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Approved Dates for a Wedding

Approved Dates for a Wedding

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General Notes:

  1. Aside for the auspiciousness of a given date, other considerations also play a role in setting a wedding date. See Wedding Preparations for more information on this topic.
  2. The following list is for weddings taking place outside of Israel. In the Holy Land, many Jewish holidays end a day earlier, which could affect some of the information below.
  3. Use our Jewish / Civil Date Converter to convert any secular calendar date to its corresponding Jewish-calendar date.

Extremely Auspicious:

Tuesdays: In recounting the story of Creation, the third day, Tuesday, is the only day when the Torah says twice, "And G‑d saw that it was good." The Sages interpreted this to mean that this day is doubly good -- "Good for Heaven, and good for the creations."

Rosh Chodesh: The beginning of a Jewish month is an auspicious date for a couple to begin their married life together.

First fifteen days of the Jewish (lunar) month: The moon is a metaphor for the Jewish nation, and the days of the month when the moon is waxing are auspicious days for a Jewish couple to be married.

Tishrei 11: According to Chassidic tradition, the day after Yom Kippur is referred to as "G‑d's Name."

Tishrei 11-13: According to Kabbala, the four days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot are especially holy days; they correspond to the four letters of the Tetragrammaton.

Kislev: The entire month of Kislev is extremely auspicious, as evidenced by the holiday of Chanukah which falls during the last days of this month.

Chanukah (Kislev 25-Tevet 2 (or 3, depending on the year)): The "Holiday of Light" is a wonderful time to begin a marriage of light and happiness. If you are planning a Chanukah wedding, make sure that your wedding has a "Chanukah flavor." A kindled menorah should be on prominent display, and speak to your caterer about the possibility of offering some Chanukah cuisine -- such as latkes and/or doughnuts.1

Tu B'Shevat (Shevat 15): "For a man is [akin to] the tree of the field" (Deuteronomy 20:19). The New Year for Trees is certainly an auspicious date to start a "New Year of Marriage."

Adar: Adar is the month which "was transformed for [the Jews] from mourning to joy" (Esther 9:22). It is considered the Jews' "lucky month."

Purim Kattan ("Small Purim") and Shushan Purim Kattan ("Small Shushan Purim") (Adar I 14-15): These semi-festive dates in the first month of Adar (in a leap year) correspond to the dates on which Purim and Shushan Purim are celebrated in the following month of Adar.

Shushan Purim (Adar 15): An auspicious and semi-festive day.

Tu B'Av (Av 15): This semi-festive holiday has always been associated with Jewish marriage.

Elul: According to Kabbala, G‑d's traits of mercy and benevolence are revealed and accessible during the entire month of Elul. This month is certainly an auspicious time to schedule weddings.

Not Recommended:

Fridays: In consideration of Shabbat which starts at nightfall, weddings are not held on Fridays.
In times past, Jewish weddings were regularly held on Fridays. The chupah ceremony was held before sunset, and the wedding reception, which started after nightfall, was a grand Shabbat meal for all in attendance.
Today, Friday night weddings pose too many problems to be feasible. No music, pictures or videography would be allowed; all the invited guests would have to walk home, etc.

Shabbat: Wedding ceremonies are not allowed on Shabbat, a biblically mandated day of rest. Technically, weddings can be held on Saturday night after the Shabbat concludes at nightfall, but no preparations for the wedding whatsoever may begin until nightfall. This makes Saturday night weddings extremely impractical during the winter, and virtually impossible during the long days of the summer months.

Ten Days of Repentance (Tishrei 4-8): Due to the solemn nature of the Ten Days of Repentance, it is customary to refrain from scheduling weddings during these days.

Adar 13: The Fast of Esther. Nightfall ushers in the holiday of Purim and the obligation to hear the megillah -- making it quite impractical to schedule a wedding for today.

Purim (Adar 142): The action-packed nature of today's holiday -- which also traditionally includes a family-oriented festive meal at the day's end -- makes it an ill-suited day to schedule a wedding.3

Forbidden:

The days preceding biblical Jewish holidays: Tishrei 9 (day before Yom Kippur); Tishrei 14 (day before Sukkot); Nissan 14 (day before Passover); Sivan 5 (Shavuot); Elul 29 (Rosh Hashanah).

Major holidays, biblically mandated days of rest: Rosh Hashanah (Tishrei 1-2); Yom Kippur (Tishrei 10); Sukkot (Tishrei 15-16); Shmini Atzeret-Simchat Torah (Tishrei 22-23); Passover (Nissan 15-16; 21-22); Shavuot (Sivan 6-7).

Chol Hamoed (The joy of these semi-festive days requires a complete immersion in the spirit of the holiday. Dividing our attention between the joy of the holiday and the joy of a wedding celebration isn't fair to either one of them): Tishrei 17-21 (Sukkot); Nissan 17-20 (Passover).

Iyar 2-16: See below, "Omer Period."

Fast of the Seventeenth of Tammuz (Tammuz 17): Today commences the "Three Weeks," A Jewish national mourning period. Weddings are not scheduled for today.

Nine Days (Av 1-94): With the onset of the month of Av, we enter the Nine Days, the most intense days of the already mournful Three Weeks.

Differing Customs:

Omer Period (Nissan 23-Sivan 2): The "counting of the Omer" period between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot is a time of semi-mourning. Weddings are prohibited during at least 33 days out of this seven week period; however, which of these days are included in this prohibition depends on communal custom. Speak with your rabbi to determine for when your family/community custom allows you to schedule a wedding.
According to all customs, weddings are not scheduled for Iyar 2-16.

Three Weeks (Tammuz 18-29): The three weeks between the Fast of the Seventeenth of Tammuz and Tisha B'Av are a Jewish national period of mourning. Ashkenazi Jews refrain from scheduling any weddings throughout this period. Sephardic Jews do schedule weddings until the onset of the month of Av.

Fast Days:

Fast of Gedaliah (Tishrei 35): A wedding scheduled for today must begin after nightfall.

The Tenth of Tevet: A wedding scheduled for today must begin after nightfall.

Fast of Esther (Adar6 137): A wedding scheduled for today must begin after dark. Nightfall, however, ushers in the holiday of Purim and the obligation to hear the megillah -- making it quite impractical to schedule a wedding for today.


No Fasting

It is customary for the bride and groom to fast on their wedding day. They do not fast, however, if the wedding is scheduled for one of these following dates:

Shabbat: If a wedding is scheduled for Saturday night, the bride and groom do not fast on the day of their wedding.

Rosh Chodesh (There is debate amongst halachic authorities whether bride and groom fast if the wedding is scheduled for Rosh Chodesh Nissan).

Tishrei 11: Having fasted and repented yesterday, Yom Kippur, everyone is presumably free from sin on this day. Thus, the bride and groom do not fast if the wedding is held today.

Isru Chag (day following a biblical festival): Tishrei 24 (Sukkot-Simchat Torah); Nissan 23 (Passover); Sivan 8 (Shavuot).

Chanukah: Kislev 25-Tevet 2 (or 3, depending on the year).

Tu B'Shevat (Shevat 15).

Purim Kattan ("Small Purim") and Shushan Purim Kattan ("Small Shushan Purim") (Adar I 14-15).

Purim and Shushan Purim (Adar 14-15).

Tu B'Av (Av 15).

FOOTNOTES
1.

The bride and groom should consult with their rabbi regarding their personal menorah lighting.

2.

During a leap year, Purim is observed in Adar II.

3.

See also Fast Days section below.

4.

The mourning laws associated with the Nine Days expire at midday of the 10th of Av. Any wedding scheduled for that day must begin after midday.
Also, if Av 9 falls on Shabbat, then the fast of Tisha B'Av is observed on Sunday, Av 10 -- and no weddings would be scheduled for this day at all.

5.

If Tishrei 3 falls on Shabbat, the Fast of Gedaliah is observed on Sunday, Tishrei 4.

6.

During a leap year, the Fast of Esther is observed in Adar II.

7.

If Adar 13 is on Shabbat, the fast is observed on Thursday, Adar 11. In such an instance, a wedding scheduled for that Thursday would have to begin after nightfall.

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Discussion (10)
November 10, 2013
Weddings
Choosing a date for a wedding..is there a popular month... that seems to be observed for a wedding.. what are your trends.. ? What is the most historically proven month for a Jewish Wedding?
Deborah Lynn
USA
November 27, 2011
Weddings after nightfall
Weddings can be held after nightfall. From nightfall until midnight the Jewish date has advanced but the secular date has not, so you have to be extra careful about what is allowed or not. For example, if you don't want to have a wedding on Erev Shabbat you can certainly have one on Thursday night, even though it is already technically Erev Shabbat. But if, say, Yom Kippur is on a Tuesday can you have a wedding on Sunday night? I'm not sure. I got married in Israel at night and the secular date on my Marriage Certificate is WRONG! They used the following day, because when you look up the Hebrew date (having advanced at nightfall) on a calendar you get the following day. Just be careful.
Anonymous
New York, NY
July 7, 2011
Re: Friday weddings
If the proper precautions are taken, such as those you mentioned (starting and finishing early, staying at a hotel, etc.), and there is no chance of Shabbat being violated, that would indeed be an exception.

Unfortunately, in the modern world more often than not this is not the case, which is why Friday weddings are generally discouraged.
Eliezer Zalmanov
for Chabad.org
July 5, 2011
Friday weddings
We got married on a Friday, in Israel, at 11:30 am. The wedding was over by 2pm and Shabbat started around 7 (we all went away to a hotel so no one would have to prepare for Shabbat). I think you meant wedding cannot be held Friday evening... We had several Rabbis at our wedding and I know none of them had a problem with it.
Anonymous
מודיעין, Israel
February 14, 2011
May 1st - noon - 2011?
The day before Yom HaShoah? I believe it starts at sundown that evening. Help?
Anonymous
New York, NY
February 8, 2011
is sat night august 20th ok?? plz let me know thank u
Anonymous
mtvernon, ny/usa
January 6, 2011
Friday weddings during the day
Would a morning wedding on a Friday be permissable? Entire ceremony and party over by 2pm?
Anonymous
Washington, DC
August 27, 2010
extremely auspicious days
As per your article, the following dates are extremely auspicious
First fifteen days of the Jewish (lunar) month &
the month of Adar

does it mean that it is still extremely auspicious to get married in the second half of the month of Adar?

Also, when you say Adar, it stands for Adar I & II both?

Thank you
Anonymous
Ahmedabad, India
September 1, 2009
RE: Weddings after nightfall
Yes, weddings may be held at night or during the day.
Menachem Posner for Chabad.org
August 31, 2009
Weddings after nightfall
Are weddings permitted on any day (obviously not Friday) after nightfall?
Harry Bibiring

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