I am looking for information regarding the breaking of a glass at a wedding. I have been referred to the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 560. Unfortunately I do not have access to this source. Could you please send me the appropriate material as well as your personal comments on same.
(a) The Gemara Berachos 30b-31a tells the story of Mar Brei d'Ravina at the wedding of his son. He saw that the Rabbis there were becoming "overly cheerful." To counter the hazard that they lose their lofty spiritual heights, he smashed an extremely expensive crystal goblet in front of them. The Rabbis came back to themselves.
TOSFOS (DH Aisi) states that this is the source of our custom to smash a glass at weddings. However, we don't exactly choose a valuable item for this ceremony. The reason may be that it does not serve the same purpose as the goblet of Mar Brei d'Ravina.
(b) The SHULCHAN ARUCH (Orach Chayim 560) lists the Rabbinical decrees that were instituted as a remembrance to the Beis ha'Mikdash. Among them, the REMA (ibid. 560:2) states that there are places where it is customary to smash a glass under the Chupah or to spread out a black tablecloth at the meal.
Ever since the Beis ha'Mikdash was destroyed, our custom is to limit full rejoicing. The verse (Tehilim 137:6) states "... if I do not set Yerushalayim above my highest joy." Breaking even a simple glass is enough for us to comply with this verse.