Traditionally, a Ketubah served as a legally binding marriage contract for Jewish couples. It was basically a one-sided pre-nup that outlined the rights of the wife, and the requirements of the groom.
It is a statement of law that provides the framework of love. – Chabad.org
Historically, these Ketubahs made a lot of sense. They offered women legal protection in their marriages in an otherwise largely patriarchal and sexist society.
Nowadays, many couples prefer a more equal approach to marriage and Ketubahs have become mostly symbolic works of art that represent love and commitment instead of legal responsibilities.
Today, many couples choose to replace the traditional Aramaic text with modern marriage vows written in Hebrew or English, or both and the artistry has been taken to a whole new level.
While I was hoping to keep things old-school and have Mike sign a contract that’d he’d always take out the trash and I’d always get the pick for movie night, we instead agreed on a more egalitarian text:
Here in the presence of our family and friends, we make a vow to honor and cherish one another for all of our days. Joyfully we shall journey through life, always remembering this moment and this promise of love and commitment. Today we venture forth, knowing that our union strengthens and elevates us, and we will be more compassionate and better people for it. We bring to this union our own unique qualities and dreams and will strive to flourish as individuals, as we integrate our hopes and aspirations as a couple. Together we will build a home based on our faith, traditions and values. May our home be filled with blessing, generosity, laughter and song.
I’ll share our own Ketubah design later on, but meanwhile, here are some gorgeous Ketubahs from around the web.
An elegant and intricate design:
A colourful, traditional Ketubah:
A simple Ketubah for the minimalist couple:
A stunning papercut Ketubah:
A vibrant and modern print:
For the couple that loves matzo ball soup, and each other:
Which is your favourite?