Not Seeing Each Other Before Wedding

How significant is the custom that the bride and groom not see each other seven days before their wedding? Does it apply to a second marriage?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

The custom of Ashkenazi Jews is that the bride and groom not see each other for the final seven days before the wedding – for both a first and a second marriage. Sephardim do not have such a custom. In truth, there is no mention of such a custom in the classical literature, and contemporary rabbis have struggled to find a clear-cut reason for it. Nevertheless, the custom is quite widespread today and should be observed.

(The most convincing reasons suggested are practical and psychological – such as to avoid the bride and groom getting into fights at such a stressful time, or conversely, that since it is so close to their wedding they may be tempted to immoral behavior.)

R’ Aryeh Kaplan, in his excellent book on Jewish weddings (Made in Heaven, p. 67) writes that if there is a pressing need such as for the sake of the wedding preparations, they would be permitted see each other.

Some recent authorities write that the bride and groom should not even be in contact via other methods in the week before the wedding – such as by phone or email. However, many authorities do not extend this custom beyond the existing practice.

See here for a thorough and interesting treatment of this topic.

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