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Ketubah Basics

What is a ketubah?

A ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract and one of the most important and meaningful parts of your wedding ceremony. Designed by a talented artist, the document outlines marital responsibilities, while being set into a beautiful fine art background. Your ketubah is often the first work of art you will choose as a couple, making it even more significant.

Historically, the purpose of the ketubah was to ensure that a woman’s rights were protected during the marriage, and in case she is divorced or widowed. Today, not only does the ketubah represent the vows you have made to each other, it symbolizes tradition, commitment and love.  The ketubah is signed by the bride and groom and is the official contract between them. The marriage truly begins with the signing of the ketubah. It is not only an official and personal document between bride and groom, but a piece of art, displayed in your home as a reminder of your commitment to each other.

Couples can choose from countless styles of ketubah, from traditional to abstract to modern, depending on taste and wedding budget. There are also a wide variety of texts available from each artist ranging from orthodox to interfaith and humanistic to anniversary.

Your ketubah should be something you choose together and a design you both love, as it will forever represent your life together.

What decisions will we need to make when choosing our ketubah?
There are several things you will need to consider when choosing your ketubah. These include style, design, text and whether or not you wish to personalize your ketubah. If you’re having trouble, we’re here to help. We can guide you through the process, making it as easy and pleasant as possible. Have a question? Just ask one of our experts and we’ll do whatever we can to assist you.

Who signs the ketubah?
There are usually five signature lines (for the groom, the bride, two witnesses, and a Rabbi or officiant) for Hebrew / English ketubahs. For Orthodox and Conservative texts there are generally two witness signature lines under the Aramaic text. If you would like know what signature lines are on the ketubah you have chosen, just ask us and we’ll confirm it for you.

Where are your ketubahs printed?
All of our ketubah designs are limited edition prints signed, numbered and provided to you by the artists. We are proud to be an Artist Direct retailer. All ketubahs come directly from the artists. We do not print in house.

How do I order my ketubah?
Once you place your order or contact us, you will be assigned a ketubah expert who will guide you through the entire process. Once you decide on a ketubah, please print and fax us our personalization form to have your ketubah personalized for you. We can assist you to transliterate all the information and Jewish date. If you are getting married by an Orthodox or Conservative Rabbi, we recommend that you print the personalized form and have your Rabbi fill in the Hebrew part and fax it back to the number provided on the form.

How can we check on the status of our order?
Simply email us or call our toll-free number and we can let you know. Once your order is shipped we will provide you with the tracking number.

Why buy a ketubah from us?
There are many reasons you should buy your ketubah from us, least of all being our personalized, friendly service. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and do everything we can to ensure you end up with a ketubah that best represents your union, on time and on budget. We are one of the most experienced ketubah galleries in the world, having supplied thousands of ketubahs and trusted online service since 1996. We have over 500 beautiful ketubahs on display which means there is something for every taste and budget. Finally, all of our Ketubot are Artist Direct. This means that they come to you directly from the artist, signed & numbered, and are not printed in house. They are true works of fine art that will only inprove with age.

What are our payment options?
We accept all major credit and debit cards. You can also use your PayPal account.

Will there be any additional taxes added to our order?
There are no taxes on orders placed from & shipped to the United States and minimal taxes on most Canadian orders. We make every effort to ensure no taxes or duties are added to ketubahs shipped outside their country of origin, but taxes & duties vary so your ketubah may attract fees we have no control over.

How long will it take to receive our ketubah?
We pride ourselves on providing ketubahs faster than anyone else online. Our normal time frame is 10 days for non personalized ketubahs and 4 weeks for personalized ketubahs. So it depends on what type of ketubah you’ve ordered.  HOWEVER almost every ketubah can be shipped within a week but rush fees will apply. If you need a ketubah fast...call us toll free at 888-884-3004.

Can I order a ketubah as a gift for someone else?
Absolutely! A fine art wedding certificate makes a unique and special gift for anyone, Jewish or not. The process is the same as if you were ordering a Ketubah for yourself. Just remember to get the personalization information from the couple and send the form back into us if you are purchasing a personalized ketubah. Alternatively you can contact us to purchase a Jessy Judaica gift certificate.

Can I enclose a gift message with a ketubah order?
Including a gift message with a ketubah order is a nice idea. If this is something you’d like to do, simply email us the message as a Word document and we will include it with your order.

What do we use to sign the ketubah?
It’s best to use an archival quality, acid-free, waterproof pen to sign your ketubah. These can be purchased & tested at most art supply or stationary stores.

Can we change the colours of our ketubah?
Changing the colours of your chosen ketubah is considered a custom order and prices vary according to each artist. Once we know what you have in mind we can contact the artist and get an estimate for you.

How do we protect & transport our ketubah?

Many couples ask us how we recommend they protect & transport their ketubah from the time they receive it until the time they have it framed.  Here is what we recommend at our gallery. Any reputable framer or handy person can do this. All materials are available at any art supply or craft store.

We recommend that you make a “Ketubah Sandwich” using 2 pieces of foam core, some tape and old fashioned picture corners. Never allow anyone to temporarily mount your ketubah using tape or glue.  Carefully cut 2 pieces of foam core to be about 4 inches larger than your ketubah on all sides. For example, if the ketubah measures 15”x25”, the foam core should be 23”x33”.

Next, using old fashioned photo corners which you can buy at any art supply store or crafts store, attach the ketubah to one piece of foam core. You do this by sticking the corners on the foam core so that the ketubah corners can slip into them.  Carefully lay the second piece of foam core over the ketubah (making a ketubah sandwich) and tape the 2 pieces of foam core together at the top. A second small piece of tape at the bottom will secure the 2 pieces of foam core.

Your ketubah is now safe to transport and display. Simply remove the tape at the bottom and flip the top piece of foam core over. You can sign the ketubah as is…(just don’t press too hard) and put it on an easel for display during the wedding party.  Just put the top piece back in place and re tape to take it home.

How accurate are the colours on our computer screen?
We make every effort to ensure the colours you see on our websites match the colours of your chosen ketubah, but since every computer screen is different we are not able to guarantee a precise match.

How do we frame our ketubah?

Our ketubahs have been created with the finest materials available. A few simple precautions will insure that their quality will be maintained throughout the years.  Proper framing will provide a dry and dust-free environment to protect your art; most professional framers will comply with these requests:

1) All materials that touch artwork should be ACID FREE (100% rag, museum or archival quality.) This includes the top and back mats, and any tape or adhesives.

2) Glass should not touch the artwork. A top mat (4 ply), or the use of a shadowbox frame will be sufficient to lift the glass.

3) When using a top mat, I recommend leaving a minimum of 1/4” border around the image. Keep the mat borders to approximately 3” all around; a larger border on the bottom of the image is acceptable..

What are anniversary ketubahs?
An Anniversary Ketubah is the ultimate anniversary gift. Nothing is more unique and personal. Anniversary ketubahs are a lovely way for anyone, Jewish or not, to celebrate a wedding anniversary. An anniversary ketubah pairs an anniversary ketubah text with a design that commemorates a couple's love and commitment to each other. 

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