With Jewish background and later seminary study, I find the facts of a Jewish wedding at the time of Christ to be a beautiful picture of our upcoming nuptials - 1. The father of the bridegroom, often before the child was born, of his own free will would select a bride for his son. 2. The prospective bridegroom then took the initiative and traveled from his father’s house that of the prospective bride. 3. The fathers had already negotiated the price that must be paid by the son to purchase the bride and show his love/responsibility. 4. When this price was paid, the marriage covenant was thereby established. From this point, the man and woman were classified as “husband and wife”, even though no physical union had occurred. 5. The groom and the bride then drank from a cup over which the betrothal benediction had been pronounced. This symbolized the covenant relationship established. 6. With the marriage covenant in effect, the groom returned to his father’s house. He remained there for a period of at least 12 months separated from his bride. 7. During this separation, the bride gathered her wardrobe and prepared for married life. The groom prepared a new room on his father’s house as their accommodation 8. At the close of the separation and the time selected by the father, the groom and male escorts left his father’s house, usually at night, and led a torch-light procession to the bride’s house. 9. The bride was expecting her groom, but did not know exactly the day/time he would come. His impending arrival came with a shout and blowing shofar. 10. The bride and her escorts got their lamps and joined the procession, leaving her home and taken to the groom’s new home. 11. The entire wedding party joined together for a feast that usually lasted 7 days or longer. 12. During this time, the bride and groom entered the bridal chamber and join in physical union for the first time, consummating the marriage. 13. After the 7 days the couple would return to public life/work.