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The Chupah Escorts

The Chupah Escorts

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The bride and groom are led to the chupah by escorts, usually the couple's parents.

The escorts support and encourage the young couple who are on their way to the most momentous moment of their lifetimes; preventing them from becoming emotionally overwhelmed on their way to be wed. Additionally, royalty are always escorted by an entourage. On the day when they are likened to king and queen, the bride and groom are accompanied by a personal "honor guard."

The escorts must be married couples, providing living examples of loving and happy married life.

The escorts are married couples, providing examples of loving and happy married lifeWhile only a total of four people officially escort the couple, others may follow and join the wedding party under the chupah. In fact, in many communities it is customary for the grandparents of the bride and groom to join the escorting entourage.

If the bride and/or groom's parents cannot perform this ritual, then any other Jewish married couple may have the honor -- grandparents, married siblings, aunt and uncle, close friends, rabbi and rebbetzin, etc.

Similarly, if the parents of the bride or groom are divorced, or if, G‑d forbid, one of the parents is widowed, another couple serves as the official escorts. Many also have the custom that the female escort should not be (visibly) pregnant at the time. This, however, should not prevent the divorced, widowed, or pregnant parents from joining the entourage. If this is done sensitively, it will be practically imperceptible to the audience who the "real" escorts are.

In some cases, an exception may be made where a non-married but closely related duo—such a father and sister of the bride/groom—may be the escorts, but a rabbi should be consulted in this matter.

In most communities, the groom is escorted by his parents and the bride by hers. In chassidic and certain other communities, the groom is escorted by his father and father-in-law (with his father to his right), and the bride is escorted by her mother and mother-in-law (with her mother to her right).

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg is a writer, editor and director of the curriculum department at the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute. Rabbi Silberberg resides in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Chaya Mushka, and their three children.
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Shaul Wolf Chabad.org July 19, 2015

Re: In the case of a convert, an additional couple should be chosen to escort the bride and groom. The parents of the converts may still join the entourage, and stand beneath the Chuppah. Reply

Anonymous Baltimore July 5, 2015

What about in the case of a convert? Would the convert's parents not be allowed to walk down with the bride and/or groom since they are not Jewish? Reply

Shaul Wolf Chabad.org June 16, 2015

Re: If either the bride or the groom has divorced parents, the custom is that they choose a different couple to accompany them to the Chuppah. The divorced parent still joins the entourage, it is only that they are not the official escorts. Reply

Chana miami June 10, 2015

escorting the chosson v'kallah So if one of these have a divorced parent, he/she must choose a married person? or is it that that by married person the implication is couple ? Also, if one of the parents is divorced , they cannot escort the chosson or kallah? ( which technically there would be 3 people doing the escorting: e.g. the father stand in, the father in law, and then the divorced father.) Can the divorced be under the chuppah at all? Reply

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