Jewish Pre-Wedding Traditions


When it comes to a wedding, all cultures have their pre-wedding traditions. In some cultures, the bride and groom cannot see each other before the big day. In other cultures, tokens are passed between the bride and her ladies for luck. Here are some pre-wedding traditions within the Jewish community.

  • Aufruf- This is a public honoring of the couple who will be wed. This takes place on the Sabbath before the wedding day and begins with the soon to be groom reciting blessings that come before and after the first Torah reading. After the small ceremony has ended, the couple is normally showered by their community with nuts and candies, which is then followed by a meal of celebration.
  • Henna- These parties are held for the bride by the women of the family and friends. The bride is covered in different henna patterns that will adorn and protect her during her special day. The bride is typically fed sweets by her mother and future mother-in-law while friends and family talk about the special day ahead.
  • Separation- Like many other cultures, Jewish pre-wedding traditions call for the bride and groom to be separated before their wedding day. Traditionally, the separation period was a week prior the wedding day. However, more couples are now spending only a few days apart before their big day.
  • Fasting- Jewish tradition has the couple participating in a fast before their wedding day. The fast begins at sundown on the night before their wedding day and ends when the couple has their first glass of wine under the huppah. The fast allows the couple to enter their new life together with a clean slate.
  • Mikvah- This pre-wedding tradition is when the bride to be takes part in a bath ritual with running water. After the bath, a party is thrown with only the women in her life.



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