Last updated February 15, 2023
Ukrainian wedding is one of the most emblematic ceremonies in Ukrainian culture. By its scope, this holiday can not be compared with any other celebration. People can not imagine wedding in Ukraine without a variety of traditions and customs that have remained unchanged for many years. But it is also worth noting that most of today’s popular people in Ukraine have switched to a modest, stylish version of the wedding, without any traditions. For example, in 2022, popularities get by with just registering a marriage and a feast for their closest ones.
But we still want to tell you about a traditional Ukrainian wedding.
Preparation For Ukrainian Wedding: From What to Start?
Usually, the bride and groom begin preparing for the wedding a few months before the celebration. People choose their outfits, rings, and gifts for guests.
Weddings in Ukraine are all about delicious food. Therefore, Ukrainians pay much more attention to the preparation of the menu.
Nowadays every wedding is complete with Ukraine wedding rings. Gold rings are a symbol of the sincere and serious intentions of people to live with each other for life.
Traditional wedding rings do not have gems. It is believed that smooth products will make family life just as smooth and carefree. The Ukrainian wedding ceremony is hard to imagine without the traditional embroidered “towel”. In these products red color prevails, which symbolizes life, the sun, and fertility.
There are several types of towels that are used for different purposes:
- to tie the hands of newlyweds;
- greet a married couple with a loaf;
- to decorate icons;
- during the civil ceremony, the newlyweds make their first step on the towel. The person who will step first, will be the leader of the family.
Upon completion of the main stages of preparation for the wedding, the bride and groom send invitations to guests. These products can be purchased or made by hand. The wedding invitation in most cases is made according to the general style.
What about the dressing of newlyweds on the Ukrainian Wedding?
The most important thing for a woman is a wedding dress. In Ukraine, its traditional color is white. Light shade is considered a symbol of purity and a bright future. Recently, beige and ivory have become very popular. An integral attribute of the young attire is a veil. Even in ancient times, people believed that it protects the bride from evil spirits.
Grooms in most cases prefer black suits with a tie or bow tie. A lot of people believe that the outfits must be new, otherwise, it may bring discord in the family.
Ukrainian Wedding Traditions and Customs
Ukraine is rich with a lot of traditions, and all of them are very interesting. But what happens at a Ukrainian wedding? Nowadays, the popularity of ancient folk rituals is reviving. Therefore, the usual Ukrainian wedding turns into a loud celebration, filled with symbolism and love for the culture of their country. There is a wide variety of wedding traditions in Ukraine, but the most important are:
The groom picks up the matchmakers and goes to the house where the bride lives. He should stock up on gifts for the whole family and grab treats with him, which demonstrates his thrift and generosity. In the course of matchmaking, newlyweds receive blessings from their parents, and families get to know each other more closely.
Bachelor party and hen party
A lot of believe that the tradition of gathering before the wedding with their friends came to us from the West. However, it is a misconception. Many years ago, on the eve of the wedding, friends and girlfriends came to the bride and groom. The girls were engaged in needlework and prepared gifts for the bridegroom and guests. The groom said goodbye to bachelor life with his close friends.
Immediately before the celebration, the bridegroom must pay a bride price. As a rule, on the threshold of the house, he is met by the bridesmaids and relatives of the bride, whose task is to prevent the theft of the woman without proper redemption.
Ukrainian wedding blessing
This ritual is usually performed before the ceremony. In its course, relatives and friends bless the couple. Parents give their best wishes to newlyweds and bless them for a happy and prosperous marriage.
The official ceremony is in the registry office
When the young are finally reunited after all the “obstacles”, they go to the registry office to officially register their marriage. During the ceremony, the couple stands on an embroidered towel, drinks sparkling champagne, and breaks glasses. Nowadays it is very fashionable to hold exit ceremonies. Newlyweds can choose any place in nature where they can swear to each other.
Pronunciation of wedding toasts
Ukrainian wedding is famous for their toasts. Virtually every toast ends with the famous phrase “bitterly”, which means that the bride and groom should kiss. This is an interesting part of the whole wedding day.
This is one of the weirdest Ukrainian wedding traditions. In the process of celebration, the bride disappears more than once and is held captive by her friends. The bride is released only when the groom fulfills all the conditions.
Bride dance with unmarried girls
All lonely ladies are invited by the bride to the dance floor for a joint dance. For each girl, a young woman dresses in a veil. It is believed that unmarried women will find their destiny more quickly.
How long is a Ukrainian wedding ceremony? On average, the whole process takes 2 days. Day 1 is the main part, and the second day is usually an additional banquet with the closest relatives.
Wedding In the Church – the Most Important Part
Interesting to know that the number of church-based weddings has fallen to low levels in recent times. But most Ukrainians are religious. Wedding ceremony in Ukraine is very interesting and full of different events. It is held only after the official registration of marriage. The church ceremony is considered one of the seven sacraments, and therefore must be carefully prepared.
An interesting fact about the Ukrainian wedding crown: during the sacrament of the wedding crowns is placed on the heads of the newly married spouses. It symbolizes the creation of a new kingdom, which the couple will manage together. It should be noted that modern banquets are held in almost the same style as the celebrations of ancestors. People in Ukraine are used to celebrating the second day of the wedding. It is also associated with a lot of traditions.
As a rule, the entrance to the building where the celebration takes place is blocked, and money is required from the guests for the passage. There is such a tradition – to roll the newlyweds’ parents on the cart. Such walks, as a rule, end in swimming.
How is Everything Going at the Ukrainian Wedding?
The ritual consists of two stages: betrothal and coronation. Each of them has a special meaning. The newlyweds give the priest their rings, with which he must make a sign of the cross over the heads of the newlyweds. Rings are symbols of engagement. They express the fact that spouses will completely fill each other. Why do Ukrainians wear wedding ring on right hand? This tradition came from the ancient Romans, it was they who believed that wearing a wedding ring on the right hand was considered good luck.
The bride and groom should pick up the candles and keep them throughout the entire service. Candles are a symbol of the willingness of spouses to accept Christ. It should be noted that embroidered towels are used not only in the registry office but also in the church. The couple gets up on the embroidered canvas to start a new life together and indicates that they are ready to go a long way together.
Thus, spouses must understand that their marriage is a partnership. After this, the priest leads the young people in a circle around the table on which the cross stands.
Then the couple returns to their seats, the priest blesses the bride and groom, and the ceremony completed. After official and church ceremonies, the newlyweds and their guests go to the banquet, where the celebration of the wedding continues. This is the most desired part of the celebration.
At the end of the holiday, the youngsters cut the cake and thank their guests for sharing this day with them.
Traditional Ukrainian Wedding Gifts
Despite the fact that the wedding ceremony is one of the ancient rites, the tradition of presenting gifts on this day appeared much later. The story says that this happened for the first time by chance when a young couple tied their fates against the permission of their relatives.
All guests invited to the wedding wanted to help the newlyweds who were left without the support of their relatives, so they brought various gifts with them. They gave various household items, dishes, linens, and everything that could help to arrange a new home.
Nowadays, mainly, people give money and flowers for the wedding. Money gifts will allow newlyweds to choose everything they need. It is practical and convenient. In most cases closest relatives present gifts, they know exactly what the spouses need in a new home. But still, if you prefer to give a gift, we have several options for you.
From small household appliances for a wedding, you can give a blender, an electric meat grinder or an electric knife, a meat grill, a coffee maker, a bread machine, a food processor, a yogurt maker, and an ice cream machine. Sharing kitchen appliances will bring the newlyweds together.
Journey for two
It is not necessary to purchase a ticket to the Maldives or the Dominican Republic. A gift can be a weekend tour of any interesting city or a romantic weekend at the recreation center. Again, we recall the preferences of the newlyweds. We find out if they like to visit historical places, and admire monuments. Maybe it’s more to your liking to bask in a hammock, drinking cocktails.
As a separate wedding gift for newlyweds, it is worth highlighting a wall clock for the living room, which is made from photographs of young spouses. For the production of such watches, glass or a ceramic surface is usually used. Similar souvenir watches are ordered in photo studios. A simple but important tip: make sure that the photo you are going to use is of high quality.
Gift certificate for the master class
Here you have unlimited choice, from visiting a pottery or chocolate house to drumming, sand painting, or brewing. Thrill-seekers will enjoy master classes in sailing a yacht, and participation in a racing race, jumping, or rope jumping.
Set up a fireworks show
It is an integral part of any modern wedding. You can order fireworks as a gift for a wedding both from a specialized company, and independently purchase a fireworks installation and fireworks on your own – this will not cause any difficulties.
Who Pays For a Ukrainian Wedding?
The wedding of each couple is individual, so planning financial issues can be completely different. Unlike the traditions of conducting the ceremony, in this case, there is no single scheme. However, there are several standard options for the allocation of financial responsibilities. So, who pays for a Ukrainian wedding?
As a rule, young people try to count on their own strength and only then turn to their parents for help. Usually, both parties get together and discuss important issues. There are options when parents pay for the celebration equally. There are men, who take full responsibility themselves or pay for the wedding with their parents.
Hundreds of years ago, it was believed that the groom’s side should pay for the banquet because the parents of the bride had been preparing a chest with a dowry since her childhood. It does not matter how you distribute the budget, only one tradition remains unchanged – the bride should buy wedding rings.
It does not depend on who pays for the celebration. Most modern couples believe that if they are ready for the wedding, they should pay for everything themselves. Nowadays, more and more often we can observe how in many modern weddings the traditions of the old Ukrainian people are repeated.
This becomes most relevant while organizing the entertainment part of the celebration. Every ceremony takes place in a cheerful spirit and with laughter. A lot of people believe that keeping traditions will help strengthen the bond between the bride and groom and make the marriage happy.
Do you like Ukrainian girls? Check the article Typical Ukrainian Women Features.
Everyone knows that a wedding is one of the most important and significant celebrations in the life of every person. How it will pass, the newlywed couple will decide. We told you everything about a wedding in Ukraine: traditions, preparation, and gifts. We hope you are inspired after reading our article. If you are going to prepare for the wedding, do everything as you wish, because we all have different concepts and opinions. From our article, you can take a few ideas or traditions for holding an event.
With over a decade of experience in the dating industry, Hannah has helped thousands of people find their perfect match. Her passion for helping others and her deep understanding of human relationships has made Hannah one of the most sought-after dating experts in the industry.
Hannah has a degree in Psychology and has studied various theories on human behavior, which she uses to guide her clients through their dating journey. She has worked with people from all walks of life and has a keen eye for identifying what makes each person unique.