A bride is a woman who is about to be married or is a newlywed. She may be attended by her maid of honor, bridesmaids, and groomsmen. In some cultures, the father of a bride may receive a payment, known as a dowry, to allow his daughter to marry. This treatment of a woman either as a commodity with a monetary value or as a liability that needs to be paid off is not only unjust, but it also violates the fundamental principle of gender equality.

Many women dream about their wedding day, some for years before it happens. They often have a picture in their head of how it should be and want to create an event that perfectly matches that vision. This can be a great thing, but it can also cause problems if the bride is not willing to let her family members and friends participate in the planning process. A bride who is too controlling of the wedding can be a huge stress to her loved ones and it can lead to conflict during the actual event.

In the wedding ceremony, the bride usually walks down the aisle accompanied by her maid of honor and best man, the flower girl and ring bearer (optional), and then her parents. The bride and her husband then exchange rings while a rabbi or other honored loved one recites the Sheva Brachot, or Seven Blessings. The couple drinks from a cup of wine together, and guests shout “mazel tov,” which means congratulations.

Once the couple is seated, they are typically welcomed by their parents, grandparents, and their bridal party and/or spouses. Then, designated family and friends give readings during the service. This can include one or more Bible passages and a responsorial psalm that the guests will repeat in unison.

After the wedding ceremony, there is often a reception where guests are served food and drink. This can be held at a venue or at the home of the bride and groom. The reception can be a casual event or a formal affair.

If the bride and her husband have children, they may invite them to the reception as well. Lastly, there may be a toast, where the guests thank the couple for their friendship and support.

Depending on the bride and her family, there may be a maid of honor and/or a best man. These people can be helpful in the wedding planning process by giving advice, coordinating events, and doing other tasks. They can also be a help on the big day by running errands, doing little chores, and generally being there for the bride in any way they can. A maid of honor is a great choice for a bride who wants to have someone on hand to make sure all the details are taken care of.

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