Who Buys The Ketubah? (Can I Give the Ketubah as a Gift?)

Here’s a common question we get: Does the couple need to buy their ketubah themselves; or can someone else give them the Ketubah as a gift? The subtext under this question is, Who buys the Ketubah?

Our answer:

The Ketubah was traditionally given to the couple by someone very close to the couple — such as a parent, sibling, or best friend. Often, however, the ketubah was purchased by the couple themselves.

Since the Ketubah is something that the couple will hang on their wall, it is something they will see every day of their life — and they will think of you. This is the reason why it makes sense for someone very close to the couple to buy it.

Imagine, this exaggerated situation: you have a vague acquaintance that you invite to your wedding. He buys you your Ketubah. You’ll think of him when you see the Ketubah — but isn’t that weird? You barely know him! On the other hand, if it’s a gift from one of your parents, or your brother or sister to whom you’re close, or your best friend in whose house you grew up — then that is special and intimate.

This is in a similar class of tradition as, the father of the bride buying a tallis for the groom as a gift, or the best man buying a kiddish cup — I’ve seen these variations of the tradition as well. The difference is, you rarely use the special tallis, and you also rarely use the kiddish cup. But the ketubah art hanging on your wall: you will see it every day of your life.

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