A Jewish wedding is much more than a "ceremony" or a symbolic ritual. It is a spiritual process which actually creates the soul connection between the bride and groom. Beneath the chupah, there occurs a fusion of souls; two souls which were separated before birth joyfully reunite.

Thus the momentousness of the occasion. An appreciation of the awesomeness of the moment results in the serious atmosphere which prevails beneath the chupah — at the moment when the union is being effected. And it is the very same appreciation which triggers the unbridled joy which follows at the wedding reception; an appropriate celebration for an event of this magnitude.

The legal and spiritual reasons for the wedding rituals are closely related — the body and soul of the weddingJewish rituals and customs derive from a rich blend of historical and spiritual underpinnings. Rites of passage in one's personal life are inextricably linked to events in the history of the Jewish people. In this way, a traditional Jewish wedding is a tapestry woven from biblical and historical threads. These threads are carried from one generation to the next in an effort to link our contemporary lives to our past, forming a chain of Jewish continuity which goes back more than 3,800 years.

Our sages teach us that each marriage ceremony is a reenactment of the marriage between G‑d and the Jewish people that took place at Mount Sinai. The wedding day is the holiest day of one's life and is considered a personal Yom Kippur.

Our goal is to help you understand the meaningful and spiritual significance of each part of the wedding celebration.

Additionally, the wedding ceremony features a binding marriage transaction and is replete with customs and rituals which are rooted in legalistic minutiae. We will attempt to present all these ideas in laymen's terms. As will be demonstrated, the legal and spiritual reasons for the wedding laws and rituals are closely related — they constitute the body and soul of the wedding.

Finally, we would like to remind you that a Jewish wedding requires the complete participation of all attending. So if you are reading this guide in preparation of attending a wedding, get ready to rejoice and celebrate the happiest day of the bride and groom — and a momentous date in Jewish history.