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What’s a ketubah?


Originally a ketubah (כתובה in Hebrew) was a prenuptial agreement in the Jewish faith.  Now a days, a ketubah is  a marriage certificate that  articulates the couple’s love, commitment, and plans for the future.  It’s kind of like marriage vows expressed through both words and visual art.   A ketubah is not only a lovely custom and a beautiful tradition, but it can also be a source of inspiration for  a long and successful marriage.  My husband likes to say that our marital contract is something we renew every morning.

Although a ketubah is still a very important part of Jewish wedding tradition, it is a beautiful custom and has become popular in all different faiths and cultures.  Even Prince William and Princess Kate got a ketubah!


“Ketubah” can also be spelled katuba, ketuba, katubah, katubbah, ketubba and many other ways! Because it is a translation of Hebrew (כתובה) so there is really no right or wrong, but “ketubah” is the most common spelling in English.  The proper way to say “ketubah” in plural is “ketubot”, but since most people don’t know that, on our site we go with the English version: “ketubahs.”


 

What should a ketubah look like?

Your ketubah  art is a visual expression of your love, and therefore should look beautiful to both of you. Your ketubah will stay with you for the rest of your life together, so make sure to pick art that you really love and will be proud to display in your home.   There is really no set standard for how your ketubah should look or what the artwork should portray.  I come from a background of fine art and contemporary figurative painting, so many of my ketubahs retain modern figurative qualities, but fuse them (sometimes literally!) with symbols for life, love, strength and home (such as trees and nature!) as well as elements of traditional Judaica.


What should the ketubah text say?

There are many different approaches to ketubah text. Sometimes your rabbi will have a specific text that he wants you to use. Sometimes a couple prefers to write their own text, one which they feel best expresses their unique love story and relationship.  We offer a variety of texts including Reform, Egalitarian, Interfaith,  Same Sex, Conservative, Traditional and Orthodox.  All of our texts can come in either English or Hebrew/Aramaic or both and all of my ketubah designs can also be created with any text of your choice.   


photo by Wes Craft Photography

How did you get started creating art for weddings?

I have been drawing and painting my entire life. I studied fine art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where my focus was in figurative and portrait art.  After college I moved to New York and later to Jerusalem, Israel. It was in Israel that I fell in love with the colors, imagery and symbolism of the Middle East. My art started to reflect this new aesthetic.  When my husband and I were planning our wedding, I painted our ketubah. It was such a wonderful process because I felt that both creating the artwork and choosing  the text for our ketubah was an opportunity to channel all our feelings of love and excitement into this one piece of art.  After our wedding, other people started asking me to create their ketubahs… and the rest is history!  I feel that in specializing in ketubah art, I have really found an amazing outlet that allows me not only to be creative and paint all day, but also to meet so many wonderful people at such an exciting time in their lives. It’s an honor to be a part of their journeys. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketubah