The seven benedictions under the chuppah are recited by the rabbi or others who are given the honor. They should be read only in the presence of a minyan, which may include the rabbi, the groom, witnesses, and parents. The benedictions are not to be recited by the groom, although the tradition refers to them as birkhot chattanim, groom’s blessing. Maimonides expressed shock that a groom should recite the blessings since the benedictions are designed to bless, congratulate, and pray for him and his bride. If no one else can recite them but the groom, he may do so.

The benedictions cover many themes—the creation of the world and of humanity, the survival of the Jewish people and of Israel, the marriage, the couple’s happiness and the raising of the family. It puts the state of marriage into a dynamic relationship with the beginning and end of history—the Garden of Eden and the expectation of the Messiah. The first three blessings have nothing directly to say about the marriage itself, but they form the foundation of the nuptial benedictions that follow. The last blessing is the climax of rejoicing, with the chanting of ten synonyms of joy that reach a crescendo in the praising of G‑d who rejoices the groom with the bride. The seven blessings are as follows:

1. "Blessed art Thou, O L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe who hast created the fruit of the vine."

ברוּךְ אתּה י-י א-להינו מלךְ העוֹלָם  בּורא פּרי הגָפן

Under the chuppah, the blessing over wine is the first blessing read, although it appears to be more appropriate as the last, immediately prior to the drinking of the wine. It is read last only when the Sheva Berakhot are recited at the end of the meal on the seven festive days. Custom has it that when several people are honored with reading the blessings under the chuppah, the person who recites the wine blessing should recite it in conjunction with the one following it.

2. "Blessed art Thou, O L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who has created all things for His glory."

ברוּךְ אתּה י-י א-להינו מלךְ העוֹלָם שהכּל בּרא לכבודוֹ

This is the only occasion at which this blessing is recited. It is a simple but eloquent tribute to G‑d in the midst of a large assemblage and is equivalent, one might almost say, to kiddush ha-shem, the public sanctification of G‑d’s name. The question is why it was confined only to the nuptial service. Rashi answers that at this most important moment in life, it was considered appropriate to pay gratitude for divine kindness in enabling us to survive. Abudarham notes that the betrothal could have served as the setting for this blessing as well, but that the nuptials were considered the very peak of joy and the legal definition for the joy.

The Midrash records that G‑d appointed angelic escorts for Adam and brought ornaments for Eve at their wedding, and that He arranged seven chuppot set up in Paradise, on which the Rabbis patterned the seven benedictions. The wedding, then, is the time to be grateful for His greatness. Rema remarks that the wedding, which is designed to increase G‑d’s creations and is a living demonstration of Isaiah’s phrase that G‑d did not create the world for it to be abandoned to chaos, is a testimonial to G‑d’s creativity. When is it more appropriate to sing of the glory of G‑d than at the symbolic accomplishment of G‑d’s work? This moment also represents the miracle of the fusion of disparate natures, which the Sages considered as difficult a job as the splitting of the Red Sea. It is the basis on which all society exists.

It is also a reminder to the couple that there is no more profound suggestion than that life goals should not be selfish, but should be designed for the betterment of the world and the glory of G‑d.

3. "Blessed art Thou, 0 Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, creator of man."

בּרוּךְ אתּה י-י א-להינו מלךְ העוֹלָם  יוֹצר האָדם

4. "Blessed art Thou, 0 Lord our G‑d, King of the universe who hast made man in His image, after his likeness, and bast prepared for him, out of his very self, a perpetual fabric. Blessed art Thou, 0 Lord, creator of man."

בּרוּךְ אתּה י-י א-להינו מלךְ העוֹלָם אשר יצר את האדם בּצלמו בּצלם דמוּת תּבניתו והתקין לוֹ ממנוּ בּנין עדי עד. בּרוּךְ אתּה י-י יוצר האָדם

Image and Likeness (Tzellem—Tavnit). "Image" (tzellem) is a term that can be used only for G‑d, who has no corporeality. "Likeness" (tavnit), from banoh (which means "to build" and relates to a gathering of components into one whole), refers to a person. It therefore may not be used to describe G‑d, only man. The Rabbis, in formulating the blessing, therefore referred to "His [G‑d’s] image," and in "his [Adam’s] likeness." Our highest obligation is to develop the image of G‑d in which we were cast. The human being occupies the physical form tavnit, that G‑d specifically intended for Adam, in order to house the spirit which is cast in the image of G‑d. At the moment of marriage, the message is unmistakable—not only man’s soul, but his body, too, is of divine origin. Do not live like an animal; strive to live so as to enhance the image of G‑d.

A Perpetual Fabric (Binyan Adei Ad). G‑d created man and woman, and in their fusion He created a perpetual fabric. It is a structure (binyan) in which two people together can reach into the future, to create banim (children).

Creator of Man. Rashi tells us why we need two blessings of G‑d the "Creator of man." The first of the two, he says, is for the first account of creation in Genesis, before woman was created, which apparently has no direct relevance to the marriage ceremony. It was included merely as an antecedent for the sake of the second blessing, which is for the creation of man and woman.

Celebrating the creation of man and woman equally conveys the sense of the dual destiny of the human being. Despite the difference in sex, both are created in the image of G‑d and both are included in the covenant. Both together are accorded the title of "man"; Adam alone is not. Judaism, despite sometimes intemperate statements of scholarly individuals, does not consider woman an inferior sex.

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik analyzes the two blessings in great depth. The two blessings are of different formal structure. The first is a short form, as in the blessing over food. The second is a long form and contains a formal opening, "Blessed art Thou...", and a formal conclusion, "Blessed art Thou, O L-rd, Creator of man." These structures represent two forms of creation—the "natural" man and the "transcendental" man.

The natural man, described in the first account of creation (Genesis 1:27-28), belongs to a biological category. On the day he was created, most animals were created, and he is subject to the laws of animate nature. "Transcendental" man, described in the second account of creation (Genesis 7:20-24), belongs to a higher religio-ethical-social category. Natural man is given the mission to be fruitful and multiply and conquer the earth—to civilize the world. Transcendental man is a spiritually-attuned being—he is given moral commands by G‑d. The term "ad-nai," G‑d, is introduced here and, as Judah ha-Levi notes, that speaks of a mature relationship between G‑d and man. Natural man is nonreflective; transcendental man is self-conscious. One is physical, the other metaphysical.

The natural man of the first account of creation is outer-directed, at home with the society and with nature, never experiencing loneliness. Transcendental man is inner-directed, dreadfully alone, desperately needing a human partner. Woman in the first account of creation is part of man—a biological unity. Only in the second creation is she created ezer ke’negdo, a helpmeet opposite him, a spiritual human being. Together they form an ontological unity.

The first blessing is the short form. The laws of nature are unchanging, there is no individuality. Each being, man or animal, is only a representative of the whole species, nothing more. In this natural philosophy, marriage has no meaning but the perpetuation of the species. The short blessing is like a blessing over vegetables, "Blessed art Thou, O L-rd, King of the universe, who created the fruit of the earth." So, here, for natural man, "Blessed art Thou O L-rd, King of the universe, Creator of man."

The second blessing, which represents transcendent man, is the long form, as in the blessing at the Torah. It speaks of G‑d’s likeness, de’mut tavnito—a new image, a spectacular and exciting panorama, tzellem elokim, the image of G‑d and the fusion of personalities that reaches into the future to create binyan adei ad, a perpetual fabric. Living on this level requires Torah teaching for the development of the religious and ethical dimensions of life.

5. "May she who was barren be exceedingly glad and rejoice when her children are united in her midst in joy. Blessed art Thou, 0 Lord, who makes Zion joyful through her children."

שׂוֹשׂ תּשׂישׂ ותגל העקרה בּקיבּוּץ בניה לתוכה בּשׂמחה. בּרוך אַתּה י-י משׂמַח ציוֹן בּבניה

Her Children. The previous blessing refers to a "perpetual fabric," while this one addresses itself to the barren woman bearing children and of their subsequent uniting in joy.

Barren (Akarah). Rashi says that akarah, as in Isaiah (54:1), refers to Jerusalem, the symbol of Zion and, in a larger sense, to the entire Jewish people. In this sense, the blessing speaks of Jewish survival—the people, the Torah, the Hold Land. She may be taken for barren, but in fact her seed will grow and will return to her boundaries to repel foreign invaders and alien ideologies. Mother Zion, pictured as grieving for the loss of her children, is rewarded by G‑d and rejoices as she sees her children return.

At every Jewish wedding, there is a special guest: Mother Zion, glorifying in her children as they gather in joy. Judaism is refreshed and renewed. Am Yisrael chai—the Jewish people lives.

6. "O make these beloved companions greatly rejoice even as Thou didst rejoice Thy creation in the Garden of Eden as of old. Blessed art Thou, O L-rd, who makest bridegroom and bride to rejoice."

שׂמַח תּשׂמַח רעים האהוּבים בּשׂמחךָ יצירךָ בגן עֵדן מקדם. בּרוּךְ אתּה י-י משׂמחַ חתן וכלה

Beloved Companions. Being in love is not enough to ensure successful marriage—this requires companionship. In the history of religious literature, it is only since the Protestant Reformation that friendship between husband and wife became a basis for marriage. Khoren Arisian notes, "This was actually a harking back to Judaic precedent (compare the Song of Songs 5:16: ‘This is my beloved, and this is my friend’) as well as to a medieval ideal. Inherent in the reformer’s stress on friendship in marriage was the belief that love in the form of friendship between husband and wife should actuate a marriage. This emphasis became a new dimension in marriage which has continued into our own day."

Bridegroom and Bride. Commentaries pondered the meaning of the subtle difference in the concluding phrases of the last two blessings: "Bridegroom and bride" and "bridegroom with bride." It is obvious that the change was purposeful.

Rashi, the master commentator, says that the penultimate blessing, while recited at the wedding, was actually a prayer for the success, sustenance, and well being of the two as fiancés before the wedding. Hence the use of "and." They are two separate individuals who will only later come together. The last blessing refers to them at the conclusion of the wedding when they are already married. Hence "bridegroom with bride"—together in joy.

7. "Blessed art Thou, 0 Lord, King of the universe, who has created joy and gladness, bridegroom and bride, mirth and exultation, pleasure and delight, love, brotherhood, peace and fellowship. Soon may there be heard in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of joy and gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the jubilant voice of bridegrooms from their canopies, and of youths from their feasts of song. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who makest the bridegroom to rejoice with the bride."

בּרוּךְ אתּה י-י א-להינו מלךְ העוֹלָם אשר בּרא שׂשׂוֹן ושׁמחָה חָתן וכלָה גילה רינה דיצה וחדוה אַהבה ואַחוה שׁלוֹם ורעוּת מהרה י-י א-להינוּ ישמע בּערי יהוּדה ובחוּצוֹת ירוּשָלים קוֹל שׂשׂון וקוֹל שמחה קוֹל חתן וקוֹל כּלה קול מצהלוֹת חתנים מחפּתם וּנערים ממשתּה נגינתם. בּרוּךְ אתּה י-י משׂמחַ חָתן עם הכּלה

This last blessing is the only one of the seven that is cast in the form of a petition: "Soon may there be heard..." It is also the only one which may be recited at the table after the meal and during the "seven days of feasting" following the wedding, without the presence of a minyan, but with a minimum of three men. It is a summary of the themes of the previous blessings: creation, joy, bride and groom, Mother Zion.

In this blessing we reach the crescendo of joy, reciting no fewer than ten synonyms for happiness—"joy," "gladness," "mirth," "exultation," "pleasure," "delight," "love," "brotherhood," and "peace," and ending with "friendship" —for the bridegroom with the bride.

Following the seventh blessing, the bride and groom sip the wine. The rabbi’s address, if there is to be one, is delivered either now, before the ceremony begins, or after the reading of the ketubah.