Wedding Customs (Not Halachot)
The couple does not see each other for seven days before the wedding. They may speak on the phone.
On the Shabbat before the wedding, the groom has an aufruf at which he receives an aliya.
What the Bride Buys
The bride buys for the groom:
- Talit and kittel,
- Watch, and
- Set of the Talmud.
She also pays for the wedding except for what the groom pays for (see below).
What the Groom Buys
The custom is for the groom to pay for the band, photos, video, flowers, liquor, and wine.
NOTE: In Eretz Yisrael, it is customary for the bride and groom to split the wedding expenses.
A prenuptial agreement is permitted but it must state that the ketuba gets settled separately.
Groom to Mikva
The groom goes to mikva on the wedding day.
The groom and bride each have a guardian (shomer/shomeret) with them from daybreak of the wedding day (some grooms have a shomer from the aufruf) until they are married.
Tanayim are written before the main ceremony and two guests are honored as witnesses. The tanayim are read out loud.
Accompanying the Bride and Groom
There are various customs about who accompanies the bride and groom but none are halachically required.
The chuppa should be under the open sky (via a skylight) or outdoors where practical.
Bride Circles Groom
The bride walks seven times around the groom counterclockwise, as seen from above, and stands on the right side of the groom.
Someone sings baruch ha’ba… for the groom and brucha ha’ba’ah for the bride.
Drinking the Wine
The mesader kidushin does not drink the cup of wine but the bride and groom normally do.
It is not traditional for the bride to give a ring to the groom, and it is forbidden for the bride to give a ring to the groom at the chuppa.
Reading of the Ketuba
After the blessings on the wine have been said and the wine has been drunk, the ketuba is read. This separates the two sets of blessings.
Second Cup of Wine
The second cup of wine is given to the groom by the father of the bride and to the bride by the mother of the groom.