Days Of Vodka and Roses: 10 “Radical” Russian Wedding Traditions
Jun 15, 2017 02:02 PM Back
When It comes to Russian brides one might expect a somewhat sophisticated and “stoic”, soon to be Mrs. and a celebration that is full of rigid pomp and circumstance. Think again, Russian weddings lend themselves to some of the most fabulously fun and cheeky customs and traditions.

1. A-Mazing Fun: Let the games begin BEFORE the official ceremony and celebration. Guests create an intricate obstacle course that the groom must skillfully navigate in order to make his way to his bride to be. Since many Russians (across the sea) live in high rise apartments, the groom must not only make his way through the maze but also pay “bribes”, pass quizzes and answer quirky questions to make his way to his “future Mrs.”

2. Individual Rides: Even though the groom has already “retrieved” his soon-to-be bride, they are expected to travel separately (in their own ornately decorated vehicles) to their first destination.

3. Going “To Town”: While religious ceremonies may be part of the grand matrimonial plan…the emphasis in Russia is placed primarily on the Civil Ceremony. Tying the knot in Russia means making a stop at Town Hall or ZAGS ((Zapis Aktov Grazhdanskogo Sostoyaniya) to file your papers.

4. Witness Protection: Russian couples (like most) are required to have two eye witnesses present at their civil ceremony….usually their best friends.

5.  The Showers Of Love: Once the couple has said their “I Dos”, they are showered with rice, chocolates, coins, flowers and even butterflies bestowing blessing and good fortune upon them as they head back to the car.

6.  Love “Bites”:  Before the newlyweds leave their respective families and head out to a future of their own, they are expected to take a bite of bread with salt. Superstition has it that the one who takes the bigger bite will be head of the household.

7. Make The Wedding A Truly Historic Event: Russian couples place a large emphasis on making memories..and making THEIR event a “historic” one. …so they spend several hours taking photos, usually at the area’s most historic, symbolic and picturesque locations and sites. Many even commemorate their own HISTORIC day by paying tribute to the military men of WW II during their photo shoot.

8. Russian Revelry: The wedding reception (as we know it to be) is usually “given” by the couple themselves or, more traditionally, by the couple’s parents. In Russia however, it’s the bride and groom’s besties that host the main event. The two  are not only the main witnesses to the main event but  are responsible for giving several powerfully positive speeches, announcing toasts throughout the celebration, and making sure things run smoothly and that everyone is having a good time.

9. Sealed With A KISS: Russian weddings are all about celebratory smooches. Guests can often be heard yelling ‘??????: gorka!’ (usually after a toast) which translates (in Russian) into “bitter alcohol” To “sweeten” the taste of the champagne (used for the toast) couples are urged to kiss for as long as they can with everyone cheering them on and counting along for fun.

10. Stealing “The Show”: It’s all fun and games until someone “loses” the bride. As part of the fun the groom’s friends make an attempt to steal away his bride when he is not looking. The groom must them pay his guests a  ransom to “save his lady”
 
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