A lot of people contact us about an upcoming wedding. They need a tallit and need some questions answered. What exactly is the wedding tallit for? That can vary. Here's one vague inquiry we received this week:
Hello. Can you please send me the correct Tallit required for a wedding? Thanks, Paul T.
I told Paul that to help him out, first I'd need a better picture of what he had in mind and what he meant by "required for a wedding." Sometimes a tallit is used instead of a chuppah (wedding canopy). Some people for the groom to wear the tallit during the chuppah ceremony. And even for those who don't need a tallit for either of the above,there is a custom for bride or the bride's family to buy a tallit as a gift for the groom. If it's not needed for the wedding at all, most Ashkenazim do not wear a tallit until they get married, so the gift is intended for synagogue use as a married man.
Paul told me "the tallit the bride's family buys, as a gift for the groom, and to be worn under the chuppah." This primarily a Sephardic wedding custom that is now not uncommon among Ashkenazim as well.
With that in mind, I suggested that he go to this page, and decide whether he'd prefer black striping, blue striping or white-on-white, and then click on that sub-category.
Most people of his height, around 5'10", would wear a size 60 or a size 70. If you like it long and elegant (down to the back of your knees), go with a size 70; if you'd rather have a more manageable 3/4 length, then a size 60, which will hang down four inches higher. We have a Tallit Size Wizard to walk you through all the numbers.
If you find it overwhelming to wade through our wide selection of different tallits, on most of the category pages, if you scroll down beneath the photos you'll see a guide that explains the differences between the various options.