Engaged? Jewish Traditions Before a Wedding

Engagement and betrothal - rules and traditions

During a painting with a registry office or a wedding in a church, the bride and groom exchange rings and promise each other to be faithful for life. Some women consider the rites of engagement or betrothal as an opportunity to receive one more ring as a gift, no more, absolutely not thinking about their significance. Is there a difference between engagement and betrothal, and how are these rites performed?

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Excursion into the past

Engagement and betrothal - rules and traditions

Two centuries ago, preparation for the wedding was carried out in 3 stages.

First, the girl was wooed: the groom's parents came to the bride's house, finding out if the parents agreed to become related, to give their daughter for their son. In most cases, they were not even interested in whether the girl liked the groom. Simultaneously determined with the amount of the dowry.

After meeting the parents, the young already officially communicated, but they were considered the bride and groom conditionally if the parents were preparing for marriage in advance.

After the matchmaking, there was still the possibility of a reverse move - although those who refused to continue preparing for the event had to give weighty arguments to the other side in order not to be disgraced.

Then the families met again - they were about to sing or handicap . Parents were precisely determined with finances - the young threw something like parties , where the official status of the bride and groom among their peers was recognized. During this meeting, they discussed how and when the engagement ceremony would take place.

Conducted betrothal in a monastery or church, in public. The closest people were invited as guests, but the doors were not closed, and anyone could watch the ritual.

The young people had to exchange rings of different values: first, the bride was handed - not put on a finger, you need to pay attention - silver jewelry, and the groom - gold. Three times exchange of rings under the recitative of the priest, reading out the words of a special prayer, and the bride had a gold ring, as a symbol of the reliability of the future husband, and the groom - a silver one. Silver reflected the woman's weakness, her softness.

Engagement and betrothal - rules and traditions

Despite the fact that engagement in the church already emphasized the inevitability of marriage, after it young people did not enter into sexual relations - the bride had to maintain her innocence until the wedding.

Before the wedding, it was supposed to pass from 3 weeks to six months, not less - sometimes the transition to the status of husband and wife was postponed for years. Before the wars, hackEveryday business trips , the stronger sex tried to have time to carry out several rituals: matchmaking and betrothal, in order to be sure that the bride would wait.

The wedding was postponed - otherwise a man would have to be faithful on his travels. At that time, the judgment of God was feared more than public condemnation and not everyone dared to violate certain canons.

Wedding rings are worn on the left hand, on the ring finger. Betrothal in Orthodoxy still plays a huge role. Some couples, as in the old days, consider it right to take off their wedding rings from their left hand on their wedding day and put them on their right hand. No wonder the rings that young people put on each other have long been called engagement.


The rites of engagement and betrothal are often confused. During the engagement, the parents of the young people who have already met in advance should discuss financial issues. In the old days, this rite was called mating , the word engagement came from the West.

Nowadays, young people are holding an engagement as a youth party.

Engagement and betrothal - rules and traditions

Friends are invited, the couple officially enters into the status of the bride and groom, the groom gives the bride a ring - a return gift is optional. They shout bitterly .

During the engagement, relatives and parents can be present, it can be held at home or in an entertainment establishment. No official papers are signed.

Usually, the engagement is arranged on the day the application is submitted to the registry office, but you can choose another time.

To buy rings for the bride - if an engagement is arranged - the groom has to twice. An engagement ring is different from an engagement ring and you can't get by with one gift.

The difference between engagement and engagement

Engagement and betrothal rites have much in common, but there are also significant differences.

Betrothal in the registry office is not carried out - it is a religious ceremony that is performed in a church or other religious institution, in the presence of clergy. An official paper is signed on the new status of the young, certain responsibilities are imposed on them, they are officially exchanged gifts.

Engagement and betrothal - rules and traditions

An engagement is an additional opportunity for non-religious people to arrange a fun holiday for themselves. Instead of a ring, the groom can give the bride the car keys or a teddy bear, furnish the event in a playful manner, hold it on the road, at home or in a restaurant.

When a couple holds a wedding in order to pay tribute to fashion, the clergyman can conduct the betrothal - by agreement in advance - before the wedding. These rituals in Orthodoxy should follow one after another.

An engagement before formal registration is optional - many couples neglect it - a bachelor party and a bachelorette party are enough.

Some nuances of modern wedding ceremonies

The official registration of marriage is carried out before the wedding - many priests refuse to carry out the ceremony if the young do not present an official paper. Moreover, the wedding can currently be postponed indefinitely after registration.
Some couples test themselves with civil relationships, and get married on the eve of a decade or even a silver wedding. People explain that they wanted to test their relationship, deal with feelings, so as not to deceive themselves and God.

Engagement and betrothal - rules and traditions

It turns out that engagement is not necessary for non-religious people - after it, the bride and groom must demonstrate their chastity before the wedding, and it’s ridiculous to expect an immaculate relationship from a couple with solid family experience.

The priests do not insist that people immediately after painting in the registry office go to church and greet when people come to God consciously.

So what's the main point of engagement or engagement today? These ceremonies allow you to feel in a special status even before the wedding, help to give pre-wedding chores a special mood.

Harmony in your relationship and a happy wedding for you!

What is betrothal/engagement? And how does it apply to us today?

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