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Marrying A Ukrainian? Tips On Ukrainian Marriage Traditions

Feb 17, 2008
Ukraine's old civilization has far reaching history, rich culture that saw the flourishing of unique customs and traditions, including of course, marriage traditions.

I would like to share my observation that a lot of women in countries consider marriage as no longer consequential and have kept it in the backroom of their priorities. For them marriage traditions are a thing of the past. However, Ukraine ladies in general continue to value the sanctity of marriage and getting married still remains to be one of their top priorities.

Because marriage for Ukrainian women is considered as one of the most special highlights of their lives, they are inclined to combine both modern, religious and historical so as not to miss out anything. Marriages today can only be officially conducted in the State and Registry offices. Lawyers and priests have no legal authority to record marriages.

These practices were propagated during the Soviet rule in concurrence with new other new laws and policies. But these days, Ukrainians have generally done away with the Soviet practices and chose to go back to their own cultural and religious practices.

Consequently, if you are getting married in Ukraine, the State Registry Office is the only place to go to officially register your marriage. However, you have an option to follow your wife and her family's choice of tradition and the kind of wedding bash that traditionally comes after the wedding. After the wedding ceremony at the State Registry Office, you can opt to have another church wedding and celebrate in a way that is both happy and fun-filled as all wedding celebrations should be, yet not offensive to the old folks.

Strictly speaking, specific Ukrainian marriage traditions are practiced even during the civil ceremony in the State Registry Office. These are the exchange of rings and drinking of champagne. A loaf of round white bread and salt may also be given to the newlyweds. The couple takes a small piece of bread, dips it in the salt then eats it. The loaf of bread will then be crushed against the floor. The more parts it breaks into, the better as this symbolizes a happily married life.

As the couple leaves the establishment, they will be given an elaborately decorated towel which they will step on. There will be a rush to reach the towel first because the first one who steps on the towel will rule the house.

For the non-religious wedding celebration, the practice is to invite a lot of guests and fill a huge table with food and drinks. Generally, Ukrainian weddings are boisterous and overflowing with people. Guests come to drink, eat and celebrate in a big way. One of their unique traditions is the stealing away of the bride or the bride's shoe. The bridegroom and the best man will have to pay the ransom to get back his precious bride. He can pay in money or do quaint tasks, such as drinking champagne or vodka poured onto the bride's shoe.

We have discussed just some of the more popular Ukrainian wedding traditions. So if you have finally found your love in Ukraine and cannot wait to marry her, then it will do you well to set yourself to knowing, understanding and accepting these time-honored traditions and include them in your wedding plans. It will not only show your respect to your fiances family but it will also prove how much you love and care for your future wife.
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