Under the chuppah, the bride customarily revolves around her fiancé three or seven times in the Ashkenazi tradition. Some think that this is done to establish a mystical barrier of protection from bad spirits, temptation, and the gazes of other ladies. The number of revolutions depends on how long the ceremony lasts.
In the Sephardi tradition, the bride goes first toward the west with her father and then returns to him. Only after this do they proceed with the groom following behind them. This is to ensure that no matter which direction the couple faces, they will not be alone. They are never separated during their marriage ceremony.
The number of rotations is important because it indicates what time period she will not leave his side. If there are three rotations, then she will be with her husband for only three hours before she has to return to her parents' home. If there are seven, however, she will be gone for seven hours before returning.
According to Jewish law, a woman cannot remain outside the town where her husband lives unless he gives permission. Since most marriages take place within the town where the husband works, this rule helps prevent the wife from being kidnapped or going looking for another husband.
The practice of revolving around the groom seven times arose centuries ago when weddings were less formal and lasted much longer.
In Jewish tradition, after the bride and groom enter the huppah (a canopy traditionally used in Jewish weddings) or the bride walks to the alter escorted by her father, the bride circles the groom seven times, representing the seven wedding blessings and seven days of creation, and demonstrating that the bride and groom are in love. If the bride is female, a male friend will circle her instead; if there are no friends available, a bridesmaid can circle the bride.
In Arab culture, it is traditional for the bride to circle her husband-to-be seven times before they marry. This custom still exists among Muslim communities in Europe and America.
In African American culture, it is common for the bride to circle her groom once before he takes his place next to her on their wedding day. This practice comes from an era when most black Americans were slaves who could not afford their own weddings; as such, circling the groom was the best way for a woman to show her appreciation without appearing too aggressive.
In Asian cultures, it is common for the bride to circle her groom before their wedding ceremony to show respect and honor him. In Chinese culture, the number of rotations depends on the status of the couple; for example, it is customary for the bride's brother or father to circle her once if she is a student, twice if she is an employee, and three times if she is well-off.
Back then, brides used to get kidnapped, and in order to fight with the kidnappers, the groom's right hand should be free. Since then, it has become a part of wedding tradition that the groom always stands on the right and the bride on the left! Moreover, this traditional standing position symbolizes their union as they hold each other's right hand.
The groom exits the Chuppah to greet, and the pair accompanies each other to the Chuppah. Guests will see that the bride is standing to the right of her groom under the chuppah, both facing the rabbi.
According to a math teacher, each circle has 360 degrees. The only number between 1 and 9 that cannot be divided by 360 is 7. So the Bride and Groom go around the fire seven times to ensure that nothing can separate them... Hats off to our Vedic mathematicians.
Some ladies walk once around their groom-to-be, while more Orthodox brides walk seven times. In Jewish weddings, the number seven is significant; for example, seven glasses of wine are consumed during the ceremony and subsequent celebrations. The practice of walking around arose as a way for young brides to be able to see all of their married friends before the wedding day.
The custom of walking around dates back at least to the 16th century. It was popular among wealthy Jews in Europe who could afford to hire musicians to play while they danced. Today, it is common for Jewish brides to walk around their partners seven times prior to the wedding ceremony. During this time, the mothers, sisters, and girlfriends of the couple watch for any inappropriate behavior and can stop the dance if necessary.
In the Western world, where marriage is considered a permanent relationship, the practice of walking around has fallen out of favor. However, it is still common in Israel, the Middle East, and Asia where marriage is not viewed as a permanent commitment.
The wife doesn't have to walk around the groom to show respect. She can wait until after the wedding to greet his relatives if that's what she prefers.
7-If the bride is wearing a veil, her father lifts it to expose the bride to the husband. The bride thanks her father with a hug and a kiss for getting her thus far. This shows that love and respect exist between the two families.
6-The father of the bride gives the mother of the bride away at the wedding. This shows that the wife comes first in the family. If the wife does not feel loved or respected by her husband, she would not be happy being given away by their father on their wedding day.
5-It is customary for the father of the bride to give her away at the wedding. This shows respect for the woman as well as gratitude to her father for giving him a way out of debt by marrying him.
4-After the wedding ceremony, the father of the bride gives the bride's mother a hug and a kiss. This shows affection between the two families. The mother of the bride usually gives the father of the bride a hug and a kiss too. This shows appreciation for all he has done for her daughter.
3-It is customary for the father of the bride to give her away at the wedding.