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The Short Version: In the Jewish tradition, a marriage requires a ketubah, which is Hebrew for a marriage contract. This isn’t just some document on paper. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of the husband and the wife, and it’s often the most sacred souvenir couples can have to remember their special day. For the last 25 years, Jewish and interfaith couples from around the world have purchased beautifully designed and personalized ketubahs from Ketubah.com. The website prints the Hebrew marriage contract and has artistic designs to make it stand out and reflect the couple’s relationship.
If a couple is looking to get married in the Jewish tradition, a few things are absolutely required. One is a ketubah, which is the Hebrew word for a marriage contract. A traditional ketubah outlines the rights and responsibilities of the newlyweds using language that dates back centuries.
Back in the olden days, Jewish leaders used a ketubah to ensure that women would be taken care of financially should the marriage end due to death or divorce. Today, it’s used to remind couples of the sacred nature of their relationship.
Ketubah.com sells beautifully crafted ketubahs that are meant to be displayed in the homes of the newly married Jewish or interfaith couple.
The ketubah has been a fixture in Jewish marriages for centuries, and it’s an important part of the wedding ritual — even if modern couples no longer adhere to its gender normative legalese. For example, the contract requires the man to provide food, money, and conjugal relations, and it used to include a set amount to be paid to the wife if a man sought a divorce.
Today, the ketubah is more of a decoration than a contract. It’s an ancient artifact from the Jewish tradition, and many couples are proud to hang it on their wall as a symbol of their faith, love, and devotion.
Ketubah.com has been part of this tradition for over 25 years and uses artistry to give this old tradition a fresh look and new meaning.
“We take ketubahs really seriously, and we try to have a fun time doing it,” said Michael Shapiro, the founder of Ketubah.com. “We have a great depth of expertise in terms of in-house printing capabilities and archival quality paper that’s color-accurate — which is why the artists love working with us.”
The idea for Ketubah.com started in the 1990s when Michael Shapiro saw an opportunity to use technology to connect couples with artists in the Jewish community. That way, a personalized ketubah wouldn’t be so hard to come by.
Michael left a job at a big corporation to spend time studying at yeshiva in Israel. While he was there, he networked with Jewish artists and saw their talent. That’s when his entrepreneurial spirit kicked into high gear. When he returned to the States, he wanted to open a gallery to feature a wide range of Judaica for a single geographic market.
The internet was still in its infancy at the time, so the idea to launch a website didn’t occur to Michael until he ran into a childhood friend. The friend mentioned that he wanted to build a website, and Michael hired him to create a virtual art gallery that would support Jewish artists. The website launched in July 1996, which was before Google.
The original website featured a couple dozen artists in a simple layout. The website specialized in selling ketubahs, and it became a leading online retailer within this niche. Ketubah.com currently designs, prints, and sells art to customers around the world, and it can personalize ketubahs based on the order.
Michael said Ketubah.com stands out from the competition because of the personal touch it can bring to a ketubah. He has committed to taking care of all kinds of engaged and married couples by offering a variety of texts (not just the traditional heteronormative text).
The team works with a couple to represent their personalities and turn their vision into a beautiful memento. Much effort behind the scenes is taken to ensure every ketubah is made perfectly — with particular care taken to get all the Hebrew wording exactly right.
Whether it’s an Orthodox ketubah or an interfaith ketubah, couples can rest assured that the rabbi won’t raise objections on their wedding day.
Recently, Ketubah has teamed up with jewelry designer and bridal authority Neil Lane on a special collection curated by the official ring designer for ABC’s “The Bachelor.”
When choosing a ketubah, most couples are working within their budget. Ketubah.com recognizes that and offers beautiful designs at multiple price points. Some of its simplest offerings are under $150, while its most expensive custom-made works can cost upwards of $600.
Some couples feel it’s worth spending the money on a once-in-a-lifetime ketubah that will be made precisely to their standards.
“Some prefer the ease of purchasing an heirloom quality printer-laser cut,” Michael said. “The custom route can be expensive, and it can be involved, but it can also be really meaningful for people.”
Browsing the online shop is the best place to start and get an idea about the different colors, themes, and types available for this document. The easy navigating tools help customers focus on what they want without getting overwhelmed with too many choices. Ketubah.com has a proprietary tool that guides couples through the process of purchasing, so they know the final product will come out right.
Ketubah.com can also help a couple find the Hebrew version of their names. Michael said it’s common to have a couple inquire about what to do if one spouse doesn’t have a Hebrew name. The experts can transliterate their names based on years of experience, so Jewish and interfaith couples have one less thing to worry about.
Many couples scroll through the website together to see for themselves the artistic styles on display. If they don’t have many requirements in mind, they can choose the do-it-yourself ketubah. This means the company will print the names and text only, and it’ll be up to the couple to choose a local artist to create the visual.
“It’s a good idea to have it ordered with the names built into the text,” Michael advised. “It costs a little extra, but it looks great. Plus, you’re able to avoid the situation where someone at the temple or the rabbi fills it in by hand to save the couple a few dollars.”
Of course, not all Jewish and interfaith couples are on a tight budget, and some are looking to splurge on a silver or gold ketubah, perhaps as an anniversary gift to a spouse, parent, or grandparent. Ketubah.com has a Luxe Collection to assist people who want to truly honor their relationship and create something special. The collection includes papercuts that are embellished with 23-carat gold leaf and authentic Swarovski crystals. What’s more, the multi-layered paper cuts are made to last for generations.
The Jewish wedding shop also sells a variety of essential items for a traditional Jewish ceremony. Couples can pick up a Chuppah, wine goblet, or breaking glass items. The Wedding in a Box provides all three items and could be a lovely engagement gift.
For 25 years and counting, Ketubah.com has been on a mission to make a couple’s wedding day as positive and memorable as possible. As founder and owner of the website, Michael said he couldn’t be prouder of the work his team accomplishes.
“I have the privilege of being a part of the most meaningful times of our customers’ lives,” Michael said. “We bend over backward to make it right. With all the stress related to the wedding, we get such positive feedback and praise in making sure that everything is right no matter what.”
In fact, the company even offers a money-back guarantee to provide extra peace of mind for couples ordering a ketubah.
Ketubah.com started out adhering to ancient cultural traditions, but the team welcomes nontraditional couples as well. The website has honored the orders of interfaith couples as well as LGBTQ+ couples, and the team recently adopted an option for non-binary gender language to accomodate all types of relationships.