The Shabbat Chatan/ Aufruf (pronounced “oofroof”) for Ashkenazi Jews usually takes place on the Shabbat preceding the wedding, and for Sephardi Jews usually takes place on the Shabbat following the wedding. It is customary for the chatan (groom) to be called up to the Torah in the synagogue. This serves to announce the forthcoming marriage to the community and to recognize, congratulate, and share in the joy of the wedding!
After the chatan recites the final blessings over the Torah, in some communities it is customary to throw candies to wish the couple a sweet life. Often there is a simultaneous “Shabbat Kallah”, where the brides’ friends make a party for her.
Often at the Shabbat Chatan/ Aufruf , there is a celebratory “Kiddush” in the synagogue after the service, and family and close friends get together for a Shabbat meal. Usually at the kiddush, or at the meal, the father will give a Dvar Torah directed at the Chatan. He may choose to discuss a topic from the parshat hashavua which is relevant to the occasion, or he may want to impart words of advice to the Chatan.
(Picture courtesy of Rebecca Kowalsky http://www.imagesthroughtime.com