A wedding is a religious ceremony in which two individuals are joined in matrimony. Traditions and cultures vary significantly between different societies, cultures, religions, and nationalities. For instance, in the Hindu tradition, wedding ceremonies mark the coming of age of a child. In some Eastern cultures, it marks the end of bachelorhood and the beginning of marital life. In the Chinese culture, it marks a new beginning in social life after leaving home.
In the Hindu wedding, a groom offers prayers to fertility goddesses and declares his intention to marry her. Then the bridegroom takes his bride to her home and gives her a rousing welcome. After this, the marriage ceremony is performed by a priest in a temple or in a marriage hall. The bride’s parents or family perform the choreography of the wedding. The wedding feast is served to the guests at the end of the celebration.
Jewish and Muslim weddings differ somewhat from the Hindu’s. They also differ with regard to the length of the wedding ceremony, the number of days for the engagement and wedding, as well as other customs. The Jewish wedding is considered to be of short duration than the Muslim one. It is characterized by the exchange of rings, a meal with wine and cheese, dedicating a special day in the life of the bride and groom to each other, and the lighting of the Menorah, which is a lamp used in the Jewish religious ceremonies. The Jewish wedding laws forbid eating meat on the wedding day, since this marks the beginning of a new animal, so there is only meat and bread to be eaten on this occasion. The bride and groom exchange wedding rings during the ceremony.
Nondenominational weddings are very similar to Christian weddings. Both involve exchange of wedding vows and reception afterward. The Jewish wedding ceremony is characterized by a rabbi, who leads the couple in Jewish prayer, and they then make their wedding vows in front of others. They then take their rings to their home to symbolize that they are bound to marry for lifetime, and sign a contract that covers all of their property, interests, and rights.
In non-religious weddings, the wedding would be held at the house of the bride or groom’s parents. The guest list for such a wedding is determined by tradition. Both the bride and the groom have to have at least two to three witnesses. Jewish wedding ceremonies do not include mazel tov. However, both the bride and groom sing their vows together at the ceremony, just like the Christian service.
A wedding celebration is an important part of a person’s life. It is therefore important that the celebration be based on the personal preference of the couple. Some couples choose to have only a wedding ceremony, and then dedicate the rest of their lives to loving, building, and raising their children. Other couples may hold nuptials to honor their heritage, or simply because they like the music, decorations, foods, etc.