Yesterday we were able to attend a wedding of one of our Russian friends. Here is what usually takes place:
Paying the ransom
“Once the groom arrives at the bride’s home, he must pay a ransom for the bride, a term in Russian known as vykup nevesty. The entire event is played out in a comical fashion and everyone is entertained. At first the groom comes and gives something (often money or jewelery) for the bride, and so the parents of the bride bring out a woman or man (the latter for amusement) that is not the actual bride, but is dressed up like one, covered in a veil, so the groom can’t see their face. When the groom realizes that it is not his bride, he asks for his love, but the family of the bride will demand a bigger ransom to be paid. So, upon satisfaction with the ransom given, the bride’s family gives away the bride to the groom.” – From Wikipedia.
This did take place as the groom went to the brides house. I heard that when he went into the room to see the bride, the first room he went into he turned the girl around and it was someone else. The bride was waiting in another room.
The wedding service was pretty similar to weddings in the States. One difference is that they have “witnesses” instead of bridesmaids and groomsmen, even though they still dress the same way. Also in Russia, the wedding must always be officially registered with a civil ceremony. If a couple opt for a church wedding as well, the civil ceremony will usually take place immediately after the wedding, or often in the days leading up to it.
Tour of the city – Pictures
After the service the couple might take a limo around town taking pictures at different parks and locations. Yesterday the couple decided to walk around the nearby park taking pictures.
Later in the afternoon they had their reception in the same building, which was quite a bit different that what we were used to. We ate, sang, enjoyed a skit or two and played a few games. It was really entertaining!