Are wedding receptions based on scripture, or is it traditional?
The Bible records the fact that wedding receptions, or marriage feasts, occurred (Genesis 29:22; Luke 14:8; John 2:1-10; Revelation 19:9). The reason for the meals likely goes back to covenants. When two parties made a covenant, they would sit down together for a meal to show that they were now in fellowship with each other.
- When Jacob and Laban made a covenant, "Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his brethren to eat bread. And they ate bread and stayed all night on the mountain" (Genesis 31:54).
- When God made a covenant with Israel, "Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank" (Exodus 24:9-11).
The reception is when the two families sit down together to eat after a wedding covenant joins members of each family.