Jewish weddings were important affairs, but little is known about how exactly they occurred in ancient times. However, some events can be deduced from the Bible and Middle Eastern traditions. Apparently, the groomsmen would escort the bride and her wedding party to the groom’s house at night. Her escorts (friends and family) would bring furniture and decorations for the new home. The groom, however, would be elsewhere, preparing his own wedding party. Later that night, the groom’s party would light torches and proceed to the waiting bridal party, amidst cheers and shouts as he approached the house. An enormous feast would ensue, with various speeches and poems of congratulations. Jewish hospitality was a sacred duty and declining an invitation to a wedding reception was very insulting. The marriage was finally consummated by the entrance of the couple into the wedding chamber, which was the wife’s canopied bed.
Draw me after you, let’s run! The king has brought me into his bedrooms.
– Song of Songs 1:4