The Ketubah Process

A ketubah, a written wedding document, is a beautiful way to capture the intentions and love of your marriage. We’re here to help you find your dream ketubah and support you all the way through the ketubah process. Whoever you are, those of all nations and all kinds of love, you are welcome here.

Step-by-step, here is the ketubah process:

  • -Consult with your rabbi or officiant
  • -Consider lead time
  • -Choose art
  • -Choose text
  • -Decide whether to have it personalized
  • -Place your order
  • -Send in fill-in form
  • -Approve proof
  • -Framing tips

Consult with your rabbi or officiant:
It’s helpful to start your ketubah process by talking with your rabbi or wedding officiant to see if they have any preferences or requirements about your ketubah. For example, do they require that you have the traditional Aramaic text or the Leiberman clause (which permits either partner to initiate divorce)? Are they happy to have an interpretive, modern, or liberal text?

Consider lead time:
When is your wedding? It’s never too early to look or to order a ketubah; most folks are ready to place an order at least 2-3 months before the wedding. Some ketubot are ready quicker than others. Some artists are local and can turn around a ketubah within 24 hours, in a crunch (some rush fees may apply). Most artists take about 4-8 weeks from the time you place the order to when the ketubah arrives. If you’re ordering a ketubah from Israel, we recommend that you allow 3 months to allow for delays as the package comes through customs. If you have any questions, feel free to call us.

Choose art:
We recommend you start with choosing the ketubah artwork that you like. Browse through the images on our site or flip through the options in the store, and narrow down what you’d like to have adorn your wall for years to come.

Choose text:
Each artist writes and copyrights their own texts. Once you’ve chosen the artwork you want, it’s time to look at the text options that artist has for that specific ketubah. For example, a given ketubah may have options for that artist’s Conservative, Interfaith, Same-sex, Humanist, or Anniversary texts. Copies of the texts are available on our website and in the store.

It is sometimes possible to customize the text by changing some of the words. The cost of this varies from artist to artist; if you’re interested, we can call the artist and find out more.

Decide whether to have it personalized:
Also called “fill-in,” personalization is when the calligrapher or artist fills in the blanks in the ketubah with your names, the dates, the places, your family names, etc. There is usually an additional cost for personalization (which varies by artist), but most couples opt to get it — otherwise, the ketubah will arrive with blank spaces for someone to hand-write your information. If you decide to have personalization, we’ll give you a form to fill in your specific information and get it to the artist. We’re happy to help with any step of this, including transliterating into Hebrew or spelling Hebrew names.

Place your order:
When you’ve got your ketubah choices all set, we’re ready to place the order! You’ll tell us the name of the ketubah, the name of the text you’re choosing, whether you’re having it personalized, and whether you want the finished ketubah shipped to Kolbo or to a home address. Some artists will send a proof copy of the filled-in ketubah for you to check, so we’ll need your email address to send the proof along to you.

Payment is taken at this point, and you’ll be given a copy of your order.

Complete fill-in form (if you’re doing personalization):
This is the time to be clear about exactly what you’d like your ketubah to say: how names should be spelled; whether you want your middle name listed; what the Hebrew date is, etc. If you have any questions at all, we’re here to help! We recognize that this can be a nerve-wracking step, but we’re here to make sure this detail-oriented process is a comfortable one.

We recommend having your rabbi or officiant look over the fill-in form before you send it to us, to help ensure accurate information. Once we have your completed fill-in form, we send the order off to the artist and they will get to work writing in your wedding information.

Approve proof:
If your artist is providing you a proof, a staff member from Kolbo will send it to you, and you’ll have the chance to make sure the artist filled in your information correctly. Sometimes mistakes happen, so it’s a good idea to be thorough in checking the artist’s work (and we will also look it over). If there are additional changes requested (for something other than artist error), additional fees may apply.

Framing tips:
Your ketubah will arrive rolled up and well-protected in a mailing tube; framers will be able to mount it temporarily on foam board or pre-mat it to sign and display at the ceremony. We often recommend Artful Edge in Allston.

And that’s it! There are many options, and we’re here to help. Always feel free to call or come in for assistance and to let us help make this celebration possible. Mazel tov!

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