Ketubah is an ancient document and is a marriage contract that lays out the couple's commitment to each other. It is signed by two (Jewish) witnesses, neither of whom can be blood-related family members to the bride and groom.

  • Participating in the signing: (Partner A) and (Partner B), Witnesses (non-relatives)

Unplugged Anouncement ​​​​  

  • Before the ceremony begins

OFFICIANT to the guests

Good morning.  It is my pleasure to welcome you to (Partner B) and (Partner A) ’s wedding ceremony.  Before we begin, I would like everyone to join me in the especially important and traditional custom of turning the volumes of your cell phones up as high as possible so that when somebody gets a phone call during the ceremony, we all know whom to blame.  Alternatively, please silence and put away your phones to be present in the moment with us.  The ceremony will begin shortly.

PROCESSION

OFFICIANT to guests

Please rise.

  • In this wedding ceremony the brides / marriers walk together down the aisle. when they reach their places up front, the officiant invites the guests to be seated. 

OFFICIANT to guests

You may now be seated

WELCOME 

OFFICIANT to guests

On behalf of (Partner A) and (Partner B), we welcome and thank you for being here to celebrate their unity in marriage.  By your presence here today, you support their decision to commit themselves to one another.

(Partner B) and (Partner A), I ask you to take a moment to turn and look at the faces here today.  Know that these are the ones who will be there to cherish and support you as you walk together in marriage.  Now let’s begin…

WELCOME TO CHUPPAH

OFFICIANT

We welcome (Partner A) and (Partner B) under the chuppah with a blessing…Bruchot ha’baot b’shem Adonai - Blessed are you who come in the name of the Eternal!  

LOVE STORY

  • This part of the ceremony is optional: Include details from the couple's love story. This may be a story of how they met, how they knew they were falling in love, some adventures or challenges they've walked through together, or any other details that capture the spirit of their love and relationship. 

INVOCATION

Officiant to the couple

Today in front of friends and family,  you both choose to unite your lives together as one.  Remember that everything you need already resides within you … all of the love, wisdom, compassion, and strength.  

You are not marrying each other in hopes of gaining these things but for the privilege of giving them as gifts that the other might have in even greater abundance.  Love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in the most unlikely of places.  And within this unfading radiance, this mysterious and magical joy is the greatest treasure of all - one known only by those who truly love.

DECLARATION OF INTENT

  • Note: IN A TRADITIONAL JEWISH CEREMONY, THE VOWS ARE RECORDED IN THE KETUBAH AND are NOT RECITED OUT LOUD BY THE COUPLE during the ceremony. BUT IN ORDER FOR MARRIAGE TO BE LEGAL , WE DO THE FOLLOWING "statement of intent" to marry.

Officiant to the couple

Please hand your flowers to others. (If the marriers are holding bouquets)

Please turn towards one another.

  • The couple turn to face each other.

(Partner A) and (Partner B) , it is not this ceremony or the state of being married that will truly join and hold you together, but your ongoing commitment to your relationship and the life you wish to make together.  In this way, your marriage will not be just a word; it will be more than that.  It will be an action, something you work to do every day. 

Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, do you come here freely today and without reservation to commit yourselves to each other in marriage?  If so, say ‘WE DO.’”

(Partner A) and (Partner B) 

We do.

OFFICIANT to the couple

 Will you be respectful and value one another as your equal, be open, kind, and patient, trust and have faith in one another, and be worthy of that trust?  If so, say ‘WE WILL.’”

(Partner A) and (Partner B) 

We will.

OFFICIANT to the couple

Marriage is an ongoing dialogue, a series of discussions that will help you find your way together.  Will you listen and communicate with each other fully?  If so, say ‘WE WILL.’”

(Partner A) and (Partner B)

 We will.

OFFICIANT to the couple

Every marriage requires a leap of faith.  Will you work, even when the work is hard, to honor your vows?  If so, say ‘WE WILL."

(Partner A) and (Partner B) 

We will.

OFFICIANT to the couple

And as your life unfolds before you, will you remain true to the promises you make this day?  If so, say ‘WE WILL.’”

(Partner A) and (Partner B) 

We will.

VOWS Exchange

OFFICIANT to the couple

Now that you have declared your intentions, I invite you to share your vows with one another.

Officiant to Partner B

(Partner B) , please repeat after me:

I, (Partner B)  take you, (Partner A) to be my ( wife/ spouse/ partner), 
my friend, my love, and my lifelong companion; 
to share my life with yours. 
To build our dreams together, 
while allowing you to grow with your dreams; 
to support you through times of trouble, 
and rejoice with you in times of happiness; 
to treat you with respect, love, and loyalty,
through all the trials and triumphs of our lives together, 
and to give you all the love I can give my whole life long.

  • The officiant will pause after each line, as Partner B repeats it.  

Officiant to partner A

(Partner A), please repeat after me:

I, (Partner A)  take you, (Partner B) to be my ( wife/ spouse/ partner), 
my friend, my love, and my lifelong companion; 
to share my life with yours. 
To build our dreams together, 
while allowing you to grow with your dreams; 
to support you through times of trouble, 
and rejoice with you in times of happiness; 
to treat you with respect, love, and loyalty,
through all the trials and triumphs of our lives together, 
and to give you all the love I can give my whole life long.

  • The officiant will pause after each line, as Partner B repeats it.  

HAKAFOT: Circling of the spouse

OFFICIANt to all present

In Jewish tradition, the (brides / marriers) circle one another to symbolize their protection of one another separately.  

(Partner B) will circle (Partner A) 3 times. (Partner A) will circle (Partner B) 3 times, and then (Partner B) and (Partner A) will join hands and walk in a circle together to show protection as a family.

  • The couple complete the circling as described. 

RING BLESSING 

  • Note: The officiant should Make sure that each person has the other’s ring in hand and ready to present.  

Officiant to the couple

(Partner A) and (Partner B), place each other’s rings on Pointer or ring finger on left hand and repeat after me: 

With this ring, I join my life with yours, 
in loving kindness, compassion and faithfulness.
You are my beloved and my beloved is mine,
 (Ani L’Dodi v Dodi Li)

  • The officiant pauses after each line as the couple repeats it. 

READING OF KETUBAH

  • The officiant reads the ketubah aloud. 

SHEVA BRACHOT : 7 BLESSINGS

  • The 7 blessings are included in Hebrew and English below. 
  • This is the Feminine version.

OFFICIANT to the couple

Having witnessed you declare your vows and exchange rings, your family and friends are excited to congratulate you and give you their good wishes.  I speak on their behalf as I convey blessings, the traditional seven in number, to you on your wedding day.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּֽפֶן.
 Blessed are You Eternal, our G-d Ruler of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהַכֹּל בָּרָא לִכְבוֹדוֹ.
 Blessed are You Eternal, our G-d Ruler of the universe, Who created everything for G-d’s glory.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, יוֹצֵר הָאָדָם.
 Blessed are You Eternal our G-d Ruler of the universe, Creator of humans.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר יָצַר אֶת הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּצֶֽלֶם דְּמוּת תַּבְנִיתוֹ, וְהִתְקִין לוֹ מִמֶּֽנּוּ בִּנְיַן עֲדֵי עַד. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, יוֹצֵר הָאָדָם.
 Blessed are You Eternal our God Ruler of the universe, Who created humans in God’s image, in the image of the likeness You formed humans, and prepared for humans from G-dself a building forever.  Blessed are You G-d, Creator of humans.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, מְשַׂמֵּֽחַ צִיּוֹן בְּבָנֶֽיהָ.
 Blessed are You G-d, Who makes Zion happy through her children.

שַׂמֵּֽחַ תְּשַׂמַּח רֵעוֹת הָאֲהוּבוֹת כְּשַׂמֵּחֲךָ יְצִירְךָ בְּגַן עֵֽדֶן מִקֶּֽדֶם. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, מְשַׂמֵּֽחַ כַּלָּה וְכַלָּה. 
 Make greatly happy loving friends like You made Your creation happy in the Garden of Eden previously.  Blessed are You G-d, who makes happy bride and bride.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה, כַּלָּה וְכַלָּה, גִּילָה, רִנָּה, דִּיצָה וְחֶדְוָה, אַהֲבָה וְאַחֲוָה וְשָׁלוֹם וְרֵעוּת. מְהֵרָה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ יִשָּׁמַע בְּעָרֵי יְהוּדָה וּבְחֻצוֹת יְרוּשָׁלָֽיִם קוֹל שָׂשׂוֹן וְקוֹל שִׂמְחָה, קוֹל כַּלָּה וְקוֹל כַּלָּה קוֹל מִצְהֲלוֹת כַּלּוֹת מֵחֻפָּתָן וּנְעָרִים מִמִּשְׁתֵּה נְגִינָתָם. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, מְשַׂמֵּֽחַ כַּלָּה עִם הַכַּלָּה. 
 Blessed are You Eternal, our G-d Ruler of the Universe, Who created joy and happiness, bride and bride, rejoicing, song, cheer and delight, love and peoplehood and peace and friendship.  Speedily Eternal, our G-d make heard in the cities of Judah and in the courtyards of Jerusalem a voice of joy and a voice of happiness, a voice of bride and a voice of bride, voice of exultation of brides from their chuppot and youths from their feasts of melody.  Blessed are You G-d Who makes the bride happy with her bride.

CLOSING words & PRONOUNCEMENT

OFFICIANT to the couple

(Partner A) and (Partner B) , today, you have stood before your family and friends and declared your intent to commit your lives to each other in marriage.  You have made promises to each other and to your family. 

I hope you will never forget the love and joy you feel today because these are the values that will keep your marriage, family, and bond to one another strong.

May your lives be perfect compliments to one another.
May your hearts be full of joy and also full of laughter.
May a smile adorn your face today and ever after.


BREAKING OF GLASSES

  • Officiant will place glasse(s) at the couple's feet. 

OFFICIANT to all present

We conclude today with the traditional Breaking of the Glass.  The breaking of the glass holds multiple meanings within the Jewish faith.  Some say it represents the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.  Others say it demonstrates that marriage has sorrow and joy and represents the commitment to stand by one another even in hard times.  It also reminds us that like glass is fragile, so are human relationships.  Once the glass is broken, it can never return to what it was.  

Officiant to the couple

As you both break this glass today, you will find it will take a conscious effort. (Partner B) and (Partner A), you are going to have to really stomp on it!  So, may your bond of love be as difficult to break as it would be to put back together these pieces of glass.  May the two of you strive every day to show love and respect to one another.

  • OFFICIANT Steps Aside, out of the way.

OFFICIANT to all

After the glass is broken, I invite everyone to shout the Hebrew words “Mazel Tov,” meaning, Good Luck and Congratulations but before the glass is broken, it is with great joy that I present (Partner A) and (Partner B)  married both in law and in love.

  • The couple stomps the glass.

Recession / Recessional 

  • The audience sings/chants “Siman Tov u'Mazal Tov” as couple leaves  
  • סימן טוב ומזל טוב

סימן טוב ומזל טוב
מזל טוב וסימן טוב
סימן טוב ומזל טוב
מזל טוב וסימן טוב

סימן טוב ומזל טוב
מזל טוב וסימן טוב
יהא לנו

יהא לנו יהא לנו
ולכל ישראל.
יהא לנו יהא לנו
ולכל ישראל
 
Good signs and good luck
Good luck and good signs
Good signs and good luck
Good luck and good signs!

Good signs and good luck
Good luck and good signs
For us!

For us, for us
And all Israel
For us, for us
And all Israel!
 

  • (Partner A) and (Partner B)  leave together 

YICHUD

  • Private moments in a room, this includes only the couple

 

 

ORIGINAL WEDDING SCRIPT BY ‘RABBI’ LORI PRASHKER-THOMAS.

 

Lori has always been a creative soul and a free spirit. She's a professional photographer & Co-Owner of ShadowCatcher Photography, LLC with her husband, Michael, and the Owner and Head Officiant at Ceremonies by Lori, based in Pennsylvania and serving New England, the Salt Lake City area, and other destinations. (Have passport, will travel!)

 

Lori first became an ordained officiant in 2011 through ULC, and continued her education to become an ordained "Rabbi" with American Marriage Ministries in June 2013. She is also a Certificated Wedding Officiant through the Wedding Merchant Business. Lori is a romantic at heart and loves to share that passion with her couples through her wedding ceremony scripts. Every ceremony should be as unique as each couple is.

 


 

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