Last weekend, we’ve attended a Russian wedding for the first time in our lives! After the cake disaster early in the morning, I was glad when we were finally there and it all started.
The church part was not different compared to German weddings we’ve attended before. The only difference was probably the photographer and the camera guy who were shooting constantly! Did you know that a Russian wedding is filmed from the very beginning (aka when the bride and groom are getting ready in the morning) until the end (the “official” part of the wedding ends at midnight)? And they are not just taking a picture here and there but literally every minute! I was wondering the whole time, how many memory cards they had and how long it is going to take them to go through ALL these pictures later on…
The Photo Shooting
After the church, we all went to a close by castle where the bridal couple had a photo shoot at several different spots. At every spot, there were also pictures with the friends of the couple. One was a really nice idea as we were all handed these little bottles to make bubbles with:
I can only imagine how great the pictures must look like as we were all surrounding the happy couple blowing millions of little bubbles around them!
Christian and me also took a picture before heading back to the party. I really like my dress that I bought a few weeks ago for this and another wedding:
After heading back to the party location, it was time to hand over the presents. Upon our arrival, we were welcomed by a moderator who was leading the entire wedding program which is a very common thing at Russian weddings. We were all supposed to line up, congratulate the bride and the groom and hand over our present. Together with 8 other people, we created this heart out of ice and included a lot of coins in there. Throughout the day, the heart would melt and the coins would drop in a box underneath the heart:
As the wedding started very early, there were three different sorts of buffets throughout the day. But the first dish we were being served was the official wedding soup. Afterwards, we hit the buffet for the first time and I was absolutely impressed of what the caterers had created there!
They made sculptures out of vegetables (yes, the bunch of flowers as well as the stuff in the glass bowl – which was an aquarium… are all made out of vegetables!!!) and we were served a choice of several hot dishes (a lot of different meat choices and also many vegetarian things) as well as a giant salad and fruit buffet!
What I really liked was the way they brought the guests to the buffet. Each table had a sign on it with a name of a very famous song. As soon as you heard that song you were supposed to go to the front, dance until the song was over and then hit the buffet. This way, it was very entertaining and never overcrowded in the buffet room! Our table had to dance the Macarena by the way…
But the feast did not end here! A few hours later, there was a second round with another great buffet including a lot of delicious fish!
Another few hours later, they took out the wedding cake (which was impressive!!!) and opened the cake buffet. We were all asked to make a cake in advance for this buffet and the amount of different cakes was just brilliant!
A typical Russian wedding has a program until midnight. There are many different things such as a very impressive dance by the wedding couple, some games and a DJ who turns into a band after a while. But the best part of it was what happened in the end. Before midnight, we were all standing around the couple which was positioned in the middle sitting opposite of each other holding hands. The mums of the couple are supposed to take of the veil and the flower bouquet from the groom’s jacket. This action is symbolic for the bride and the groom turning into husband and wife at this moment. Afterwards, they are dancing underneath an umbrella and the guests around them are throwing golden paper streamers on top of the umbrella which makes a very beautiful picture… (I am still sad that I did not take more pictures but I wanted to enjoy every moment of the wedding without taking pictures all the time!)
What would a Russian party be without Vodka? I have never been a massive fan of it and I was literally scared about what awaited me at this wedding. But I decided to just go for it and try it and I have to say, it was not bad at all! I refused from drinking any other sort of alcohol that night (apart from a glass of red wine during the second buffet round) and always ate these pickled Russian vegetables after each shot. And guess what! The next morning I did not feel hungover at all!!!!
I am so happy that I got the chance to attend a wedding with a different cultural background this time! It was a grey experience and beautiful to watch even though that I think it would be way too much for my own wedding.
Have you ever attended a wedding with a different cultural background? What was that like? What are the wedding traditions in your country? Please share!
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