The civil preliminaries apply; a synagogue is the usual venue for the ceremony but less traditional weddings take place at secular locations such as hotels.
The format of a Jewish wedding depends upon the branch of Judaism to which the bride and/or groom belong. Sundays and Tuesdays are the most popular days to marry; the Sabbath, Holy Days and fasting periods are not permitted.
- It is customary for the bride and groom not to see each other for at least a day before the wedding.
- The bride and groom fast on the day, from first light until the ceremony, in repentance for past sins.
- Guests should dress modestly. Shoulders should be covered and also, traditionally, married women's heads. Male guests cover their heads with a Yarmulke (skullcap). Men and women are often seated separately.
- Rabbinical law requires that a Jewish wedding ceremony be performed under a Chuppah (a wedding canopy).
- The Orthodox ceremony follows a fixed liturgy and will last about 45 minutes. The Minyan, a group of at least ten adult Jewish males, must be present.
- The groom arrives with his father, who escorts him to stand under the Chuppah (under which no jewellery may be worn).
- The groom approves the two witnesses and accepts the terms of the Ketubah (marriage contract). The raising of a pen or handkerchief, and the signing the Ketubah by the witnesses, indicates this acceptance. The act is known as making a Kinyan.
- Upon entering the synagogue, the bride is taken to the Bedekken room, the groom confirms her identity and the couple is blessed by the rabbi.
- The service continues in the main synagogue into which the bride is traditionally escorted by the two mothers; at some weddings she will walk around the groom seven times under the Chuppah.
- There is then a Chant of Welcome and the rabbi recites the betrothal blessings over a cup of wine from which the bride and groom drink.
- The groom puts a ring on the forefinger of the bride's right hand in the presence of the witnesses and the rabbi. It is later transferred onto the left hand.
- The rabbi recites the Seven Marriage Benedictions over a second cup of wine from which the couple drink, before the groom crushes a glass object (wrapped in a napkin) with his foot. The civil registers are then signed.
- A meal after the ceremony is customary, and at least one Minyan should be present.
- Celebrations include circle dancing, where the bride and groom are lifted above the heads of the guests.
- If either is the last child in their family to marry, a dance is performed for the parents to celebrate the successful marriage of all of their children.