Today, the ketubah is less of a prenuptial agreement and more of a representation of a couple's commitment to their marriage. Couples can choose from Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform versions, and also make changes to modernize and personalize the text (however, your rabbi should still approve your chosen verbiage). Many couples opt to include an English translation beside the Aramaic or Hebrew text. The ketubah is signed before the ceremony – in a room separate from the rest of the celebration – by the couple, their rabbi, and two witnesses who traditionally are not related to the bride or groom. Some rabbis may also require that the witnesses are male; again, determine what your tradition permits before signing the document.
Now, moving on to the fun part: creating your ketubah design! The idea that the ketubah is a piece of artwork to be shown off is a relatively new development of the last 30 years. From watercolor to laser-cut to gold leaf, today's ketubot feature some truly awe-inspiring techniques and designs. A number of websites allow couples to order their ketubah online; or, you can work with an artist to create an original style. After the wedding, frame the document and display it proudly in your home!
Get inspired by the gorgeous ketubah designs from real weddings, below:
Opening photo by Mi Belle Photographers