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:
- 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!
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.)
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)!
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.
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.
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!