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A Ketubah literally means, "It is written."

Originally transcribed in Aramaic, ketubah text details a husband's obligations to his wife. A ketubah is a legal document created to protect a Jewish wife from financial ruin if she was to divorce or her husband was to die. Ketubah's can be traced back to biblical times and are one of the first documents written offering legal and financial rights to women.

Ketubah's are signed by the bride, groom and two witnesses before a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony. A ketubah can be written in Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or Egalitarian text. An interfaith ketubah is also a possibility. It is important to discuss your ketubah text with your Rabbi or Cantor before placing an order, as they may have specific requirements. Creating a beautifully ornate ketubah art is Sephardic (Jews of Spanish, Portuguese or African descent) in origin. Ashkenazi (Jews of Eastern or Central European descent) traditionally had less ornate or simpler ones.

Modern Ketubah's can be preprinted forms, ordered off the internet, with the bride and grooms names inserted into the blanks or original works of ketubah art. If an artist will be hand crafting a custom ketubah please allow approximately six months for him/her to finish the work. If ordering off the internet, less time will be needed.

Ketubah Art

Artists use varying techniques from lithography, silk screening, hand painting, hand lettering to gold-leaf embellishment to decorate the borders that surround the text.

The art work should be a reflection of the couples shared interests and passions. Modern ketubah design or traditional ketubah art can be used in the design. Birds, trees, waterfalls, the changing seasons, Jewish religious sites and symbols, signs of the zodiac, even favorite pets can be used to personalize this important document.

Many couples beautifully frame and prominently display their custom ketubah in their new home as a reminder of their Jewish wedding vow and commitment to one another.

Don't forget while this is a legal document you will still need to obtain a marriage license from the state where you reside.

Jewish Wedding Planner, 2007