Traditionally, when the bride approaches the groom at the chuppah, she will circle him seven times. There are many explanations for this, having to do with the significance of the number seven– the seven times a man wraps tefilin around his arm (binding him to his wife as he does to G-d); the seven times it says “when a man takes a wife” in the Torah; the seven days of creation (as the bride and groom are creating a “new world” together, reenacting the creative process).
However, the tradition may also evoke a view of marriage that makes some couples a bit squeamish– one where the husband is the center of the home. Meredith and Josh, married in Miami, Florida, performed a more egalitarian “seven circles” within their wedding ceremony. Meredith explains:
“For the seven circles, I circled my husband Josh three times, and he circled me three times. Then, we did one simultaneous circle of one another — symbolizing the equality that needs to exist between a man and a woman in marriage. We were married on the beach and one of the best moments of our wedding was the way my veil became wrapped around Josh suring the seven circles.”
The happy couple