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I have been to various weddings having different structures and shapes to the chuppah (wedding canopy). Among the more notable chuppot that I have seen are:

  • a plain white cloth on wooden poles held by 4 people (like in "Fiddler on the Roof").
  • Same as above, but with a tallit as the cover.
  • In one place, there were no poles - just 4 people holding the tallit.
  • Huge lace "veiling" on top and on the poles, making it look like a giant cloud.
  • An arbor - looks like an open "succah" with vines resting overhead
  • Huge flowers around Romanesque columns and leaning over the top

Are there any recommendations in halacha on the form, shape, materials, used in the chuppah and are there any halachot (a linked source will do, if a list is too long) on what may be prohibited to use for the chuppah?

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Nitei Gavriel Nisuin1 - 16:2 says it is best that the poles should be anchored into the ground, however in note 3 at the bottom he brings from Igros Moshe OC4 70:7 that it is not necessary to delay a Chupa if it is not anchored and people may hold the poles.

On the next page he mentions that the Minchas Yitzchak 5:30 says that leaves and flowers should not be used for the roof of the Chupa as it is Chukas Hagoi.

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