When are Bride and Groom Married?

Question

When a wedding takes place, what stage of the wedding makes the bride and groom officially a halachically married couple?

, 1 week

Answers

  1. “Marriage” is a word that needs defining in Judaism since there are actually two stages.

    The first stage is called “Kiddushin” (sanctification), when the man gives the woman a ring and asks her to “marry” him. When this stage occurs in front of two witnesses, they are married in the sense that they may not be with others. But they may not yet live together.

    The second stage is called “Chupa,” and is when the man brings the woman into his domain (home), and they may now fully live together.

    So, to answer your question, after giving the ring for the sake of marriage they are “married” – it is not the same as being engaged. Breaking up would require a Get divorce document, and being unfaithful would be considered adultery after this first stage.

    Years ago it was the custom to do the first stage as soon as they decided to marry, and then live separately (for an agreed upon time) in order to prepare what they would need for married life together (a house, clothing, etc.). Nowadays we do both stages at the same gathering.

     

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team