Hiding at your wedding
Can I hide at my wedding? It includes this paragraph:
Wherever you decide to have the wedding, there’s nothing wrong with scoping out a place in the venue where you can escape for a breather when you need to (the bathroom may or may not work, depending on the likelihood of running into doting friends or relatives in there). Halfway through their wedding, one couple I spoke to for Introverts in Love slipped off to the kitchen for a break while the catering staff, too busy to pay them any mind, bustled around them. (I assume they weren’t in anyone’s way. Or maybe they were, but it was their wedding, so that’s the way it goes.)It struck me as very amusing, for Jewish weddings actually fit the couple hiding away into the ritual.
The Ashkenazic custom is for the couple to enter into a private room by themselves for yichud [seclusion] right after the chuppah. It is not merely to give them a few (usually 10 -15) quiet minutes together and to break their fast before joining their guests. The seclusion of the couple is necessary to complete chuppah, and, according to some views, is even the definition of chuppah. Prior to marriage, a single man and woman avoid situations of intimacy in which they will be closeted together out of view of anyone else. Their seclusion for a time period that would suffice for intimacy is a sign of their married state. Some people even designate witnesses for this step; they make sure the room is free of all other occupants before the bride and groom enter.
While the yichud part of the wedding is a very special time for the bride and groom, they are usually summoned out all-too-soon for their liking. That is because the photographers want them present for pictures, and they also have to bear in mind that their guests await their return to the hall to begin dancing in front of them in fulfillment of the mitzvah of being mesameach chasson vekallah, [gladdening the groom and bride].
The convention of staying away from guests for long periods of time for the sake of photography can also be used as an excuse for the introverted bride or groom who wants to get away from the crowd. You can always claim you need to be in the picture or to freshen up for the picture.