RUSSIAN WEDDING TRADITIONS
The traditions of Wedding in Russia combine modern trends and old customs generated by many centuries.
- On the day of the wedding ceremony, once the groom arrives to the bride’s parent’s house, he must pay a ransom for the bride, a term in Russian known as “vykup nevesty”. The entire event scenario is specially written for the couple by the bridesmaid and some of the bride’s female relatives. The ransom is played out differently at every other wedding but the common feature is a comical manner in which it is being conducted. There are some tricky questions that touch upon the groom’s awareness of some particular details about the bride and their relationships before marriage (i.e. questions about the exact date when the couple met each other, about the age of the bride’s father, about the bride’s weight, etc.) and if the groom fails to give a correct answer he should pay for his mistake. When the groom succeeds to enter the house he needs to find where his beloved is being hidden. He will be offered to choose from several “brides” who are totally disguised. At the end the groom is invited to the table, where the bride sits but the place beside her is already occupied by some man (usually a brother or a cousin) and again the groom has to pay for the sit to set free.
- When the official part is over, it is customary for the bride and groom, and some of their close friends and relatives to go on a tour of the historic sites of the city, taking pictures and drinking champagne. By the end of the tour many guests are already singing and dancing.
- After the tour around the city the newlyweds are met in a banquet hall by the mother of the groom who offers them bread and salt. The young couple must then take turns to bite the bread. The person who bites the largest piece of bread will be the head of the household.
- As the newlyweds enter the reception hall, they are showered with oats or wheat and occasionally rose-petals. This tradition symbolizes future wealth and prosperity for the newly married couple.
- During the wedding reception any of the guests can start chanting "Gor'ko" - "bitter" which is immediately supported by the rest of the guests. In this case the newlyweds stand up and kiss each other and the kiss should last for as long as the chanting continues.
- The second day of the wedding goes on with no less fun than the day before. After some rest more toast in newlywed’s honour, singing and dancing take place.
Here we briefly mentioned only some of the numerous Russian wedding traditions. If you want your Russian wedding dream become true we will tell you the rest.
SCANDINAVIAN WEDDING TRADITIONS
Although the customs and traditions of Scandinavian weddings are more or less same, the detailed rituals vary from country to country.
For centuries the following wedding traditions has been developed in Scandinavia:
- A pine arc made of branches which is known as the gates of honour is to be designed in front of the bride's home.
- A wedding marzipan ring cake, also known as the cornucopia cake is very delicious! It is made of almonds, pastillage (sugar-based dough) and marzipan. In order to avoid bad luck it is a traditional practice for the newlyweds to cut the cake together, hand in hand.
- It renders habitual that during the wedding reception the groom disappears for a while so that the young unmarried male guests could kiss the bride and vice versa, the bride sneaks away and single girls kiss the groom.
- There exists a tradition for the bride to walk from house to house with a pillowcase and to collect her wedding gifts. As she walks, an old, married man walks beside her with an umbrella which is a symbol of protection and shelter.
- In Finland the bride wears a golden crown and during the wedding the guests blindfold her and spin around while all the unmarried girls dance around her. The lucky girl whom the bride places the crown on is believed to be the next one to marry.
- In Sweden the bride’s parents traditionally give their daughter two coins which are to be placed in the bride’s shoes: the mother gives a gold coin to go in the right shoe whereas the father hands a silver coin to be placed in the left shoe. This tradition symbolizes that parents wish their daughter to live in prosperity.
- In Sweden the bride wears three rings on her finger after exchanging of vows: the first she receives for the engagement, the second is a wedding ring and the last one is a motherhood ring.
- The bride wears a silver or gold crown on head that has small spoon-shaped bangles designed in such a way that as the bride moves or when she dances a harmonious melody is being produced. It is also believed that the tinkling sounds of these bangles drive away all the evil spirits.
- On the day of marriage the couple’s friends and relatives plant two small pine trees on either side of the front door of the young couple's house which is a sign of birth of children in future.
- The groom wears traditional wedding suit made of wool which is called bundas. The bundas comprises white silk shirt, short pants and stockings that reach up to the calf, a vest and topcoat.
ITALIAN WEDDING TRADITIONS
A wedding in Italy is full of traditions and customs generated by many centuries and varying in different regions of the country.
Here we touch upon only some of the most common of them:
- Green colour symbolizes good luck to the newlyweds.
- The veil and bridesmaids play very important role during the wedding. The tradition dates back to Ancient Rome times when the veil was used to hide the bride from any evil spirits that would corrupt her and the bridesmaids were to wear similar outfits so that the spirits were further confused.
- A tradition of tying a ribbon in front of the wedding chapel symbolizes the bond between the couple getting married.
- For hundreds of years, traditional gourmet Italian food has been served to wedding reception guests. Sweet liquor and strong drinks are served to the guests, by the best man, before the dinner begins. This gives the guests a chance to toast the happy couple with "Per cent'anni" which means, for a hundred years.
- The Italian wedding menu is nearly as important as the wedding itself. Guests may be served as many as 14 different courses with wine and other beverages. After dinner, the customary multi-layered Italian wedding cake is served with espresso.
- Before the reception is over, the bride and groom usually break a glass. The number of pieces of shattered glass symbolize the years the happy couple will share together.
- One popular wedding toast that is usually made by a male guest after a few glasses of wine is: "Evviva gli sposi" - "hurray for the newlyweds." The rest of the guests respond with thundering applause. This toast is shouted whenever there is a lull in the wedding celebration, renewing spirits and enthusiasm.
- At some weddings, a pair of white doves is released into the air, symbolizing the couple's love and happiness
- In Southern Italy, as the guests leave the wedding ceremony, they hand envelopes with money to the bride and groom, who return the gift with a wedding favor or bomboniere, a small token of appreciation.
Sounds fascinating? We have sufficient knowledge, resources and experience to make your Italian Wedding dream come true.
WEDDING TRADITIONS IN SINGAPORE
Singapore is a multinational, multi-cultural and multi-religious country. That is why its wedding customs and traditions lie in every particular people and its culture that is present in the country.
Here we will look into Chinese, Malay and Indian wedding traditions as soon as these three races comprise the majority of Singaporeans.
Chinese wedding traditions:
- Chinese couple is very selective and particular when it comes to choosing their wedding date as it should be a lucky one. Most Chinese families follow the lunar calendar in order to choose a wedding date.
- It is traditional that the couple should marry on the half-hour rather than at the top hour of their wedding day as the hands of the clock are moving up instead of down. This is associated with the belief of Chinese wedding traditions that the couple would begin their lives on an upswing.
- The colour red plays a vital role in the wedding festivities of the Chinese people. Red is considered by them a lucky colour; it also signifies love, prosperity and happiness. Hence a lot of wedding accessories are being designed in red palette, like wedding invitations, gift envelopes and even bride's wedding dress itself.
- In traditional Chinese families, the parents of the couple usually provide a new bed complete with pillow cases, comforters, pillows and sheets. A night before the wedding, the groom is required to sleep on the bed and a young nephew will have to jump up and down the bed to give luck to the couple. It is said that this practice gives hope on the fertility of the couple and will make them produce an heir soon.
- On the day of the wedding, a significant tea ceremony is taking place. The bride is formally introduced to the groom's family members through the Chinese wedding tea ceremony. After drinking the tea, the tea ceremony gifts for the bride and groom will be presented on the serving plate.
- There will be three different dresses for the bride for Chinese wedding traditions. The white dress with veil is worn during the wedding ceremony. The second wedding dress, a traditional Chinese wedding dress is used at the banquet. The last dress is called the bride's going away dress. This dress is worn before the bride leaves the banquet.
- The feast or wedding banquet is an important part during the wedding. Wedding banquets are to thank family and friends for the kindness they have shown throughout the years. Most feasts will serve a twelve course meal including delicacies like roasted pig and shark fin soup. Sometimes fried rice and abalone will also be served.
- Next morning after the wedding, the bride should get up early and make a meal for the groom's family to demonstrate that she is well-nurtured. Three days after the wedding, the groom and bride will go back to visit the bride's parents.
Indian Wedding Traditions:
The numerous Indian wedding rituals are a combination of local, religious and family traditions; they vary on account of language, geographical differences, caste and religion.
Modern Indian weddings do not involve all of the rituals of the traditional ceremony, which sometimes go on for five days. Instead certain ceremonies are picked by the families of the bride and the groom. Here is some exciting details on weddings of different Indian religions and communities:
- A Punjabi bride is dressed by her mother, female relatives and friends amidst much joy and gaiety. The bride may wear a sari or a lehenga in traditional colours: red, orange or magenta. She is beautified with gold jewellery.
- In a Tamilian Wedding, the bride and the groom exchange garlands three times.
- Customary warding off evil spirits rituals is traced in Hindu wedding ceremony. After exchanging the wedding vows the groom's father or brother strews flower petals on the newlyweds; then he circles a coconut around the bride and groom’s heads three times.
- An Indian groom often wears a sehra (turban) that is covered with flowers and the veil of it streams down in front of his face to guards him against evil spirits.
- Henna staining, a customary art form is practiced by Indian brides to be. On the eve of the wedding vows, following a traditional ceremonial cleansing, the bride-to-be will have her hands and feet painted with henna, in beautiful paisley or medallion patterns