THE WEDDING CEREMONY
The erusin, or betrothal ceremony, is the first of the two major components of the wedding. It consists of the following elements:
1. Although not required, most ceremonies begin with an official greeting and invocation. The traditional welcome that is recited comes from Psalms [118:26]: “Baruch haba beshem —, barchnuchem mebeit —.” This means: “Welcome in the name of God, welcome in this house of God.” The invocation which often follows, a prayer known as Mi Adir, which praises God and asks for blessings on the bride and groom.
2. Kiddush: a glass of wine is poured, and the traditional blessing is recited by the officiant.
3. Birkat erusin: the betrothal blessing is recited by the officiant. This blessing thanks God for bestowing marriage rites on us.
4. The bride and groom drink from the sanctified wine. In order to facilitate this, the bride’s veil is lifted, often by her mother or maid of honor. Because the wedding is not yet over, the veil is lowered again after she has drunk. (Some customs hold that the officiant, or other members of the wedding party, may drink from the wine as well.)