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What time do Jewish weddings start?

Weddings are joyous occasions that are celebrated across all cultures throughout the world, and Jewish weddings are no exception. They are filled with rich traditions and customs that have been passed down for generations, and they hold a special place in the hearts of those who celebrate them.

One of the most frequently asked questions about Jewish weddings is, “what time do they start?” It’s understandable why this question is so popular, as knowing the start time of the event is necessary for guests to plan their schedules and make arrangements to attend.

The Timeframe of a Jewish Wedding

Firstly, it’s essential to understand that Jewish weddings are not just one event, but several events that occur throughout the day. The main wedding ceremony is called the “chuppah,” which is followed by a reception, which can last until the early hours of the morning.

If the bride and groom choose to keep all the Jewish wedding traditions, the event will start with “kabbalat panim,” or the greeting of the bride and groom. This adds an additional hour or hour-and-a-half to the event’s starting time. Therefore, the ceremony often begins around 4 p.m. to ensure that guests can leave by 11 p.m. and still be able to go home comfortably.

The Wedding Day Schedule

Here is a rough schedule of what a traditional Jewish wedding day might look like:

  • Early Afternoon: The bride and groom prepare for the wedding ceremony.
  • Mid-Afternoon: The groom performs the tish, a pre-wedding ritual that involves a small gathering of family and friends where he delivers a sermon and is encouraged to relax before the ceremony.
  • Late Afternoon: Guests arrive and participate in kabbalat panim, where the bride and groom are greeted and blessed.
  • Early Evening: The wedding ceremony (chuppah) begins and typically lasts between 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Mid-Evening: The reception starts, where guests eat, drink, dance, and celebrate the newlyweds.
  • Late Night: The reception typically goes on until the early hours of the morning, but the bride and groom will often leave earlier to retire to consummate their marriage.

The Importance of Timing in Jewish Weddings

Timing plays a crucial role in Jewish weddings because of the religious customs and traditions that dictate their progress. Jewish tradition is strict about not performing certain ceremonies at specific times of the day, particularly during prayer times.

For example, Jewish weddings are prohibited on the Sabbath, which begins at sundown on Friday, and concluding at nightfall on Saturday. This principle extends to other Jewish holidays, such as Yom Kippur and Passover, where weddings are also not allowed.

Another important factor in determining the timing of a Jewish wedding is the sunset. Most Jewish holidays and events begin at sundown and end the following day at nightfall. The wedding ceremony cannot proceed during the Sabbath or other Jewish holidays, which means that when it comes to planning a Jewish wedding, it’s essential to consider the specifics of the event and what times are available.


Jewish weddings are imbued with tradition, making them a unique and special celebration. The timing of each event in the wedding day, from the kabbalat panim to the reception, is carefully planned and executed, according to Jewish customs and traditions.

While the start time of a Jewish wedding may vary based on the specific circumstances, the general starting time for a Jewish wedding is typically around 4 p.m. with the ceremony lasting between 30 minutes to an hour. The reception can go on until the early hours of the morning, but it must not extend to the Sabbath or other Jewish holidays.

By understanding the timing and traditions of Jewish weddings, guests can participate in the joyous occasion and celebrate in the rich cultural heritage that is inherent to these special events.


How long is a Jewish wedding ceremony?

In Jewish culture, weddings are considered one of the most important events in the lives of Jewish couples. The wedding ceremony is a sacred event that symbolizes the union of two souls and the start of a new life together. One of the most common questions asked by those who are not familiar with Jewish weddings is how long does the ceremony typically last?

The answer to this question can vary depending on the specific customs and traditions of the Jewish community. However, in general, Jewish wedding ceremonies tend to be shorter than traditional Christian weddings, which can often last an hour or longer.

On average, a Jewish wedding ceremony will typically last between 20 and 30 minutes. However, this time frame can be extended if the couple chooses to incorporate additional customs and traditions into their ceremony. For instance, some Jewish couples may choose to have a Ketubah signing ceremony, which typically takes place before the actual wedding ceremony. This added ceremony can take an additional 10-15 minutes.

The actual wedding ceremony, known as the chuppah ceremony, is relatively short, lasting around 10 minutes. During this ceremony, the couple will exchange vows and rings under a canopy called a chuppah, which symbolizes the couple’s new home together. Additionally, there are a few blessings and prayers recited during the ceremony, which add to the meaningfulness of the occasion.

After the chuppah ceremony, the couple will typically sign the Ketubah, an ancient Jewish marriage contract that outlines the couple’s rights and responsibilities during their marriage. This ceremony is not required, but it is a meaningful tradition that many Jewish couples choose to incorporate into their wedding day.

While the specific duration of a Jewish wedding ceremony can vary depending on the couple’s preferences, the average length of the ceremony is between 20 and 30 minutes. But, the duration can be extended by additional customs or traditions incorporated into the wedding day. Regardless of the ceremony’s length, a Jewish wedding is a special and joyous event that celebrates the union of two people in love.

What is the best day for a Jewish wedding?

In Jewish tradition, the choice of wedding date is an important factor to consider. It is believed that the date of the wedding can have a significant impact on the couple’s future together. As such, choosing the right day for a Jewish wedding requires careful consideration and consultation with a rabbi.

One of the most auspicious dates for a Jewish wedding is Rosh Chodesh, which is the beginning of a new Jewish month. This date is considered to be a propitious time for beginning new endeavors and starting new phases of life. Getting married on Rosh Chodesh is believed to bring blessings and good luck to the couple.

Another propitious time for a Jewish wedding is during the first fifteen days of the Jewish month. According to Jewish tradition, the moon is a metaphor for the Jewish nation, and the days of the month when the moon is waxing are considered to be particularly blessed. This is why many couples choose to get married during the first half of the month.

Other factors to consider when choosing a wedding date include avoiding certain days when Jewish laws prohibit weddings. For example, Jewish weddings are not held on Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath) or on certain holidays such as Yom Kippur. Additionally, many couples prefer to avoid getting married during the period between Pesach (Passover) and Shavuot (Pentecost) known as the Omer period.

The choice of wedding date is a personal one that should reflect the couple’s needs and preferences while taking into account the traditions and customs of Judaism. Consulting with a rabbi or other Jewish spiritual leader can help ensure that the couple chooses an auspicious and meaningful wedding day.

Is it OK to wear black to a Jewish wedding?

In general, it is considered acceptable to wear black attire to a Jewish wedding. Black, as a color, is often seen as formal and elegant, which are both fitting for a wedding. However, it is important to keep in mind that different sects of Judaism may have specific dress codes or customs that should be respected as a guest attending a wedding. Therefore, it is recommended that guests check with the couple or the wedding invitation if there are any specific guidelines or requests on attire. Additionally, while black is generally acceptable, it is important to avoid clothing that is too revealing or inappropriate for a religious ceremony. Sleeveless clothing, short clothes, and low-cut tops should be avoided. It is also customary for guests to dress modestly, with most guests covering their knees and collarbones. guests should dress in a manner that shows respect to the couple and their beliefs, while still feeling comfortable and confident in their attire.