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Your Russian Wedding Day – part 4

June 13th, 2009
Written by Yuliya

After your tour around the city, you and your beautiful Russian woman will go to the site of your reception—usually a café, restaurant, home, or yard. That’s when the real party begins!

When you and your Russian bride arrive at the celebration, your new Russian parents will meet you with bread and salt. These are offered to newlyweds as a symbol of health, prosperity and long life.

Both you and your beautiful Russian woman should take a bite of the bread. The one that takes the largest bite will be the head of the family!

Unlike wedding receptions in the West, your Russian wedding reception will be very loud and will include a lot of music, singing, dancing, long toasts, and an abundance of food and drinks. The guests will probably sing Russian traditional songs accompanied by accordion, button accordion or harmonica.

At the beginning of the party a relative or close friend will make a wedding toast to you and your beautiful Russian bride. Then, by Russian tradition, the groom and bride will throw their champagne glasses on the floor.

(It’s considered good luck if the glasses break when they hit the ground!)

During the celebration your guests will expect you to kiss your beautiful Russian wife often. After each toast the guests will invite you to share a long kiss, shouting “Bitter!” (Gorko!). This means that after kisses, vodka becomes sweet.

Your wedding meal will consist of the most refined and delicious dishes. There will be a great quantity of drinks on the festive table, which will help quench everyone’s thirst as they make toasts to the happy couple and sing and dance to the Russian music.

Finally, at the end of the party your beautiful Russian woman will turn her back to the guests and throw the wedding bouquet to the young girls. They’ll try to catch it and become the lucky girl who will be married next.

So that’s what your wedding reception will be like. But even then, your wedding celebration won’t be over!

Continue to Your Russian Wedding Part #5 to find out what happens on Day #2 of your wedding celebration…

3 Comments regarding “Your Russian Wedding Day – part 4”
  1. John says:

    Russian wedding traditions (like most traditions in Russia) date back a long way, and are a testament to the importance that Russians place on their history and culture.

    Some may seem silly, others very romantic, but all of these traditions make Russian weddings a truly memorable and joyous occasion.

    Viykup – This is a traditional game, played prior to the wedding. The groom comes to his bride’s house, where she is hiding. He should bring gifts, money, and sweets, to give to everybody in her family, so they will help him find her. This is known as ‘Viykup’, and is a tradition in many other cultures around the world as well as in Russia.

    The Loaf of Bread – At the wedding reception, the newlyweds take a loaf of bread, and at the same time they both attempt to take a big bite from it (with no hands allowed!). Whoever takes the bigger bite, it is said that they will be the leader of their family! It is not taken seriously of course, but you might want to practise this one at home before the big day!

    The Bitter Kiss – One of the most intriguing Russian wedding traditions takes place at the wedding reception. The bride and groom must kiss when the crowd begin to chant ‘gorko’. In English, this word means ‘bitter taste’, and you can be sure that every Russian wedding will have this happen more than once throughout the night! The kiss must continue until the crowd stops chanting, so you can imagine this creates a lot of fun for all involved!

    The Champagne Glass – At the wedding table of the bride and groom, friends and family put some coins in the champagne glasses of the newlyweds as a wish for their marriage to be blessed with abundance.

    Smashing the Plate – This tradition is well-known with Greek weddings, and it is also a tradition in Russian weddings. The bride and groom should drop a plate together, and break it into small pieces. Then they take a step together, over the broken pieces, as a sign of them advancing towards their future happiness.

    The Wedding Dress – Superstition says that a bride must not make her wedding dress herself, and nor should her mother. She should also walk in new shoes at least one day before the wedding day, as a sign of her future happiness.

  2. John says:

    Family and friends, we welcome you today to witness the marriage of [groom] and [bride]. You have shared and contributed to their lives in the past, and by witnessing their marriage ceremony today, [bride and groom] ask you to share in their future.

    Marriage is a promise, made in the hearts of two people who love each other, which takes a lifetime to fulfill. Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life’s most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each other’s lover, teacher, listener, critic, and best friend.

    It is into this state that [bride and groom] wish to enter.

    Who gives their blessings to this union? (parents and/or guests say “we do”.)

    If anyone present can show just cause as to why this couple may not be legally joined together, you should now declare it, or hereafter hold your peace. (silence)

    [bride and groom], I charge and require of you both, as before a bar of justice, and in the presence of these witnesses, that if either of you know of any legal or moral impediment to this marriage, you do now reveal the same. (silence)

    [groom], do you take [bride] to be your wife? Will you love, honour, and cherish her, in good times and in bad, and do you promise to stay true to her as long as you both shall live?

    (groom) I do.

    [bride], do you take [groom] to be your husband? Will you love, honour, and cherish him, in good times and in bad, and do you promise to stay true to him as long as you both shall live?

    (bride) I do.
    [bride and groom], may you pledge to each other to be loving friends and partners in marriage. To talk and to listen, to trust and appreciate one another; to respect and cherish each other’s uniqueness, and to support, comfort, and strengthen each other through life’s joys and sorrows. May you promise to share hopes, thoughts, and dreams as you build your lives together. May your lives be ever intertwined, your love keeping you together. May you build a home that is compassionate to all, full of respect and honour for others and each other. May your home be forever filled with peace, happiness, and love.
    [bride and groom], please face each other and hold hands. [groom], as you look at [bride], repeat these words after me:

    (groom) I [groom], take you [bride], to be my wife, to have and to hold, from this day forth, to love, honour, and cherish, to comfort and respect, in sorrow or in joy, in hardship or in plenty, so long as we both shall live.

    [bride], as you look at [groom], repeat these words after me:

    (bride) I [bride], take you [groom], to be my husband, to have and to hold, from this day forth, to love, honour, and cherish, to comfort and respect, in sorrow or in joy, in hardship or in plenty, so long as we both shall live.

    The ring is a symbol of unity into which your two lives are now joined in an unbroken circle; in which, wherever you go, you will return to one another.

    (groom) [bride], I offer this ring as a symbol of my love and devotion. Let it always be a reminder of my vows to you.

    (bride) [groom], I offer this ring as a symbol of my love and devotion. Let it always be a reminder of my vows to you.

    [bride] and [groom], the two separate candles symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate sets of friends. I ask that each of you take one of the lit candles and that together you light the centre candle.

    The individual candles represent your lives before today. Lighting the centre candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the joining of your two families and circles of friends into one.

    [bride] and [groom], may your home be a haven of peace and your relationship be one of truth and understanding. May you enjoy length of days, fulfillment of hopes, and peace and content of mind as you, day by day, live and fulfill the terms of this covenant you have made with one another.

    And now, for as much as you have made your vows, each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving your rings, I pronounce that you are husband and wife. [groom], you may kiss your bride!

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