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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!

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Also, there are some groups of Yerushalmis that ONLY get married during the day, not at night. –  Reb Chaim HaQoton Sep 29 '12 at 16:49
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Apparently, there actually used to be a custom of getting married on Friday (which has to be during the day). I think it's just easier for the guests to come at night. –  JNF Sep 29 '12 at 19:07
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I don't know for certain but I can guess 3 reasons. 1. To make sure the ketubah has the correct date, 2. To avoid having to fast during the day. 3. So they can take picturs with the sunset. –  avi Sep 29 '12 at 22:02
    
Just FYI in case there's a misunderstanding, Jews get married both in the day and at night. –  Charles Koppelman Sep 30 '12 at 0:49
    
@JNF, marriage on Friday need not be during the day. I've attended a wedding on lel shishi. –  msh210 Oct 3 '12 at 7:20
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

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.

A: Convenient

B: Ais Ratzon - When Eliezer went to get Rivka - it was the time of Mincha - which is a time of Ais Ratzon.

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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:

"Well ... if you do the wedding in the daytime then it should be someone else; if we do the wedding at nighttime then we're not trying to accommodate the court-function opinion, so then I could officiate. What do you want to do?"

"Then we want the wedding at night!"

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.

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Weddings used to only take place on specific days of the week for the courts. –  avi Sep 30 '12 at 7:17
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