Recently I attended a Chassidic wedding in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. My question is, why are men and women separated by a partition?
It must have been quite an experience for you to attend a Chassidic wedding!
The reason for the partition between men and women is the issue of modesty. You must have seen the energetic, happy dancing on both sides of the partition. Dancing together and even watching the dancing of someone of the opposite gender is not considered modest. This might sound somewhat strange in today's time when there doesn't seem to be any barriers between men and women, but the partition at the wedding, at the synagogue and at other occasions helps to preserve and safeguard a limited and therefore special connection between the genders. If we preserve the space and boundary between men and women we can cherish our times of closeness all the more, in the relationships where the closeness is permitted. In other words, a man who is not permitted to see another woman dance, sing or with arms or legs uncovered, will not become desensitized to a woman's sensuality and appreciate and be attracted to his wife all the more without any kind of distractions.
Click here for an excellent article to read about the topic of the partition in the synagogue which would apply somewhat to a wedding as well.
I hope this is of help to you.
Chana Weisberg for Chabad.org