Despite war still raging throughout the galaxy, life is returning to normal on Deep Space Nine, and Commanders Worf (Michael Dorn) and Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) resume planning their long-awaited wedding. Since Dax will be joining Worf's surrogate family, the House of Martok (J. G. Hertzler), she agrees to endure the traditional evaluation by the mistress of the house, Martok's wife, Sirella (Shannon Cochran). Confident that she will be liked and accepted, Dax is surprised when she learns that as a non-Klingon she will almost certainly fail to gain Sirella's favor. Learning that Sirella disapproves of Dax, Worf asks Martok to intervene. Martok refuses to get involved, but agrees to participate in Kal'Hyah, the traditional Klingon "bachelor party". Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks), Chief O'Brien (Colm Meaney), Dr. Bashir (Alexander Siddig), and Alexander (Marc Worden) — Worf's son — eagerly join them, but are disappointed when they learn that the "party" is light on fun and heavy on fasting, bloodletting, and other uniquely Klingon forms of torture.
Meanwhile, Dax endures her own form of Klingon torture as she struggles to please Sirella. When she is asked to recite the history of the House of Martok, Dax gleefully reveals her discovery that Sirella has no imperial blood, and is in fact descended from a concubine. Naturally, Sirella is infuriated.
Ready for a little fun, Dax throws herself a pre-wedding party. In the midst of the drinking, debauchery and a fire dance by Dax's Samoan friend Lieutenant Manuele Atoa, Sirella demands that Dax join her for a ritual. When Dax tells her to leave, Sirella threatens to cancel the wedding. The confrontation ends with Sirella declaring Dax an enemy. The next morning, Worf informs Dax that Sirella has forbidden her to join the House of Martok. He asks her to beg Sirella's forgiveness, but Dax refuses to endure that humiliation just so Worf can have a Klingon ceremony. Angrily, both Worf and Dax call off the wedding.
Martok convinces Worf to apologize to Dax, but she refuses to change her mind. Determined to see the lovers wed, Sisko goes to see Dax himself. She describes the indignities to which she has been subjected, reminding Sisko that, as Curzon Dax, she was Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire. Sisko gently points out that Sirella only sees her as a young woman who wants to marry into her family. He states that Dax knew what she was getting into when she agreed to marry Worf, and that she must honor the traditions of his people. Warmed by her deep love for Worf, Dax follows Sisko's advice, and she and Worf are married — with Sirella's blessing.