Jewish Weddings - Everything You Need To Know.

The Wedding Day.

A special moment for all men and women that experience it.

You may be wondering:

What is it like to have a Jewish Wedding?

Well, allow us to explain it all to you..

The Wedding Proposal

If you want to know what the dating process is like for Jews, then check out our Dating a Jew article.

To reiterate, as far as how soon the Husband will propose to his Wife, it entirely depends on the individual.

It can be as soon as two dates or as long as twenty dates.

However, once he is ready, he will propose to his (soon to be) wife.

For Hasidic and Orthodox Jews, the man will propose, however the man and women do not touch until after their wedding day.

As far as the actual proposal, Jews of all religious levels still propose in the same manner. The man will get down on one knee and open up the ring to his (Soon to be) wife.

It is not Jewish Law for the man to get permission from the women's father. However, it is custom in many Jewish communities to tell the parents that you plan to propose to their daughter, as a sign of respect. Although if the parents do not approve of the man for their daughter then they do not have the power to stop the wedding from proceeding.

The Engagement

L’chaim Party

Once the Engagement is on, it is common for a L’chaim Party to be thrown.

L’chaim is Hebrew for:

"To Life"

So a L’chaim Party is another way of saying a celebration party for being engaged!

It would features friends and family to celebrate the joyous occasion.


Tenaim is where the families of the newly engaged couple will seal the deal.

It is marked official by both mothers from each family breaking a plate together.

The reason for breaking a plate is as a sign of commitment.

Both the man and women being committed to their marriage for life as a broken plate can never be completely repaired.

"Tenaim makes everything more concrete"

Find a Rabbi to Perform The Wedding Ceremony

Most of the time the wedding ceremony will be performed by the couples Rabbis from their communities.

However, if the couple wish to get married abroad then either:

Their Rabbi will travel to the destination


They will hire a Rabbi who is based in their wedding destination to perform the ceremony.

Pre Marital Counselling

The bride and groom will not engage in any physical touch until after the marriage.

As Orthodox Jews do not touch the opposite sex until after they are married...

To receive education on physical intimacy, both parties attend a Chattan (for groom) or Kallah (for bride) class.


Aufruf is Yiddish for: how we honour a bride and groom before they get married.

The engaged couple will be called up during The Torah Reading and receive a blessing.

One Week Before The Wedding

Stopping All Contact with The Future Spouse

Engaged Jewish couples will not see or speak with each other one week before their wedding.

During the day of the wedding, the Groom will come and put the veil over the Bride's face before the Chuppah ceremony. This will be their first team seeing eachother since the week before.

Sephardi Henna Tradition

Sephardi Jews have a tradition before the wedding to have a Henna Party where they paint the brides hands with henna for beautiful signs of protection.


Many brides and grooms will visit the Mikvah either before their Wedding day and/or the morning of their Wedding day.

The Mikvah is a place of spiritual purification.

It is common for men to also visit the Mikvah before they propose to gain spiritual clarity.

Jewish Wedding Ceremony

When are Jewish Weddings?

Jewish Weddings can take place during any day of the week apart from Shabbat (Friday night - Saturday night)

It is most common for Jewish Weddings to take place on Tuesdays and Sundays.

Do Jews Fast During Their Wedding?

On the day of the Wedding, it is normal for some Jewish couples to fast for the day up until their first meal together after the Wedding Ceremony.

Why Does The Jewish Bride Cover Her Face?

Here is a video by Rabbi Alon Anava that explains the Holiness of the Jewish Bride and why she covers her face at the Chuppah:

What is a Chuppah (Huppah)?

A Chuppah (or Huppah) is a wedding canopy where the Bride and Groom stand under when they are announced Husband and Wife.

In some Jewish Weddings, the 4 poles of the Chuppah may be held by male members of the family.

Chuppah translates to: protection.

Why Smash a Glass at Jewish Weddings?

The reason the Jewish bride and groom smash a glass at their wedding ceremony is to represent the destruction of the Jewish Temple.

It also reminds the couple to stay together through tough times.

It is not the time to focus on the seperation. Rather focus on the unity. So, instead of focussing on the breaking of the glass and the seperation, focus on the unity formed between the couple.

Smashing a glass is done at pretty much every Jewish wedding, regardless of how religious the Jewish couple are.

Here are some funny answers regarding smashing a glass at a Jewish Wedding:

Jewish Wedding Dress

The Brides' mother will go with her daughter to pick out her Jewish wedding dress.

The wedding dress is modest and will not expose any skin on the arms or chest.

It will also likely not be a tight fitting wedding dress that overly exposes female body parts for attention.

Jewish Wedding Ring

The Jewish Wedding Rings are plain gold rings.

There is actually no need for a ring to be bought in order for a Jewish wedding to take place.

However, it is common for the man to buy a ring for when he proposes.

What is a Ketubah

A Ketubah is the Official Jewish Contract that the Groom will present to the Bride at their Wedding Ceremony.

It contains information on both the bridge and groom and essentially is the Jewish Document that declares two parties, married.

The Ketubah will be signed before the actual wedding and members of the family will watch it being signed. It can be an emotional moment.

Jewish Wedding Party

For Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, the Jewish Wedding Party will involve seperate dancing for men and women.

In Israel, it is common for guests to give the Bride and Groom money as the Wedding Gift to help cover the cost of the wedding. This is not as common in Western Jewish Weddings.

As alluded to earlier in this article, Religious Jewish couples will have fasted up until the party so the bride and groom will enjoy their first meal together as a married couple. This will often be in a private room before the actual party.

If the Wedding is for an Orthodox Jewish Couple then there will be a mechitza at the party which is used to seperate the men and women.

Differences between Israeli Wedding and Western Weddings?

In Israel, weddings are a more 'open' event.

It is common to see big attendances for Jewish weddings in Israel.

For the western world, Jewish weddings are less open with the number of guests. This is not to say that there are not big Jewish weddings in the western world. But it is more common to see Western World Jewish weddings have a set guest list and planned seating.

After The Jewish Wedding Party

The newly married Jewish couple do not immediately go on a honeymooon after getting married.

Instead, they feast with friends and family for the 7 days that follow the wedding day.

This also gives them a chance to see friends who were not able to make it to the wedding.

Hasidic vs. Orthodox vs. Secular Wedding Differences

Orthodox and Hasidic weddings will be more or less the same.

The only differences would potentially be how see-through the brides veil is.

And how large the turnout is!

For Orthodox Jews, they may have a slight see-through veil for the bride and for Hasidic Jews they will completely cover the bride's face with her veil.

Hasidic Jewish Weddings will potentially have a bigger turnout as it will feature a more open approach to who can attend the Simcha (celebration).

Secular Jewish Wedding ceremonies will usually still feature a Chuppah, the wife will wear a Veil and the couple will smash a glass at the Wedding ceremony.

At Secular Jewish Wedding parties, the difference will be that it will likely feature mixed dancing with men and women.

There you have it!

I know pronounce you:

Officially understanding of Jewish Weddings!

Till next time!


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