1. There are many important rituals to observe when a couple participates in a Jewish wedding. The marriage holds many Jewish traditions and symbolism that have to be followed, however, the special occasion is one of joy and happiness between both families and friends. The marriage in the Jewish religion indicates a brand new beginning between the newlywed.
2. The bride is known in Hebrew as the kallah and the groom is called the chatan. The Jewish and Yom Kippur wedding are very similar in their customs]. Fasting is a requirement in both and the couple starts their fast at dawn and breaks it after the wedding ceremony. The groom wears a white robe called a kittel, this is also worn on Yom Kippur.
3. It is customary for the couple to not see each other in the week leading up to the ceremony. Just before the ceremony, separate receptions are held for the chatan and kallah and is known as Kabbalat Panim. The mother of the bride and the mother of the groom will break a plate, to symbolize the consequences of a broken relationship. The actual Jewish wedding marriage ceremony takes place under an open canopy, called a chuppah. It is the tradition that this takes place in the open air underneath the moon and stars.
4. The bride and groom should not be adorned with jewellery, in order to reveal their real selves without decoration. As they stand under the chuppah, the kallah circles round the chatan for a total of seven times. This is to symbolize the making of the earth in seven days. Wine is also a very important substance in the wedding, as it high lights joy and happiness. There are two special cups used during the wedding, one is used during the blessing in the ceremony, and the other is used after the ceremony.
5. The giving of the ring must involve a plain ring of gold, with no stones or ornament of any kind. In Jewish law, the couple is married as soon as the ring is placed on the bride’s finger. The chatan must make a promise to protect the kallah with food, shelter, clothing and emotional support. The marriage contract, called the ketubah, is signed by two witnesses.
6. On completion of the ceremony, the newlyweds retire to a room and break their fast. Then the couple and their guests come together to celebrate their Jewish wedding with food, music and dance. As with all cultures, weddings are important landmarks and an opportunity for those concerned to express their religious beliefs.