Russian wedding traditions
Russian weddings have a lot of beautiful traditions. Attending a Russian wedding is something you never forget. The unpredictability of the celebration is something to behold. From obstacle courses to kidnapings, there are many Russian wedding traditions, some are very beautiful, some are just for fun and entertainment of the guests. Let‘s talk about the most popular traditions and their beauty.
Bride‘s ransom is a fun, sometimes tough set of challenges the groom has to complete before the ceremony to get to see his bride. Many various tests await the man: it can be in a form of strength excercises, a display of his love or some silly tasks created just for his embarassment. If the groom fails to complete some of the challenges, he has to find a way to compensate his failure.
There are many various form of Russian wedding ceremonies, but your marriage is only legal if you register your marriage in a registration office (Zapis Aktov Grazhdanskogo Sostoyaniya or ZAGS). The choice of a ceremony depends completely on a couple. If they want a simple registration and a party, that is exactly what they will get. If you want a long and beautiful ceremony, all power to you.
This may seem silly to some westerners, but because the wedding ceremony is one one of the seven sacraments in Russian Orthodox church, placing the crowns of couple‘s heads is more important than exchanging rings. Crowns can be held in the hands of relatives before the priest places them on the heads. After that, newlyweds share a glass of wine and follow the priest around the lectern as a metaphor for starting a jouney into married life. Crowns used to be worn for eight days straight before, but this unnecessary tradition is not as popular today.
When the couple is finally announced as newlyweds, they get two crystal glasses from their parents. If they manage to shatter them into the tiniest pieces, every small shard is a symbol of a happy year they will spend together.
Not a long time ago, having two witnesses at the registration of your marriage was a legal requirement and you could not get married without them. Although this old law is not relevant anymore, for the sake of a tradition, couples still include them in their ceremonies
Master of ceremonies
In some regions, couples choose a master of ceremonies for their wedding. A well-spoken cheerful and energetic friend welcomes the bridal couple and stays responsible for various games and competitions, which have many traditions of their own. For example, after the toast, while the guests are drinking, newlyweds have to stand up and keep kissing each other for as long as possible, while the guests start counting. If the kiss was short, guests can protest and another kiss, until they are satisfied with both the drink, and the kiss. Master of ceremonies or „Tamada“, says a lot of other important toasts during the ceremony and is a very respected and valued part of the wedding.
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