What happens in the case of a bride menstruating on her wedding day or her menstruation ending a few days before her wedding day and cannot go to the mikvah?

Does the rabbi refuse to perform the chuppah? What are the options?

  • 1
    Reminder: Mi Yodeya offers tons of great information, but does not offer personalized, professional advice, and does not take the place of seeking such advice from your rabbi. Feb 16, 2016 at 8:35

3 Answers 3


Practically speaking, the wedding goes ahead as planned, with minor differences at the ceremony:

  • The groom is careful not to touch the bride when putting the ring on her finger.
  • The groom does not hand the Ketuba to the bride.
  • The bride & groom do not hold hands after the ceremony.
  • The Yichud-room has another person present; usually hiding there in advance so as to not make this obvious.

But nobody would notice, if they're not looking carefully.

Once they get home it gets more complicated.

The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in סימן קנז - דיני כלה הנכנסת לחפה elaborates:

סעיף ג': יֵשׁ לִזָּהֵר שֶׁלֹּא תִנָּשֵׂא אִשָּׁה עַד שֶׁתִּטְהַר מִטֻּמְאָתָה וְאִם הָעֵת דְּחוּקָה וּצְרִיכִין לַעֲשׂוֹת הַנִּשׂוּאִין בְּעוֹדָהּ בְּטֻמְאָתָה, אוֹ אִם אֵרַע שֶפֵּרְסָה נִדָּה לְאַחַר הַחֻפָּה קֹדֶם שֶׁנִּבְעֲלָה, לֹא יִתְיַחֲדוּ בְּלִי שְׁמִירָה עַד שֶׁתִּטְבֹּל. וְנוֹהֲגִין לִקַּח קָטֹן אֵצֶל הֶחָתָן וּקְטַנָּה אֵצֶל הַכַּלָּה, וְאֵין מִתְיַחֲדִין אֲפִלּוּ בַיוֹם בְּלֹא קָטֹן אוֹ קְטַנָּה. וּצְרִיכִין שֶׁיִהְיוּ גְדוֹלִים קְצָת שֶיּוֹדְעִין עִנְיְנֵי בִיאָה, וְלֹא גְדוֹלָה מַמָּשׁ שֶׁכְּבָר לָבְשָׁה יִצְרָהּ שֶׁיֵשׁ לָחוּשׁ שֶׁתִּתְפַּתֶּה, אֶלָּא בֵּינוֹנִים. וְאֵין חִלּוּק בָּזֶה בֵּין בָּחוּר לְאַלְמָן וּבֵין בְּתוּלָה לְאַלְמָנָה, שֶׁכֹּל שֶלֹּא בָעַל אִשָּׁה זוֹ מִיָמָיו, חָיְשֵׁינָן דְתַקִיף יִצְרֵהּ, וַאֲסוּרִין לְהִתְיַחֵד בְּלִי שְׁמִרָה. ‏

Inexact Translation:

One should be careful to not marry the couple until she has gone to the Mikve and is no longer a Niddah.

In case of great need, if they need to go ahead before she goes to Mikveh, or if she becomes a Niddah after the ceremony but before they have lived together, then they may not be secluded - even during daytime - without another person present, until she goes to the Mikveh.

The custom is (that they sleep in separate rooms and) a boy sleeps in the groom's room and a girl with the bride.

The boy and girl must be old enough to understand intimacy (and blabber about it, should it happen), but young enough not to be interested, so that they cannot be persuaded to play along. (My guess: between 6 and 12)

These rules apply whether the bride and/or groom have been married before or not; as long as they haven't been married to each other.

  • 1
    Danny, thanks a lot for your comment. Quick question, you mentioned the couple is not allowed to hold hands if a bride is niddah. However, if the couple is having a mixed wedding (men and women together), can the couple touch each other during the first dance, dance together, etc? Thank you very much
    – Paula
    Feb 15, 2016 at 14:22
  • 1
    +1 but I'm curious why "One should be careful to not marry the couple until she has gone to the Mikve and is no longer a Niddah." Doesn't get mentioned before "Practically speaking, the wedding goes ahead as planned, with minor differences at the ceremony:"?
    – user6591
    Feb 15, 2016 at 14:25
  • 2
    Danny there are variant customs about how many children to bring along. Some require two at night and some require zero during the day. Also some do not prohibit Yichud in the case of a remarriage to one's own divorce(e).
    – Double AA
    Feb 15, 2016 at 15:36
  • 5
    @Paula In general all restrictions in place on a husband and wife while Niddah are in place at that point. Holding hands while leaving the Chuppah was just an instance of one of those. You should speak with your Rabbi about how to observe the laws of Niddah.
    – Double AA
    Feb 15, 2016 at 16:14
  • 2
    DannySchoemann Plural of hearsay and all that, but I heard the same thing that @msh210 said as a "some say" from my chatan teacher. Another rabbi told me that while in some Chassidish circles, the bride and groom davka hold hands leaving the chuppa to show that it's not a chupat nidda, he's opposed to doing this because it's the type of demonstration of affection that belongs in private.
    – Isaac Moses
    Feb 16, 2016 at 12:07

She has a chuppas niddah. It was a dispute among the Rishonim as to what extent chuppas niddah is effective, but common practice is that they go ahead with the wedding as normal (Shach Yoreh De'ah 192:8).

There are some questions that arise in this situation. For example, does the groom put the ring onto the bride's finger? There are varying customs. In my community it was taught that in the event of a chuppas niddah to put the ring on as normal and just be careful not to touch. Some communities would just pass the ring in such a situation.

Also, since the couple cannot consummate the marriage, and has never been together before, there are yichud issues, and they may not sleep together alone in the same room (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah 192:4). Similarly, they should "hide" someone in the yichud room after the chuppah, because real yichud is not permitted at that point. (The hiding avoids revealing to everyone that she is a niddah, which some people find uncomfortable.)

  • 1
    Some communities would just pass the ring in such a situation. - Do you know of such a custom? never seen it mentioned. Feb 15, 2016 at 14:04
  • 1
    @DannySchoemann I only know what my chosson teacher told me, which was that that is one practice. Feb 15, 2016 at 19:33
  • Wouldn't that practice give away that she's niddah, the same way that having (unhidden) people in the yichud room would? Feb 16, 2016 at 0:57
  • 1
    @NoachmiFrankfurt That classic example is unfortunately not so classic. Classically, a woman wore different colored clothing when she was a niddah so that everyone would know. This new thing of hiding niddah status is very difficult to come up with a source for. If anything, she should be hiding when she isn't a niddah. (I actually have heard several gedolim make exactly that last point, for the record) Feb 16, 2016 at 1:06
  • 2
    @NoachmiFrankfurt Yez is right. There is no such classic example. Classically women keep the timing of their going to the Mikva private (YD 198:48) but not when they are Niddah. Indeed, R Moshe Feinstein (Igrot YD 2:77) says explicitly that there is no reason to be embarrassed about being Niddah as it's normal and happens to everyone regularly.
    – Double AA
    Feb 16, 2016 at 12:47

Generally prevention is better than cure, nowadays there are tablets a woman can obtain from her doctor which will delay her periods - a combined progesterone oestrogen pill. The woman ideally should know when the onset of her menses will occur, if this coincides with her wedding, it may be prudent to take the pills... Otherwise all the aforementioned is in play.

  • Yes this is commonly taught (e.g. it's in the Artscroll book) ... some rabbis feel that it can be risky vis-a-vis emotional stresses on the bride, and aren't sure it's the appropriate thing.
    – Shalom
    Mar 7, 2016 at 1:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .