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    Standing at weddings – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Why do the bride and groom and their attendants stand during the wedding ceremony?

    A. On their wedding day the couple are likened to royal personages (Pir’kei D’R. Eli’ezer, chapter 16) and it is like their coronation (although I seem to remember that at a British coronation the monarch is seated).

    Two other theories are also put forward. One is that the couple are in the presence of God and must stand, out of respect for Him who ordained the whole institution of marriage and without whose blessing no marriage can succeed. If this theory is true, then everyone present should stand, though it is more usual for some at least of the guests to be seated.

    The second theory is that the couple stand to symbolise respect for one another. This suggests that with all the love, romance and emotion of marriage a husband and wife must honour each other’s dignity, views and wishes at all times. Neither partner has any right to say, or even to think, “I am the boss in our marriage and what I say goes”.

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