Yichud - Intimate Reflection Before The Wedding Reception
From the perspective of the bride and groom, it is always surprising how fast the wedding day goes. With so many family and friends gathered and focused on you, it is often hard enough to remember to eat, let alone take a moment of solitude with your spouse.
The yichud, a Hebrew word for "together" or "seclusion", is a Jewish wedding tradition that many couples are embracing not only for the religious implications, but also to carve out time for just the two of them right after the ceremony. The wedding ceremony is a nerve racking, momentous event where many couples feel as if they are "on stage". After such a public display of intimate love and commitment, it can be very overwhelming to transition directly into the wedding reception. That is why the yichud is so special, it creates a space for the bride and groom to exhale together before diving into the social reception.
The yichud has its' roots in the Bible, where a newly wed couple would consummate the marriage directly after the ceremony by going into a private room. In today's day and age the yichud is less about sex and more about unwinding together by talking, eating, or just being close to one another in the moment.
Many couples decide to break the tradition of using a special room for the yichud and instead take a walk together. Especially if the wedding is outdoors, it can be challenging to find a place that is completely secluded. If it is a beach wedding, the newlyweds might choose to walk down the beach together with their feet in the sand. If it is a mountain wedding, the couple might wander into a grove of trees and bask in the privacy of nature and each other. The moment doesn't have to last long, usually 10 to 20 minutes, but many couples say looking back on the wedding that the yichud was the most memorable part of the day.