This blog post is all about weddings in the Bible!
Weddings are every young girl’s dream – a beautiful white dress, twinkling lights, and guests sharing the joy of celebrating two people coming together.
While these details may be unique to the modern age, the origin of marriage dates back centuries.
The practice of marriage is found in almost every culture and corner of the world, with varying traditions and customs from place to place.
In this blog post, I’ll be exploring:
- The most iconic weddings featured throughout the Bible (The Esther section is a Must-read!)
- Bridal Party essentials that were a must-have in Biblical weddings!
Let’s dive into these classic stories that have been celebrated for thousands of years.
I hope you will enjoy uncovering the special details that make each wedding unique.
Ready? Let’s go
What constitutes marriage in the Bible?
In the Bible, marriage is seen as an institution ordained by God. It was designed to be a lifelong covenant.
This can be seen in stories such as the union of Isaac and Rebekah, where Abraham sent his servant to find a suitable wife for him. Abraham valued God’s covenant so much that he wanted to participate in selecting the right wife. We see that even though there were no formal vows or rituals, marriage was still highly valued and respected.
Today, marriages often involve a church wedding with the exchange of rings as a symbol of commitment. This practice is rooted in Western culture and does not necessarily originate from Biblical teachings. This doesn’t mean that the practice is bad (rings are so beautiful and precious)! I’m just stating that there is no mention of a proposal with a ring in the Bible.
Whether it’s a civil ceremony or a church wedding with rings, the main point remains: marriage should be seen as a sacred institution where two people come together to express their devotion and commitment to each other and to God.
Ultimately, it is up to each couple to decide how they wish to recognize and celebrate their marriage. With this understanding, one can appreciate the value and importance that marriage has held throughout history.
P.S. For the reasons that I’ve explained in this section, I may use marriage and wedding interchangeably.
Theme: Extravagance, grandeur, pomp and elegance!
Esther’s story of marriage is a fascinating one, full of extravagance and grandeur.
The book of Esther tells us that King Ahasuerus sought out the most beautiful young maidens from all parts of his kingdom and ultimately chose Esther to be Queen.
Esther was favored above all the other women in the palace, and her wedding was an extravagant affair like no other.
Here are seven things that made this part of the weddings in the Bible that stood out as per Esther 2:1-18:
- A great banquet.
- A royal decree was sent throughout 127 provinces announcing the King’s search for a bride.
- Twelve months of beauty treatments and preparations.
- An invitation was extended to every single person in the King’s court to attend the celebration.
- The guest list included nobles and officials.
- The King proclaimed a holiday once Esther was crowned queen.
- “Distribution of gifts with royal liberality.” – Esther 2:18
If Esther were getting married today, she would have probably secured a front page spread on some lavish magazine!
The list I mentioned translates to the following modern-day equivalents… a VVIP guest list, spa treatments, catering, grand invitations…
The remarkable thing about Esther is that all these material things didn’t phase her! She served the one true God and had a unique anointing that made her favored by even unbelievers.
You can read more about the secrets to her anointing in my post: “15 Secret Attributes of the Esther Anointing.”
Jacob and Rachel + Leah
Theme: Love and adversity…
Ok, this isn’t quite a model love story…but we can learn from it nonetheless. So to be a bit balanced, I’m listing this!
The story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah is a powerful example of how adversity can be faced in marriage.
In this union, there was jealousy and competition among the sisters. This was also a time when cultures collided, as Laban practiced pagan worship.
So here are the lessons from this marriage in the Bible:
- Although there was no pomp and extravagance in the nuptials, we see that there was an exchange of bride price in the form of Jacob working in the fields.
- The marriage(s) in Genesis 29 provides an interesting insight into the dowry system of the time. This is a custom still practiced today in some cultures.
- In the Bible, we can see that God established a firm and clear rule about marriage when He created one wife for Adam, not two, as was common in pagan belief systems at the time. This shows us that God does not condone polygamy (having multiple spouses). It appears that pagan beliefs were slowly accepted into Laban’s life, i.e., the first child needs to get married before the second, and Laban’s keeping of his gods.
- Jealousy and manipulation can have a damaging effect on relationships. Laban manipulated Jacob into staying in his service longer than agreed upon. In addition, jealousy and envy were prominent themes in the life of Rachel and Leah. If unchecked, these traits can lead us down paths of destruction.
- God will honor His promises to us. Although there was a lot of strife in Jacob’s family life, God ensured that His promise in the Abrahamic Covenant was fulfilled. In the same way, He will never forget about us when we put our trust in Him.
The wedding at Cana
Theme: The party continues!
The miracle at Cana gives us a glimpse into what a wedding feast must have been like during Jesus’ time!
It was full of joyous singing and laughter with friends and family coming together to celebrate the union of two people.
Here are some lessons that I derived from John 2:1-11:
- By performing His first miracle at the wedding, Jesus made it clear that marriage is a holy institution and a sacred part of our relationship with God.
- Loyalty to God’s covenant- The wedding at Cana between husband and wife is a reminder of the spiritual connection and vows in God’s covenant with us.
- Joy- His miraculous transformation of water into wine so that the celebration would continue confirms that it is indeed a cause for rejoicing and celebration.
- God is interested in the little details of our lives. Jesus attending a wedding with his mother and disciples shows that he cares about even the most mundane aspects of life, like having wine at a wedding feast.
Marriage supper of the Lamb!
Theme: Happily ever after (like for real!)
Revelation 19 talks about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. This event speaks of God’s ultimate victory over evil and death through Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.
- It features what looks like a special invitation from the angel to the people of God, in which they are invited to enjoy the wedding banquet at which Christ and His Bride, the Church, will be united. (see Revelation 19:9)
- The scene is described as a great celebration.
- At this feast, we look forward to enjoying fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ and joining Him in worshiping God.
- After the Marriage Supper of the Lamb comes the final battle between God and Satan. In this battle, God ultimately wins the victory over evil (Revelation 19:11-16).
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is a beautiful picture of the joy and glory we will experience when our Lord Jesus Christ returns for His bride, the Church.
It is an invitation to participate in one of the greatest celebrations ever – a celebration that will last forever.
For this reason, let us make it our goal to live lives that are pleasing to God so that we may be found worthy to attend this glorious banquet!
Although we don’t know exactly what it looks fully look like, it’s sure to be an unforgettable event! Hope to see you there- remember, the dress code is white!
Adam and Eve
Theme: Back to the beginning…
This story gives us the blueprint for the original framework and foundations of marriage! (see Genesis 2:4-3:24)
Throughout history, marriage has been a sacred institution with deep spiritual roots. Though the details of marriage ceremonies have changed over time, their spiritual significance remains constant.
We can trace this significance back to its origin in the Bible — the story of Adam and Eve. Although no ceremony was involved, this is considered a glimpse into the early structure of marriage.
As couples today plan for their own wedding day, it’s important to remember why we celebrate marriage and keep God Almighty at the center of the celebration of love.
Our weddings should be more than just fancy receptions. I’m not saying you cut your wedding budget in half. If God leads you to have a 500+ guest wedding- go ahead! I’m saying that the most important thing is to affirm our commitment to each other before God.
Let us remember marriage is a spiritual union made up of two individuals in service to God and each other.
Wow… God has much to say about the sacredness of marriage through Adam. He literally pulled Eve from his rib. Let us all seek His (God’s) will in everything.
We are all created by God with love in mind; let us use weddings to reflect on His goodness towards us and renew our commitment to Him and each other.
10 Essentials (some shocking) for iconic weddings in the Bible!
These components and details (listed below) illustrate the wedding essentials in Biblical times.
Although they weren’t applied to every marriage I listed above, it gives you an idea of the Biblical traditions at the time!
Isn’t this heartwarming?🥰
The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids is found in Matthew 25:1-13.
This parable emphasizes the importance of being prepared for Jesus’ coming and living a life of holiness and service.
The Jewish tradition at this time was that bridesmaids had to carry lamps in order to light the way for the bride and groom during their wedding procession.
The bridesmaids, who were prepared with extra oil, symbolizing readiness and alertness, were able to join the festivities.
According to Esther 2:18, I mentioned that there were gifts disbursed during Esther’s wedding. This were not in form of dowry but as a celebration.
Esther 2:18, “And the king gave a great banquet, Esther’s banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.”
In Genesis 34:12, Shechem proposed to Jacob’s sons dowry to get their sister Dinah married into their family.
In addition, Genesis 24, Abraham’s servant gave gifts of jewelry and clothing when he retrieved Rebekah from her home as Isaac’s bride.
These were typical offerings used during this time period as tokens of love and appreciation from the groom’s family to those of his bride-to-be.
Fun fact: In Hebrew, the bride price is called “mohar,” which I found very similar to “Mahari” in Swahili, which also means bride price.
4. Wedding planners?
Well, perhaps this specific term wasn’t used…However, it appears that the wedding at Cana was most likely organized and supervised by Mary, the mother of Jesus. (see John 2:1-11).
This shows how helpful it can be to have someone knowledgeable about organizing a successful wedding when planning such an important event.
Can you imagine…unbeknownst to the bride, Mary was literally doing damage control behind the scenes! God bless the modern-day wedding planners for everything they do to ensure the wedding goes smoothly.
5. Singing & music
In Psalm 45, the writer speaks of a wedding celebration full of singing and music.
The psalm talks of joyous noise and rejoicing as part of the festivities. This is a testament to how important musical celebrations were within the culture at that time, with weddings being no exception.
In Esther’s wedding I provided the detailed description of how preparation for the ceremony was done.
Although this wasn’t how standard Biblical weddings were, we do see some preparation from exchanging of gifts, speaking to brides family in other stories etc.
7. Witnesses & celebrants (guests)
The Marriage at Cana, recorded in John 2:1-11, featured both witnesses and celebrants. Some Bible versions simply refer to them as “guests.”
Jesus performed his first miracle here by turning water into wine so the guests at the wedding could have something to drink during their celebration.
This shows that those present were likely family members and close friends who were celebrating alongside them on this special day.
As indicated earlier in Esther’s wedding… people would wear their finest clothing to weddings and other special occasions as a sign of respect and joy.
9. Wine drinking
In the wedding in Cana, wine is mentioned as part of the wedding celebration.
10. Food & feasting
In Luke 14:7-14, Jesus speaks of banquets in which a great feast would be held for the guests attending a wedding celebration.
This would usually include the finest foods and most luxurious dishes available to those present, providing an opportunity for them to enjoy good food together.
And that’s it, folks, Weddings in the Bible
If you are reading this post and you are preparing for a wedding, I wish you the very best in your wedding. Please remember to take time to appreciate all of the little moments that make up your big day! Celebrate each step in the process; from planning out the details to saying “I do.” May the day be full of love and happiness!❤️
If you stumbled upon this post and aren’t getting married but found it fascinating, I appreciate you being here! I hope you draw inspiration from the meaning and beauty of weddings and find joy in your current journey.❤️
P.S. After writing this piece, I hope to get invited to a wedding this year! LOL. I’ll keep ya’ll posted. Haha.
Lots of Hugs!