4 Luxurious Marriage Traditions in Russia

Marriage is one of the biggest moments in many people life. Many people choose to celebrate it in traditional ways, others choose to do it with more modern touches. Whether you choose the first one or the later one is not a problem. Everybody can decide on how they want to celebrate their wedding day.

Traditional weddings are still common these days. The cultural vibe is one of the reasons why people would still love to hold the wedding ceremony in the traditional way. Different countries have different marriage traditions. Take Indonesia for example. In Indonesia, you can find various marriage traditions based on race. In Sundanese traditional wedding, you will find a series of activity that symbolizes something. At the ceremony, the bride and the groom will be fed by their parents.

This is the mark that their wedding day as their last time to be under their parents’ wings. The Sundanese tradition is pretty simple in comparison with the Balinese. Balinese marriage traditions consist of three wedding ceremonies. It starts with rituals conduct which means that the bride and groom are married in the eyes of the gods. It is followed by a ceremony that marks their marriage as official by law. The last one is the ceremony where they are blessed by the priest.

Just like the above examples, Russia also has many wedding traditions. In general, Russians wedding is held between two days and a week. That’s a lot of time, right? 😉 Although it takes many days, Russians enjoy their wedding ceremony and reception very much. They dance, sing, toast, and banquet through the celebration. Let’s learn more about 3 luxurious marriage traditions in Russia.

Luxurious Marriage Traditions In Russia

1. The Ransom

Russians make the ransom paying as a fun marriage tradition. Not like many countries that have the tradition of paying the ransom before the wedding day, in Russia, the groom pays the ransom on the wedding day. But, before that, the groom will have to go through some traditions first.

There are three versions of marriage tradition at this phase. The first one is when the bride is hidden by the parents and will only be released if the groom is successfully finished all the challenges made by the bridesmaids. If there is a challenge the groom not able to complete, he would have to pay with cash, chocolate, or flowers as compensation. The second version is the groom will be presented with a male relative dressed up in a wedding dress. The bride will be presented only after the groom pays the ransom. The third version also shows how fan Russians marriage traditions are. In this version, the groom will be shown a napkin with lipstick prints on it. The groom must be able to spot the bride lipstick print correctly otherwise he must pay the compensation. There is no wonder that this phase is considered as one of the luxurious marriage traditions in Russia. The fun challenges and traditions, as well as the people that get involved – the bridesmaids, the “fake bride”, and the family – surely makes ransom paying an enjoyable tradition.

2. Betrothal

Before the traditional wedding ceremony starts, Russian will head first to the Zapis Aktov Grazhdanskogo Sostoyaniya. This is the registration office where they will sign the paper to legally officiate their wedding. After that, they can go to the wedding ceremony.

The first part of the wedding ceremony is called Betrothal. At this part, the bride and the groom are standing at the church entrance with the priest, who will bless both of them. After the blessing, the priest will hand them lighted candles to be held through the ceremony. This part also includes the reading of litany by a deacon and prayers by the priest.
What makes Betrothal as one of the luxurious marriage traditions in Russia is that this is the part where the wedding rings are blessed and placed on the right’s hands.

3. Crowning

Crowning is the second part of the wedding ceremony. This part is believed to be more important than the ring exchanging. So important that the Russians wedding ceremony is often referred to as The Crowning.

The crowning will be held at the center of the church where the bride and the groom will be standing on a rose-colored cloth which symbolizes the start of their new life together. Before the crowns placed on their heads, they will each say their promise to be loyal to each other and only to each other. Then, the priest or a family member or a friend will place each crown on the bride’s and the groom’s head. Back in the days, the crown would not be removed for eight days but nowadays, the crown is removed at the end of the ceremony.

The crowning also includes the parts where the bride and the groom will share wine from a common cup and a procession where the priest wraps his liturgical vestment around the bride and the groom’s joined hand. Then the priest leads both of them to walk around the lectern (there is a bible placed on it) for three times. This is the symbol of their journey as a married couple.

This part of the wedding ceremony is undisputedly the key part of Russians traditional wedding. Not only that the couple says their vows, but they are also granted with crowns as the representation of the glory of the God who blesses the newly couple. This is why the crowning is named as one of the luxurious marriage traditions in Russia.

4. The Great Road Trip

Just like the name, at this part, the newlyweds, with some friends and family members, will leave for a road trip to many landmarks. They will travel around together and take many pictures in historical places.  

After the couple is announced to be officially married, their parents will give crystal glasses to each the bride and the groom to be smashed into the smallest pieces. Each piece of the glass is a symbol of their happy married life. This tradition does not need to be done right away. The newlyweds can do this as a part of their road trip. For example, if they do a trip around St. Petersburg, they can go to the Peter and Paul Cathedral to smash the glass near the fountains.

This road trip is surely a part of luxurious marriage traditions in Russia. Why? Because during the road trip, they will ride on limousines or cars, so they all can go around together.

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