The pattern of ancient Near-Eastern weddings provides an analogy for the Church as Christ’s bride.
First came a period of engagement, which, unlike today, was a legally binding agreement: A divorce was necessary to break it. This describes our relationship to Jesus now and indicates the relationship’s security. During this period, the husband-to-be prepared the house to which he would take his bride after the wedding. Jesus said He was going away to prepare a place for us; He will come back to take us there to be with Him forever (John 14 vv 1-3). On the day of the wedding, the groom came with fanfare and celebration to the house of his bride-to-be. Finally the marriage ceremony took place, followed by the marriage banquet. The Church’s marriage to Jesus and the marriage banquet are described in Revelation 19 vv 7-9.
Believers now are in the engagement period; we await the coming of our Bridegroom, Jesus, to whom we are eternally wedded.