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Frequently Asked Questions about Custom-Print Ketubot
A ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract, which has been in use for over 2,000 years. The traditional texts are written in Aramaic, the commonly-spoken language of the Middle East at that time, the language of the Talmud. In a traditional text, the khatan, the groom, agrees to honor, support and provide for his wife. The document outlines what she will receive in case of divorce or if he dies. The ketubah guarantees the kallah, the bride, a certain amount of economic security.
While many couples use a version of the traditional text, many prefer to use a text composed in contemporary times that reflects the spiritual and emotional values of the couple. I offer a number of texts which express such ideas.
There is a Jewish value of “Hiddur mitzvah,” the beautification of a mitzvah. When you choose a beautiful border to accompany the text of your ketubah, you are following this precept. It makes your ketubah a family heirloom that will endure, a constant reminder of your intentions on your wedding day.
We created this term to describe the printed ketubot we produce because our abiity to customize the ketubot is a key part of what defines them. Peggy starts the process by creating a background/border design, usually painted with watercolors, or with other media. The designs are scanned and Joe does a lot of work to enable the design to be printed in the intended colors, or even to improve on them. The ketubot are giclée prints, which means they are printed with an inkjet printer on specially-prepared rag paper with archival inks. Your Hebrew text is typeset with a choice of two fonts, Ashkenazi or Contemporary, which we have made from Peggy’s hand-lettering. The result is a text which looks hand-lettered. The English fonts we use are well-designed, chosen for their beauty, following calligraphic principles of lettering design. Because the texts are typeset in full, rather than filled in on a pre-printed text, there are no distracting gaps in the texts or letters squeezed to fit in a too-small space.
You will want to consult with the rabbi or officiant of your ceremony to find out what requirements or expectations there might be. You can then look at the choices that are suitable. Because of our Custom-Print Ketubah process, you may edit your choice of text; select sentences from another text to include, or write your own text. As long as you send the English text in the body of an e-mail letter, there is no extra charge for that customized or custom text. The text example is shown as a rectangle, but itwill be shaped to fit the border.
Our Custom-Print Ketubah process enables you to supply your own text or edit one of ours. There is no extra charge for a customized or custom English text as long as you send the English text in the body of an e-mail letter. The price shown for the cost of the ketubah includes the personalization of your text. We do charge $100 to typeset a text in another language.
We can print your text on Arches 90# hotpress paper, a rag paper we use for original art. If you want to print it on another paper, please send a sample we can test. If you want to paint a watercolor wash and have us print on that, please prepare a few versions in case one isn’t successful. Please call for pricing on this kind of special order. Hand-lettering is also an option for this. Calculate the cost at $50-100 for setup plus $1.25 per word.
We can prepare a text in any alphabet written in Latin, Cyrillic or Hebrew alphabets, such as Russian, Yiddish, French, Spanish, etc. There is a $100 charge for any lanugage we need to typeset, that we can’t receive correctly in an e-mail. We will send you a proof to proofread before putting it into the chosen border.
Just download ur Order Form from the page at this link. The form is in pdf format and you may type into it on your computer by clicking on the "Typing Tool" button. If your computer has Hebrew fonts installed, you may be able to type with Hebrew letters where appropriate. You may email completed forms to us or send them by regular mail.
Since the text can be fully customized, we will accommodate the number of witnesses you would like to have. Traditionally, only two male witnesses, not related to the couple, sign the ketubah. However, many couples adapt this custom to include women, or increase the number to give more people the honor of being a witness. Consult with the rabbi or officiant and let us know how many spaces to include.
Many couples want to sign the ketubah as well, and often also have the rabbi or officiant sign.
We have created marriage documents for Quaker weddings with fine lines added so everyone at the wedding can sign it. We’ve added this to some ketubot as well, after the lines for the witnesses.
9. What if one of the couple or a parent doesn’t have a Hebrew name, or doesn’t know how to spell it?
If the person in question is Jewish, this is a wonderful opportunity for him/her to select one, perhaps that of a respected relative, one with a meaning that is significant, or for another reason. If s/he doesn’t want to do this, we are happy to transliterate the English or other-language name into Hebrew letters. If you can write a Jewish name out in English letters, we are happy to provide correct Hebrew or Yiddish spelling. If it is in another Jewish language, like Ladino, please ask an expert for the spelling in Hebrew letters.
If the wedding happens after sunset, the Hebrew date will be that of the following day on the calendar.
Just tell us the date, whether it is before or after sundown, and we will look up the correct Hebrew date.
Depending on how quickly each step of the process goes, we can complete the order in 2-4 weeks. We will work to get it to you to meet your deadline. If the order is placed less than three weeks before the wedding, there is a $50 rush charge. We once were able to fill an order and ship it for a wedding the next day. There is a $100 charge for a rush order with just a few days to ship it. Your prompt approval of the proof helps expedite the order.
Yes, you will receive an e-mailed proof to see how the border and text look when combined, and will be asked to carefully proofread the text. Please provide an e-mail address for the rabbi or other resource person who will proofread it for you. With some designs, we ask you to proofread the text first, then we will send a final proof of the art and text combined.
We will reprint it with the corrections. If it is our mistake, there is no charge. If we printed it as approved, and the mistake was found later, we charge $25 for the reprint, plus shipping.
A black ball-point pen or a felt-tip pen with waterproof ink will be fine. We use Pigma Micron 02 black archival ink pens, and you can order one on the order form.
This is not a good choice, for two reasons. We would have to create a version with blank spaces of the appropriate length for your information, so there would be no cost-saving. The second reason is that the special coating on the paper makes it difficult to write on it, so writing more than a signature would be difficult.
We offer two shipping options: sent in a tube or held on a piece of white foam core and enclosed in a clear bag, suitable for display. If we send it in a tube, you can have a framer create a mat and backing for it, and if you order from us flat, you can take it to the wedding as we shipped it.
The main concern should be using high quality, acid-free materials. UV glass will protect it from the fading effect of sunshine; don’t hang it in direct sunlight.
We accept personal checks, Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. We place the charge between the time of beginning the work on the order and shipping it. If you visit our studio, cash is another option. Sales tax is charged when a Massachusetts resident places the order.
Not at all! Many couples who are not Jewish are adopting the custom of commissioning decorated marriage vows. Quakers have a long tradition of calligraphed marriage contracts and having all those present signing as witnesses. Parts of our English texts or a text of your own can be incorporated into a border. If Hebrew quotations in the border inspire you you may choose to keep them, or on many of our designs, they may beremoved or changed. We can typeset in other languages as well.
If you are in the area of Northampton, Greenfield, Shelburne Falls, North Adams, or Amherst, Massachusetts, or Brattleboro or Bennington, Vermont, you are welcome to visit the Gan Eydn Gallery and see Peggy's display of framed original and Custom-Print ketubah samples. We are about 2 1/2 hours West of Boston, 2 hours North of Hartford, and about 2 hours East of Albany, NY. She can also send you miniature sample ketubah so that you can see the actual colors and paper that your ketubah will be printed with. Please call 413-624-3204 or email for an appointment and directions or to request samples by mail.
Your options are to have the ketubah shipped in a tube or flat. A ketubah sent in a tube is rolled in a clear acetate envelope which can be opened for signing. Shipping it flat keeps the acetate envelope smooth and the ketubah itself is held with corner strips on a larger piece of foam core. This allows you to remove the ketubah for signing and then to place it on an easel for display during the ceremony.
Contact Peggy Davis at 413-624-3204 or email firstname.lastname@example.org