Russian engagement & wedding traditions
It is very important to discuss serious topics such as the safety of online dating and how to avoid scam, but today, we decided to raise your mood and tell you about something pleasant, about weddings.
A Russian wedding is very different from a western one, and lots of you ask us hundreds of questions about how everything is happening in Ukraine and Russia, what are the traditions and how it’s better to arrange a wedding with our lady.
You have to be ready for this wonderful event with your Russian bride. That’s why we from Best-Matchmaking reveal all secrets about customs and traditions at Russian weddings and engagements. Believe us this information will be very interesting, helpful, and maybe even shocking to you!
Are you ready to get to know everything about Russian brides and what they expect from you?
Then let’s start right now! :)
The similarities and differences of the Western & Russian engagement
Once the couple is engaged, they can be officially called a bride and a groom. Betrothal is also very important for Russian and Ukrainian women. Previously, parents of both sat against one another and kept silent for several minutes.
After that, they wrote an agreement with the indication of the wedding date. The parents had to bless the bride and groom with an icon, exchanged bread and salt.
But this tradition is in the past. Nowadays, the engagement is almost the same as in the West. The engagement ring is a must-have. That old ceremony is replaced with a celebration dinner or a party. You already know that Ukrainian and Russian women are very romantic and prefer you to show some imagination when proposing to her.
Such old engagement traditions can still be applied in the villages where people still don’t accept western influence and keep doing as they used to many years ago. But when you use an online dating site, you will most likely meet a modern Slavic bride who is not likely to follow such old customs.
What about the wedding?
Traditional Russian wedding traditions are really interesting and diverse. They will surprise you for sure while they are accompanied by kidnapping, obstacle courses, and many things that may seem absolutely weird to you. First of all, you have to realize that a wedding is the most important day for any Russian woman.
So this day has to be the brightest and, beware, the most expensive day of her life. Yes, sometimes Russian weddings are celebrated for several days. Everyone is having fun, 300 people can be invited to the event. We realize that this kind of wedding is not familiar and common to you.
So we want to share the most interesting and unbelievable traditions with you. By the way, one of our couples had a wedding in Ukraine. Their wedding wasn’t that huge and crowded but they used major Russian wedding traditions and that man from the USA was excited.
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The ransom is one of the oldest Russian wedding traditions: Want to get your bride? – Be creative or pay!
You have probably heard that in some countries, a groom should pay a very expensive dowry before the wedding. In Ukraine and Russia, the bride’s ransom is not your duty but it is a very funny tradition. The bride’s parents (or some other close people) “steal” your bride and hide her right before the ceremony. But paying is not enough in this case! A groom should complete a range of challenges to show how much he loves her.
The tasks sometimes are really funny – you may be required to sing a song or tell a joke, a poem, dance, etc. If you are not able to complete it, you should pay cash, maybe chocolates or flowers, etc. Sometimes, this ransom quest includes a male relative being dressed up as a bride presenting the napkin with lipstick prints of the bridal party. Didn’t recognize your future wife’s print? Then get ready for payment!
The role of the church in Russian wedding traditions
A traditional Russian Orthodox ceremony is not obligatory and can be conducted not even at the day of a lawful wedding but even in many years after it. Our manager, for example, had such an orthodox wedding only 7 years after her official wedding.
And there are reasons for that. Today, a wedding in the church became a beautiful and fashionable trend. But previously, it was a very serious step, after which the couple was considered to be “united” in heavens.
People usually get ready for that event for some time. They attend church, have a confession and abstain from their sexual life to make their spiritual connection stronger. The wedding is considered to be one of the seven sacraments for Russian Orthodox followers. But if you want to have a traditional Orthodox wedding with your Russian bride, you have to be Orthodox as well.
Crowning is one of the most important Russian wedding traditions
As we mentioned above, more and more Russian women choose to have a church wedding. It became a sort of a trend now. And more often, you can see a young couple in their wedding dresses to have a church wedding right after their lawful ceremony. By the way, having a wedding in church before it is strictly forbidden in Ukraine and Russia, a couple has to be officially married already.
The ceremony starts with a betrothal when a couple is blessed by the priest at the entrance to the church. They get lit candles which they hold throughout the ceremony. Placing the crowns onto the heads of the couple is not less important than exchanging wedding rings. The priest places the crowns onto the couple’s heads.
After that, they share a cup of wife and follow the priest three times. That symbolizes their common journey into married life. After that, they exchange the rings as well and are announced to be the union.
The ceremony may be less traditional
Now you know that have such a traditional Orthodox wedding is not obligatory, it is up to a couple. Weddings can have lots of forms but a marriage can be recognized only when you are married legally in a special registration office. It is a sort of a European City Hall wedding. To get married, this tradition is a must and cannot be avoided.
Also, lots of couples nowadays choose a small civil marriage registration affair when they just sign papers and exchange wedding rings. But the very same ceremony may be much longer and more solemn, with lots of guests, limousines, champagne, etc. However, this is just a formality and some people prefer making it shorter to have more fun at the celebration.
Witnesses play a special role in Russian weddings. Although it is no longer necessary, young people still choose two witnesses who will be with them during their wedding day. In western weddings, these roles are played by the bridesmaids.
Let’s smash a good time!
Now the couple is announced as newlyweds and their parents offer a new wife and husband crystal glasses. Their task is to shatter these glasses into as many shards as possible. Each of the pieces signifies a year of a happy marriage. It may look strange but it is really interesting to watch young people gathering all their strength to smash those glasses.
Releasing a balloon with the maiden name written on it is also one of the Russian wedding traditions. Very often, the head of a bride is covered with a white headscarf symbolizing she started her married life and has to obey her husband. This tradition is also very common for village weddings and is almost lost in the cities nowadays.
There is also a tradition to release a couple of white pigeons after the official ceremony. The pigeons have to fly far into heaven to symbolize their long and happy married life. It looks very beautiful in fact.
Check a FREE gallery of the most beautiful Slavic Brides!
Who bites off more?
Before heading off from the reception, the newlyweds take a bit of a traditional bread load called Korowai! There is a superstition that the person who takes the biggest bite becomes the head of the family and future household. A wise Russian or Ukrainian wife will always let her husband bite more ;) This tradition is also very old and is still up-to-date on modern weddings.
We hope this information was helpful and interesting to you and if you and your Russian woman decide, you will use one of these traditions in your wedding as well. Haven’t you found your Ukrainian bride yet?
Then welcome to our gallery of Russian, Ukrainian, and Latvian women. We hope our video chat will help you find your love and have your dream Russian wedding the soonest!
And if you want to feel more secure in your search, welcome to our matchmaking club! :)
Do not hesitate to ask Kate, a practicing psychologist, professional matchmaker, and dating blogger any questions that may arise concerning membership plans and Ukrainian matchmaking programs. Her consultations are absolutely free, so start your Ukrainian dating process right now!
Interested to learn more about Russian dating & culture:
- European girls for dating & marriage: Your ultimate dating guide
- What are the average Russian women metrics: The Stereotypes & Reality
- The Ultimate Guide to Ukrainian Mail Order Brides
- 5 Actionable Tips For Meeting a Foreign Bride for Marriage
- Russian mail order brides cost - We do the analysis
- American women vs Russian women: Who Should You Date?
Written by Katrina El, a practicing psychologist, professional matchmaker and founder of the Slavic marriage agency Best-Matchmaking.com.
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