You can read a lot of the specific details of the First Century Jewish Wedding Ceremonies by clicking here.
What I love about this tradition is that the Groom went away to 'prepare a place' for he and his bride during their 'engagement' period. There was no set wedding date but it typically took about a year for the groom to build a home for them. When the home was ready, and he had his father's permission, he would set out to retrieve his bride. The people of the city would know that it was time by the torches and cries of the people shouting "The bridegroom is coming!" It typically happened at night. And once the bride heard of this, she would immediately put on her wedding dress and prepare herself for his arrival. When the groom arrived at her home, she would come out and they would walk through the streets of the city with all of the people surrounding them until they arrived at their new home. They would then enter for the marriage ceremony and to consecrate the marriage. They stayed in the house for 7 days while the people of the city celebrated the marriage during that entire week! Can you imagine your wedding celebration lasting 7 days?!
At the end of that period, they would come out and join in the marriage feast with all of their guests. What a joyous and seriously extravagant celebration this must have been! I just love how the groom comes for his bride. It's as if he is telling her, I want you and I will come for you no matter where you are and I am ready to love you forever and lead you as your husband.
I wanted to recognize this beautiful tradition by doing something a little out of the ordinary at my own ceremony. Though I am not sure if I will actually incorporate it, my thought is to have my father walk me across the bridge that leads out to the outdoor teatro where the guests are all seated for the ceremony:
Then when we get to the end of the aisle, my groom would walk down the aisle and 'retrieve' me from my father and lead me up to the altar. I just love the symbolism of what this represents in the faith of my past and the future that I believe is waiting for us for eternity. It would definitely make our ceremony unique and such, but would it seem awkward or funny to people? I would definitely incorporate it into the schedule of the ceremony on the program with a very brief explanation.
What do you think of this idea? And do you have any thoughts of how to incorporate your own lineage, traditions or rituals from your faith into your weddings?
Photo credit: personal photo