Israeli wedding customs
How to celebrate a wedding in Israel: 18 wedding traditions and ceremonies

How to celebrate a wedding in Israel?


A wedding in Israel is an unforgettable and mesmerizing event with an emphasis on both entertainment and sentimental ceremonies. Israel is famous for its love of good wedding parties – informal atmosphere, noisy crowds of guests, and very late, fun night dances.

Frequently asked questions about weddings in Israel

  • What should I wear to an Israeli wedding? At a modern Israeli wedding, you might see jeans and flip-flops on the guests, but most guests try to dress festively with a formal dress code. There is an unspoken opinion that the guests should not wear white. During the Jewish ceremony, women traditionally wear clothes that cover their shoulders and men wear kippahs to cover their heads.
  • Are men and women seated separately? If you are attending an Orthodox Jewish wedding, men and women usually sit on opposite sides of the ceremony. At an ultra-Orthodox wedding, men and women will also celebrate separately with a divider in between. Turnkey event organization in Israel
  • How long does an Israeli wedding ceremony last? If a couple is performing a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, it usually lasts 25-45 minutes depending on how many readings, rituals, and music the couple wants.
  • Are Jewish weddings held on Shabbat? Traditionally, Jewish weddings are not held on Shabbat or High Holy Days.
  • Will the newlyweds kiss? The newlyweds kiss after the glass-breaking ritual when they are officially married.
  • Is it worth bringing a gift? Now more and more often they give money for a wedding or a gift from the list of the bride and groom, which they provide to pre-invited guests.

What is an Israeli wedding? 18 wedding customs and ceremonies

Shabbat Khatan. Most grooms choose to celebrate Groom’s Sabbath in Jerusalem, the holy city of the Jews. Especially ordering a car with a driver to Jerusalem. According to this tradition, the groom reads the Torah in the synagogue in honor of his upcoming wedding and showered with sweets and fruits. For Ashkenazi Jews, it’s the Saturday before the wedding. For Sephardic Jews, it is the Saturday after the wedding.

Bathing ritual in the mikvah. Cleansing ritual for brides, which involves bathing a woman in a mikvah pool filled with at least 750 liters of rainwater. It used to be considered a must for Jewish brides before their wedding. Today, this ritual is more like a spa procedure for the bride and her girlfriends in the pool, arranging something like a bachelorette party.

Meeting with guests. Holiday transfers are booked for guests so that they can safely get to the ceremony. For the bride and groom – a wedding procession. In Israeli culture, before the wedding, guests are given a reception where they can enjoy food and drink while getting to know each other. Thus, everyone will go to the altar for the ceremony together as one big family.

The silence of the groom. Before signing the wedding contract, Tish is held for the groom. It is loud chanting and dancing, where the groom enjoys food and drink with his guests before seeing the bride.

Minyan. For a Jewish wedding to be legal, there must be a quorum of 10 adult Jewish men over 30 years of age.

The bride goes around the groom 7 times. Just as the world was created in seven days, this practice is meant to symbolize the bride as the protector of her new home.

Ring ceremony. According to Jewish law, marriage is considered official if the groom gave the bride “something very valuable”, that is, put the ring on her finger. Usually, the engagement ring had to be simple, without diamonds or any other jewelry. Nowadays, many brides also choose to buy rings for their husbands to exchange rings during the ceremony.

Wine ceremony. Since wine is considered a symbol of joy, the mother of the bride feeds the bride with wine on the chuppah.

Breaking glass. At the very end of the ceremony, the groom breaks the glass with his foot, and everyone shouts “Mazel tov!” Which means congratulations and good luck. After that, everyone rushes to kiss, bless and congratulate the couple. You cannot move for 30 minutes.

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