Personalizing Your Commitment Ketubah Text

Although there are many options as to how your text can be completed, the way you list information on your order form is EXACTLY how it will appear in your ketubah.

For example, if you list your first name as a nickname (such as "Larry" instead of "Lawrence"), that is what we will print. We strongly suggest using proper names.

We will, of course, furnish you with a proof of your text for final approval before we print your ketubah.

English Names:

  • We need your given names and your parents' names. The bride will always use her maiden name or other current name. (She does not adopt the groom's name for purposes of the ketubah.) In English, for example, one party’s name might read something like "Miriam Alicia Bernstein, daughter of Rebecca and Isaac."

  • We do not include grandparents' names because it gets too wordy.

There are many small variations.

1. Middle Names: First, the decision of whether or not to use either of your middle names is yours.

2. Parents' Names: With regard to your parents' names, you may choose not to use them at all. If you wish to name your parents, please provide only their first names. This eliminates confusion when parents are divorced, the mother is using her maiden name as her middle name, etc. It also makes the texts flow more nicely.

3. Also, if you are using parents' names, please note that, in the Hebrew portion of your text, the father's name will appear before the mother's name. This practice is traditional. In the English portion of the ketubah text, the proper order is mother's name before father's name.

Hebrew Names:

  • Generally, you should provide your given Hebrew names (first and middle, if any) and those of your parents (again, first and middle). Last names are not used in the Aramaic portion of the ketubah text. (The exception: Israeli couples often ask to have their last names in Hebrew.)

Using our example of Miriam from the section above, and assuming Miriam's given Hebrew name is "Miryam" (no middle name), her name would read something like "Miryam bat Yitzchak v'Rivka." (The term "bat" means "daughter of," "ben" means "son of" and "v'" means "and.") Please note that the father's name is generally placed first.

  • If you know the spelling of your Hebrew name, please enter it into our Hebrew keyboard on the order form, and we will spell it EXACTLY the way it is entered.

  • If you do not know the spelling of your Hebrew name, just spell it out in English letters, and we will transliterate* it back into Hebrew characters using standard spellings, where possible.

  • The names of a non-Jewish party and of his or her parents will also be transliterated& into Hebrew.

You will have an opportunity to review these spellings with your officiant when you receive your proof of the personalized ketubah text.

* ("Transliterate" means to spell a word from one language using the characters of another language. For example, "shalom" is a Hebrew word that translates into "hello," "goodbye" or "peace." "Shalom" is a transliteration of this Hebrew word into English characters. Transliteration of foreign words into English characters allows us to pronounce the word, even if we do not understand its meaning. When an English name is transliterated into Hebrew, it will be spelled out in Hebrew characters so that someone who reads Hebrew can pronounce your name.)

  • If one or both of your parents are deceased, then we will indicate this in the Hebrew/Aramaic portion of the text by preceding his or her name with the abbreviation for the Hebrew words "zikron l'baruch," which means "of blessed memory."

Ceremony Date and Location:

We also ask for information regarding the date and location of your wedding ceremony so we can include this information in the ketubah text.

  • Both the Gregorian and the Hebrew dates will be reflected. (We can determine the Hebrew date for you.) Please remember that, according to the Hebrew calendar, days run from sunset to sunset. Once you pass sunset on a given Gregorian calendar day, you are actually on the next Hebrew day. For that reason, we ask you whether your wedding ceremony will take place before or after sunset. If it is taking place before sunset, the Gregorian date will correspond to the Hebrew date, as stated in a Hebrew calendar. If it is taking place after sunset, the Hebrew date on your ketubah will be the day corresponding to the day after the given Gregorian calendar date.
  • We also need to know the location of your ceremony. This will be in the English portion of the text and will be transliterated into the Aramaic portion. We must have the name of the city where the ceremony is taking place. (Or if the ceremony is not taking place inside city limits then you should indicate the nearest city). A county name is not sufficient.


Ketubah Personalization Form (Commitment version)

See also:

Ketubah Texts – About Commitment Texts


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