Jewish tradition requires a bride and groom to know each other and to partake in a formal or informal engagement prior to marriage. The Talmud says this is so for practical reasons. To marry without first knowing who one is marrying could lead to not loving one's neighbor — or in this case, one's spouse — as oneself. Marriage cannot be jumped into; it must be preceded by certain preparatory activities. So, too, a wedding itself is preceded by certain moving rituals that serve to deepen one's subsequent wedding ceremony and marriage.