Having met your chosen party in other country, you decided to get married. There immediately occurs a question, in what country it is better to register the marriage. The matter is in the documentary peculiarities, and that the pleasure from the event is to be shared with friends, relatives both of the bridegroom, and the bride. All pairs solve this question in own way. Some have wedding in Russia, on the native land of the bride, some - on the native land of the bridegroom. Some pairs celebrate the wedding two times - in Russia and in the country of the bridegroom. All people try to celebrate a magnificent wedding, in fact this joyful event - creation of a new family! In Russia there are original traditions of wedding celebration, which dates back to old times. Now the wedding ceremony has become simpler. However, the Russian wedding has preserved some especial features.
Sometimes they still have bride-shows according to the Russian traditions maintained. The relatives of the bridegroom come to the house of the bride to appraise conditions in which the girl lives, get acquainted with her parents, estimate appearance, charm, skill to welcome visitors, culinary abilities of the bride. The bridegroom's relatives unostentatiously estimate the bride and approve or do not approve the future marriage. In pre-revolutionary Russia the decision on marriage was mainly made by parents of the parties, therefore, the cases of disapproval of the bride were not rare. Not all pairs dared to get married without parents' blessing. Nowadays, the "shows" are considered as a tribute to traditions. Though, the appraisal of the bridegroom's relatives is extremely important for the future bride.
The bridegroom's representatives come to the bride's house and officially ask for her hand. This visit is called a "matchmaking". Among the representatives there may be relatives, close friends. Friends and relatives tell about the bridegroom's advantages , represent him in the best light and ask the bride's parents to give the daughter in marriage. The bridegroom should stand aside and be modestly silent. Now such tradition has exclusively a symbolical character and is a superfluous occasion for relatives and close environment of the parties to get acquainted closer. More often an official consent to a marriage is asked by the bridegroom in the presence of the representatives or even without them. The consent to a marriage is asked from the parents as a respect for them, however the decision almost always remains with the girl. The bridegroom gives a ring to the bride and promises to do the best for her happiness.
Engagement or "agreement"
From the time of engagement the people loving each other are officially considered the bridegroom and the bride. This is the time of mutual symbolical gifts, joining of relatives, submission of the application into the registry office, preparations for the wedding. The period of engagement can last from one month to half a year. The charges on wedding are shared among the relatives differently, depending on a financial position of families and relations between them.
Before registration in the registry office the bride's relatives and girlfriends are invited to the bride's house. They prepare the bride for the ceremony of wedding and wait for the bridegroom. When the bridegroom comes, the girl-friends of the bride arrange comic obstacles for the bridegroom. The bridegroom should "buy out" the bride from the girl-friends. This custom is very symbolical - it means, that the right for the bride passes to the bridegroom. Cheerful, loving to joke girl-friends think of a set of barriers for the bridegroom on the way to the bride: going upstairs to the apartment or the room where the bride is , the bridegroom puts a coin on each step, answers riddles and comic questions of the girl-friends, guesses, in what room the bride is and so on. Having overcome all obstacles, the bridegroom presents the bride the wedding bouquet after which the young guests, witnesses, relatives and visitors go to the solemn wedding ceremony in the registry office. After the wedding ceremony the newly married couple with friends go on walk in memorable places of the city, bring flowers to memorials. The bridegroom transfers the bride through the wedding bridge as a token of the courage and the promise of care of the new family.
After the walk round the city the newly married couple and the visitors go to the wedding feast. The usually hire a cafe or a restaurant. The wedding feasts are accompanied by an abundance of dishes, spirits, noisy fun, songs, dances, draws. The holiday is guided by the invited toast-master - he makes the script of the celebration and directs fun. They often play sketches from life and distribute family roles.
In recent two decades the church wedding has become very popular among the Russians. Though the Soviet years accustomed people to be skeptical about the church wedding. Now many couples want their marriage to be blessed in church. According to the law, the church marriage is of no validity. The procedure of wedding is made usually after registration of the official marriage. The orthodox church blessses the happy union of the newly married couple, their love and consent. Before the church wedding the newly married couple maintain a seven-day post, pray, confess and get the Lord's supper. The church wedding consists of a betrothal (a triple exchange of rings between husband and wife), marrying (blessings by the priest of the marriage), haloing (when husband and wife proclaim each other a tsar and a tsarina ) and a gratifying service. Then the newly married couple is given three drinks - first to husband, then to wife - from a bowl with red wine . The bowl is a symbol of the common destiny of the married couple. In the end of ceremony the priest connects hands of the married couple, puts the hand on theirs and leads them around the lectern three times. This procedure means eternal procession with the divine blessing which has henceforth begun for the couple. The sacrament of marriage comes to an end with a chaste kiss of husband and wife and congratulations from relatives and friends.