What Pen Should I Use When Signing My Ketubah?

One of the most common questions we get asked is, “What pen should I use to sign my ketubah?

Our suggestion depends on whether your ketubah is created on paper (such as Verona or Hahnemule) or if it is a canvas-or-wood ketubah. Read below for each.

Signing a Heavyweight Giclée Paper and Hahnemule Décor Giclée Print?

Mazel Tov! You’ve taken your Paper Ketubah perfectly out of the box, and you see the beautiful texture and traditional feel of the paper. No ordinary pen will do!

We recommend the standard for fine-art prints: an archival pigment ink pen. You should be able to find one in your local framing store, or online! We often the type of pen that we recommend is the Sharpie Grip Pen – Medium Points. For Heavyweight Verona and Hahnemule Art Giclée papers, this is a magical pen that combines everything you would want in a Ketubah-signing pen. This pen will make sure your signatures stands out no matter what Ketubah design you choose. You can buy this pen on Amazon.com here. (Or if you can’t find this pen, look for any “Permanent Market” — with a tip no thinner than 0.7mm. The best you could do is go to an artistic store and try them out!) However, there’s a better option that’s also affordable… Dum-de-dum…

If you want to go all out, and want the luxurious best-of-the-best pen, but that’s still affordable — the best one on the market for use on a ketubah, we’d definitely recommend Sharpie’s Stainless Permanent Marker. This pen is more expensive than our standard recommendations above, but worth every penny. You can buy it here on Amazon.com.

Like most things in life, nothing is perfect and the drawback to this particular pen is that the ink is very wet, so the drying time is going to be a little longer, and you will have to be extra careful when signing.

Gold Marker Pen

Signing a canvas, wood, or metal ketubah?

For Canvas, Wood, and Metal Ketubot we recommend the Sharpie Oil Based Paint pen — fine point. Oil paint has been around for centuries, and the reason why it is so popular, is because it lasts forever -almost-. These pens are super fast drying, they come in a ton of colors, and grabs onto the Canvas and never lets go.

You can buy this perfect pen for canvas, wood and metal here via Amazon.com.

You can also use any oil-based pen, that is fine point, and you’ll be fine. If you want to go for a medium point pen, that is also do-able although not our artist’s preferred recommendation.

*Pro Ketubah Tip*: All recommendations have a similar drawback, they are not ready to use right out of the box. Make sure you follow the instructions on the side of the pen that explains how to mix the paint and get it to flow into the tip, and like a new car, these pens need to be broken in, we suggest using the pens to write a love letter to your fiance, that should give the pen a good work out and make sure it is ready for the signing. And the day of the signing, bring some scrap paper so everyone can practice their signatures.

Some pen-related tips

After you received the Ketubah of your dreams and picked out the perfect pen, the very last element to this beautiful tradition is shining, of course! Here are a few quick tips to think about when approaching the signing of your Ketubah:

Have the signing pen and a spare sheet of paper available, to test the pen and practice signatures, this is particularly important if you have not practiced your Hebrew signatures in a while and are feeling excited, and to get a feel for how fast you can write, most of these pens are not normal so people need to get comfortable with them..

Advise the Ketubah Party that there will be wet ink! Avoiding ugly smudges can be prevented! Give the heads up to all signers to be very careful, and mindful of previous signatures, take your time between each one, and if you are having your rabbi fill the text in for you, do this ahead of time so there is no rushing around, that is a recipe for disaster.

Give ample drying time for the signatures, on all print mediums for all pens. Humidity, lighting and temperature can all affect drying time — don’t risk touching the print too soon!

Happy signing! We can’t wait to see a picture :)


How Is ThisIsNotAKetubah Different From All Other Ketubah Artists?

This Is Not a Ketubah prides ourselves on being unique in the Ketubah world. Here’s how–no other Ketubah team that we know of does the following:

  1. Unique Modern Ketubah Art: If you want a Ketubah that looks like the traditional, papercut, grandmother-style… we’re not for you. We are the first to bring the Modern Masters of art to the Ketubah universe. You won’t find Ketubah art like ours anywhere else.
  2. Museum-Quality Material Options: Instead of using just one type of printing process and paper, we can use five different ones–on any of our ketubot! Depending on what your tastes are, we can do it. Read all about our various material options, from heavyweight paper to fine-art giclée paper to various canvas options… and more!
  3. Obsessive, Personal Customer Service: Here at This Is Not a Ketubah, we are obsessed with customer service. We are fanatical about attention to the client. Every client gets personal attention; we work non-stop (I am writing this on a weekend afternoon!); we answer our phones (347-627-0022) — and, for our clients, we’ll go all out to do whatever you want, to ensure you have the ketubah of your dreams. Any request you want, we’ll do it, so long as we reasonably can. You want the text in Polish? We’ll do it! We need you to bubble with joy! We will hold your hand, guide you through the process — and do it with a smile and a laugh and good energy!
  4. We’ll Change the Colors To Make Your Ketubah Art Unique: Ketubahs not unique — dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people have bought this same ketubah before you. We love working with couples to change the colors of their ketubah, as an easy — and affordable — way to make your ketubah personal, just for you.
  5. We’ll Make Any Design Tweaks Or Changes You Want: We can also change any designs you want, too–such as, making the romantic couple look more like you two! Many couples love this, as a way to make the art very personal.
  6. Every Ketubah Has Affordably-Priced To Luxurious Price-Points: We began with the belief that everyone should be able to get a ketubah of the highest quality, at any price point, no matter how little money you have. This is why, for each of our ketubot, we offer them from the most affordable price ranges (our starting price point of $215 is around the lowest on the market!). How much money you have in your bank account should not stop you from getting the ketubah of your dreams!
  7. All Ketubot Are The Same Price–Simple Structure, Simple Prices and Simple Process: Often, ketubah artists and ketubah stores price their ketubot in confusing and weird ways, with every price being completely different or using complex structures to calculate it. We value both simplicity–and have one, consistent and unchanging price, no matter how popular any ketubah is!
  8. Our Profits Go To Ieladeinu, Argentina’s Jewish Orphange: This Is Not a Ketubah was founded with the mission of supporting Ieladeinu, Argentina’s Jewish orphanage. Our team is composed of amazing artists that have been volunteering at Ieladeinu for years, and This Is Not a Ketubah began as an effort to raise money for them.
  9. Secret Surprise Gift: When your Ketubah arrives, make sure you check our box for every little detail–because, with all ketubot, we send a special unique gift for you. You will be filled with so much surprise and excitement. You will love it!


The Ketubah Creation Process: How We Work And What To Expect

Creating a ketubah can be confusing: what do all these crazy words like glicée mean? When they talk about “personalizing” a ketubah, what is that? How long does it take, and what will you expect from me? Don’t worry, don’t worry–we’re here to make the process quick and smooth. But it still does involve you making a bunch of choices.

Here is, basically, how we will work together to make your dream ketubah happen.

First, you need to make six basic choices before we start. These are:

    1. Artwork: Which is ketubah artwork is just right for you? You should only buy one of our ketubot if you are jumping with joy over it — if you think it’s really amazing and captures what you’re looking for. We only want to work with people who love our art as much as we do!


  1. Size: What size Ketubah do you want? We print Ketubot in all sizes–you name a size, we can probably do it for you! Our three most common sizes are 13×19.5, 16×24, and 20×30. The 13×19.5 is bigger than a normal sheet of paper but still fairly small; it is a great keepsake, perfect if you’re going to tuck away your ketubah. The 16×24 size is the most common and it looks great on your wall. The 20×30 really captures your eye and becomes the focal centerpiece of any wall it’s on. So, the best size depends on where you want to put the Ketubah.
    • Our usual recommendation: 16×24. (Unless you plan to store it, and are ok with only one text, in which 13×19.5 is good; or you want it to be the centerpiece of the wall, for which 20×30 is perfect.)
  2. Personalization: Do you want us to fill in the text? Ketubah texts usually come with blank spaces for each bit that is about your wedding: “On this date of _________, the groom, __________ and the bride _____________” as compared to, “On this date of January first, 2012, the groom, Daniel Schonberg and the bride Myriam Schneider”. We can fill in the personalized information for you, in our calligraphy and font so that it looks exactly like the rest of the text. The advantage of us filling it in for you is that it looks much better, with a smooth consistency of all the text, and the only thing you need to write in is to sign it. The disadvantage is, many people love it when their rabbi fills it in for them — it is very intimate and personal, and wonderful if you have a very close relationship with your rabbi.
    • Our usual recommendation: personalize it (unless you’re close to your rabbi)!
  3. Texts: What ketubah text do you want to use? And in which languages? Here’s the breakdown: most Orthodox and traditional Jews use the standard, Aramaic text. Most Conservatives use the same traditional text–with the addition of The Lieberman Clause (allowing women to initiate a divorce). Most reform and intermarried Jews use… whatever text they want! You can choose from our texts, or give us one of your own.
    • Our recommendation: the standard Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform text, depending on your affiliation. We happen to prefer Hebrew-only text, although the majority of our couples prefer both Hebrew and English texts.
  4. Material: What material do you want your Ketubah printed on? We offer a range of materials, and the key breakdown is this: the Perfect to Store: VERONA GICLEE FINE ART PAPER is excellent giclée paper, used for museum-quality art. The Perfect to Frame: Hahnemüle Giclée Fine Art Paper – Mounted is the old-fashioned Ketubah paper, it’s the highest quality printing paper and looks marvelous. This is great if you want the Ketubah to look like a traditional ketubah or if you want to hang it magnificently with wonderful matting. We also print directly onto a canvas –and this is perfect if you want to hang it. Perfect to Travel with: Rolled Canvas (the canvas is rolled up so you can easily travel with it); or Perfect to Hang: Wrapped Canvas (directly on a wooden frame, so you can hung it up right away, directly on the wall!).
    • Our recommendation: We love printing it on canvas, so it has the feel of artwork, or if you prefer paper, then then Hahnemüle Giclée is as good as it gets.
  5. Color Uniqueness: Do you want to keep the original colors in the Ketubah, or change any to make them unique just for you, to match your favorite colors or where you will hang it?. We offer this unique option–so you can take a standard work of art and make it unique for you, just to have the perfect colors you like. We can make other changes as well, to make it unique: we can change the image of a character in the ketubah to look more like you two, for example. How would you like to make it unique?
    • Our recommendation: to leave the colors as they are, unless you have a particular favorite color palette, or you know where in your house you want to put it, so it can match

Once you’ve made these decisions, the next step is to buy the Ketubah! On our web site, fill out the Ketubah purchase form on the site.. There are three pages the purchase form is on: The Keep-It-Simple Ketubah is just the combination of the above choices to print on the smaller (10x15in) size and on heavyweight paper — but you can upgrade to any other variation. The Classic Ketubah option is just the combination of the above to print in the average (16x24in) size, on the Canvas. And the À La Carte Ketubah lets you choose any possible combination of the above — including lots of giclée options!

When you’re filling out the form — don’t forget to check the box for the rush ketubah if your wedding is within 3 weeks! If not, you might not get it in time!

Filling out the purchase form on the site to order your ketubah doesn’t charge your credit card — so no fear! It just sends us a message that you’re interested in buying. We then review your order manually — usually, Jacob does it — and send you a message within one business day to either confirm the order or let you know if we have any questions. We usually then send you the invoice at the by the end of the same business day, via Paypal. You can pay the Paypal invoice using your credit card, even if you don’t have a Paypal account.

Once you’ve paid, then: if you ordered an unpersonalized ketubah, we’ll confirm everything, ask you your address — and then ship it. Shipping usually happens within one week for an Endura ketubah, or two weeks for a glicée decor ketubah.

If you ordered a personalized ketubah, we will then mail you a PDF of our questionnaire for the personalization information. This is questions like, “What is your name in Hebrew?” that we need to fill out both. You should bring a print-out of that form with you to your Rabbi, and fill it out together. Once you’ve filled it out, snap a photo of it on your phone and email it to us.

Once we receive the photo of the personalization form, we’ll integrate it into the text. Then, we will send you and your rabbi an image of the text to confirm it is all fine. Either confirm it, or let us know what the rabbi wants changed, and we’ll make the changes. This process usually takes a week–but the longest and most time-consuming part is usually just waiting for the Rabbi to respond. Rabbis are so busy often they just take a long time!

After the Rabbi signs off on the text… then, voilà! We’re done! Everything confirmed, double-checked, triple-checked — and we print your ketubah and ship it to you.

The process is usually takes about four weeks. The work itself is very quick and very easy, but it’s often the delays in-between waiting for each person to get back (for meet with the Rabbi; for the Rabbi to double-check; for us to print the ketubah; for the mail service to deliver it; etc) and the whole process, start-to-finish, takes a few hours total–but spread about over about a month, usually!

Whether it is personalized or not, once we ship your ketubah, we will send you a Fedex tracking number, so you can know exactly where the package is at all points–ensuring it is en route!

Here’s the best part: opening our package. You’ll loooove opening your ketubah box. Why? We include, with every ketubah, a surprise. Make sure you check the box to make sure you find the surprise!

Sound complex? Don’t worry–the point of this article is to explain every tiny complex annoying detail. Here’s how it plays out: we’ll hold your hand, answer all your questions, and make sure everything goes smoothly and fun!


Congrats On Choosing Text Personalization!!

Mazal Tov on your Ketubah order. This is exciting, and we can’t wait to get started creating your Personalized Ketubah!!

But, here’s one detail to note:

Last Minute Text Changes Could mean you need to pay for Rush Shipping!
We’d love to make any custom changes to the Ketubah or its text, and get your Officiant’s approval to make sure they’re happy with the text — and that’s included in our fees already! However, if you want any custom changes or the Rabbi wants to make any changes within the last 3 weeks before the wedding, then we’ll need to rush to do the custom changes and get it to you on time, so we wil use the shipping method necessary (2 day or Next Day). If we get all changes beforehand, then there’s no fee, of course. So, just make sure you get us any changes you want and we get your Rabbi’s approval or changes as quickly as posible.

We almost never have to charge this fee — We want your Ketubah process to be as stress-free as possible, and making any changes as soon as possible will make your wedding preparations easier. We promise!

Team Ketubah

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