The most popular wedding chuppah canopy sizes are 5.5’x5.5’ and 6’x6’, if my experience making custom canopies is anything to go by. Over the past few years I’ve created close to two hundred custom-made chuppah (aka huppah, huppa) canopies, and these are by far the sizes that clients request most often.
These sizes provide ample space under the chuppah for the wedding couple, an officiant, and a small table for the ketubah and wine.
To give you some perspective on how much elbow room this gives everyone under the canopy, event planners typically recommend about 8 square feet per person for a standing cocktail party. That provides enough room not only for people to stand comfortably, but also space for people to move easily around the room. If you figure three people standing comfortably under the canopy use a total of about 24 square feet, and a small table takes maybe two square feet too, then these two popular chuppah sizes provide plenty of floor space:
5.5’ x 5.5’ = 30.25 square feet
6’ x 6’ = 36 square feet
If you want more people from the wedding party standing under the chuppah during the ceremony, or the wedding is especially formal, or you’d like a chuppah that will create drama through its size, you might want something larger, like 7’ x 7’ or 8’ x 8’. Eight-foot square chuppah canopies are fairly popular, primarily because the chuppah frames available through synagogues and other organizations are often this size.
7’ x 7’ = 49 square feet
8’ x 8’ = 64 square feet
I occasionally get requests for canopies as large as 10’ x 11’ or 11’ x 12’, which offer 110 square feet and 132 square feet of floor space, respectively. You can see that as you increase the dimensions of the canopy the square footage underneath can increase dramatically.
Over the past wedding season, I’ve seen a resurgence of small chuppahs, with clients requesting canopies sometimes as small as 5’ x 5’. A five-foot-square chuppah provides a little bit more floor space than typical large tallit prayer shawls, which are about 4’ x 6’ and which have been used for chuppah canopies for centuries.
4’ x 6’ (typical large tallit prayer shawl) = 24 square feet
5’ x 5’ = 25 square feet
The hand-held chuppahs that I have been renting for more than ten years now have canopies that are 5’ x 5’ or 5.5’ x 5.5’. The 5-foot-square size works wonderfully for intimate ceremonies and small or informal spaces like backyards, restaurants, museum spaces, and –on more than one occasion—zoos.
One final, quick point: When you think about chuppah sizes, be sure to give a thought to the height. And if your ceremony will be in a small space, be sure to check the ceiling height so you know the height limit of your chuppah.
Find my custom chuppah canopies on Etsy: Custom chuppah canopies