Do not be alarmed parents! I haven’t given in to any mullet-ed suitors and decided to marry into a Russian family, but over the last couple of weeks the subject of weddings has cropped up many a time. Mainly because my friend Sinead is writing a project on Russian women and so we have been finding out a LOT about the importance of being married in Russian society.
In Russia being married is a lot more important than being married in the UK. In fact recently there was a ‘bride parade’ in Moscow to promote marriage over cohabitation. Both married and unmarried women took part and one participant was quoted in one of the papers saying, “I’m not married yet, but I hope to find a man today.” Crazy.
Anyone that says I am too worried about marriage, think again. At least I do not parade around dressed as a bride looking for a bridegroom!! Good idea though…
Anyway, yes marriage is important and most Russians get married a lot younger than their Western counterparts. So what goes on in a traditional Russian wedding?
Like most weddings it starts with a ceremony at a church or registration office to actually make the marriage legal! These are usually a lot shorter than ceremonies in the West and the bride doesn’t have bridesmaids (sorry Vicky, Lianne, Katie, Sinead, Anabelle, Clare and Emily – no part for you), just one witness (so my girls will have to fight it out for this special position).
After the ceremony the real fun begins. The wedding party tour around their hometown taking photos at all their favourite sights… every Saturday Red Square is literally FULL of brides. Some brides are dressed beautifully and taking elegant pictures. Most however (we are in Russia) are not dressed so well. Here are some examples of some STUNNING wedding photos:
One of the sweetest traditions of a Russian wedding is that the couple place a padlock somewhere in the city.
Usually the couple engrave their names and their wedding date onto the lock:
Some however prefer to just make sure their marriage will last:
Russia really is cheesy gestures central so couples also like to release a dove on their wedding day...
For the final part of the wedding is the reception, involving lots of caviar and vodka. Meaning lots of ‘interesting’ entertainment from the guests.
So will I be having a Russian style wedding? I think not. Mainly because there are no famous sights in Huddersfield... but also because I am way too scared of birds to be able to release a dove.