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Wedding Seudah With No Wine

Question:

Shalom,

I recently was a guest at a chatunah where absolutely no alcohol or wine was served to any of the guests, including at the chosson’s tisch.

1. Is serving wine at a wedding seudah a halachic requirement?
2. Even if it is not a requirement, it is extremely common practice. What would justify deviating from this tradition?
3. Perhaps a wedding guest purchases a gift for the chosson and kallah based on the expectation that their wedding seudah will have meat and wine, and the guest wants to help compensate them this cost. Would this be a concern if the guest arrives and realized the seudah has no meat and/or no wine?

Thank you.

Answer:

  1. As far as I know there is not halachic requirement to serve anything specific at a chatuna meal. It is true that in certain areas people do it in order to make the meal more elegant, but not because of any intrinsic or halachic minhag. Therefore the host did nothing wrong by not serving any alcohol at the wedding.
  2. If it would be a tradition for halachic or mitzva reasons, then there might reason not to deviate, b ut as stated there is not minhag as far as I know that alcoholic beverages should be served.
  3. When a guest comes to a wedding, although they may be giving a gift to compensate the cost, the main reason for he gift is to be mesameach the chosson and kallah, and help them build their new home, and in our society it is not dependent on which dishes are served. In fact if the host couldn’t afford to serve meat or wine at the wedding, they may be in need for financial help, and you gift will be even more appreciated.

 

Best Wishes

 

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