The weddings that westerners are used to are celebrated with lots of laughter, tears of happiness, lots of dancing and great food. However, traditions are not the same around the world. There are many cultures that put a lot of emphasis on old traditions and customs. Like for example Ukrainian weddings. If you have been dating an Ukrainian woman for a while and are now thinking about marrying her then this article is perfect for you.
What to expect from Ukrainian Weddings?
Lots of Family Gatherings
In Ukraine there is a tradition where before the official ceremony, the families of the bride and groom will gather at the bride’s house. This will show their approval of the marriage and also allows them to express well wishes for the happy couple. This is a bit like couples in the States having dinner with both families and revealing their plan to get married. The main difference with Ukraine is that in Ukraine that happens only a few hours prior to the wedding ceremony.
Walking Down the Aisle
In the west, brides walk down the aisle accompanied by their father. In Ukraine however, the couple walks together. The family gathering before the wedding already celebrates the parents giving away their daughter. Walking down the aisle together symbolizes equality in the relationship.
Maid on Honor and Best Man
Ukrainians don’t have the same terminology for these roles. Both bride and groom get their own “starosty’s”. A Starosty can be a close friend or a family member. Long ago these people acted as the match makers for marriages but these days they host the reception after the wedding.
Plenty of Singing
Singing occurs on a smaller scale in the west. Ukrainians love the saying of St. Augustine – singing is like praying twice.
King and Queen
A fascinating part of Ukrainian weddings is the crowning ceremony. Wreaths are placed on the head of both the bride and groom. Next they place their hands on a gospel and exchange vows. This part demonstrates that the couples is now married in the eyes of God.
Plenty of things are done differently in Ukrainian weddings, but there is one thing that is similar – the after party. Wedding guests have a lot of fun, there is singing, eating, dancing and lots of booze.