In images and other media I have seen of Jewish weddings, there seems to be a trend to get married in the evening or night time. Is this a Jewish custom a halachic requirement and what is the origin or reasoning behind this custom? Thanks as always!
- Anybody can ask a question
- Anybody can answer
- The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
There is definitely no Halachic requirement to get married at night. I personally got married on Labor Day and the wedding was in the daytime. It is mostly done since it is convenient. Bli Ayin Hara with many weddings and Simchas on a daily basis, it would be dificult for many to attend if they were all held in the daytime.
Nitei Gavriel Hilchos Nesuin 16:5 says that it is done in the evening for the following reasons.
B: Ais Ratzon - When Eliezer went to get Rivka - it was the time of Mincha - which is a time of Ais Ratzon.
As stated, it's usually a convenience thing.
There is actually an opinion that it's preferable in the daytime, to treat it as a function of a ritual court (which would only convene in daytime) -- if this opinion is followed, it's then preferable that the officiating rabbi not be related to the bride or groom (if we're really treating it like a court function ...). Rabbi Hershel Schachter recalls planning the wedding of one of his sons, where the bride's parents asked if he'd officiate. Rabbi Schachter replied:
The trickiest time to do a wedding is if the ceremony straddles sunset. As the new Jewish day starts then, you get a whole mess about exactly what date the ketubah document has (let's say that's signed just before sunset), vs. when the ceremony actually happens (let's say just after sunset). You'll thus see wedding invitations specifying chuppah at 6:30pm promptly, before sunset.
The reason I have heard behind this is because the descents of Yisroel are compared to the stars in the skies and so weddings should be held at night so that there will be many children as a result of these weddings. this of course is just one minhag and I don't think there is any halachic requirement for a specific time of day other than those times of year which don't allow for weddings anyway.