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A typical Ukrainian wedding is very colorful and exciting. It is usually an intricate affair that lasts between 2 and 3 days, but there are also a number of traditions that take place before the actual wedding. These are as important to a Ukraine bride as the ceremony itself.
First there is the “dohlyaduny” or the formal engagement. The groom comes to the bride’s house with his friends and asks the parents of the Ukraine bride for permission to marry her. The custom is purely formal considering everything is arranged beforehand, but it dates back to ancient times when the “dohlyaduny” was an official proposal to the Ukraine bride. Her parents are the ones to decide whether or not she will marry her suitor.
The length of the engagement varies from bride to bride, but it is usually at least a month and a half, and will range up to a year or more. During this time much has to be done to get ready for the ceremony. A couple makes the lists of the guests, and chooses the restaurant and considers the menu that everyone can enjoy.
They also have to choose the photographer and videographer, as well as the person who makes the toast to the married couple. Choosing the church for the wedding is also an important decision. A Ukraine bride then chooses her wedding dress; usually a white color but lately, ivory and pale pink dresses have become a popular choice.
There are times that a Ukraine bride wears extraordinary garments called a “vyshyvanka”, a national Ukrainian embroidered shirt. An indispensable part of a Ukraine bride’s dress is the bridal veil. Though in many European countries it is a matter of taste, in Ukraine it is an absolute must, and something that is taken very seriously. The groom’s clothes don’t have to meet any particular requirements, but he usually wears a suit and tie even though he could get married in just a shirt and pants without the tie.
The wedding itself usually takes place on a Friday or Saturday. As with most American traditions, the Ukraine bride and her groom have to spend the night before separately. The groom has his bachelor or stag party, and the bride invites her friends for a “divych-vechir” or bachelorette party.
The morning of the ceremony the groom goes to his fiance’s house and pays what is called the “vykup” or a ransom for a bride. According to another tradition there is only one bridesmaid, and she thinks out different contests for the broom to do, and if he fails he has to pay the “vykup”.
Once he passes, he may see his bride. The wedding procession all goes to the civilian registry office where you register to get married, even if you have the wedding in a church. To have an actual church wedding is very important to Ukraine brides because by Orthodox beliefs, a wedding in a church means that the couple will be together in heaven, no matter whether the love lasts or not.
After the ceremony is completed, the couple and their guests will have about 3 to 5 hours in which they spend taking pictures. The dinner is then held either at a restaurant, or at home, depending on the number of guests. The Ukrainian bride is the center of attention of course and people spend time trying to steal her shoes, or the bride herself.
It is a tradition that brings fun and laughter to the ceremony, and the person who manages to do this can ask the bridesmaid or best man for anything he wants. The dancing and singing follows and usually lasts until dawn. The wedding continues into the next day for more fun and dancing. A good time is absolutely had by all.
write by Edana