Jews see marriage as a fulfilment of the instruction in Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Marriage is seen as a blessing which helps one overcome spiritual and emotional loneliness.
The order if events in the ceremony is as follows:
1. The veiled bride approaches and circles her husband-to-be.
2. Two blessings are recited over wine.
3. The man places the ring on the woman’s finger (an unbroken circle to show the eternal nature of marriage).
4. The husband recites from the Talmud, “With this ring you are wedded to me in accordance with the laws of Moses and Israel.”
5. The ring is placed on the forefinger of her right hand, and she then places it onto her ring finger on her left hand.
6. The ketubah is signed in front of witnesses.
7. The ketubah is then read aloud so that it is witnessed.
8. The bride walks around her groom (as outlined in Jeremiah where a woman protects her husband).
9. The rabbi may say a few words or the cantor may sing.
10. The bride and groom share a glass of wine.
11. The groom smashes a glass under his foot. This reminds the people of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. It also reminds the couple that there may be hard times in a marriage, but it is important to work through them.