Not so long ago, it was typical to see a village wedding reception held in a tent. At those, there were usually as many as 200 guests. A huge tent would be set up near the groom’s or bride’s house and decorated with balloons and flowers (for example, see one of the pictures from the wedding in central Ukraine). Nowadays, the newlyweds more often celebrate their weddings in reception halls or restaurants. Tanya’s and Ruslan’s wedding was no exception, it was celebrated at a restaurant. They invited 140 people to the restaurant reception. Quite often, the wedding guests will only come to the reception, and not go to the ceremonies at the church and klub.
The first thing you see when you enter the reception hall is a table with all of the Korovais.
The Tamada invites the newlyweds to taste bread with honey, they bite slices from each side and pass it on.
The druzhba opens a bottle of champagne and pours it into the glasses for the newlyweds and their parents.
Usually, each guest has to kiss the bride and the groom on their cheeks.
When the newlyweds are at their place, everybody stands for the traditional prayer.
During the dinner, guests scream “Girko” many times to the newlyweds. Each time they have to stand up and kiss.
The Tamada sings many traditional songs, usually amusing. This is one of the songs that was sung.
Even though the wedding reception does not take place in the traditional tent, most of the traditional Ukrainian wedding customs are still followed. In addition to the old customs such as the bride dancing with all the unmarried girls and the removal of the bride’s veil by the mother-in-law, nowadays we can see a slight shift to the North American wedding traditions as well. Possibly, this shift was influenced by the popularity of American media. The most recent of these adopted traditions are the tossing of the bouquet and the first dance of the newlyweds.
The second part of the wedding reception incorporates both old and new traditions.
Usually, after the first dance, the newlyweds invite their parents to join them.
The singing often becomes very loud and intense.
While people are still eating, others are dancing. They dance and sing until it is time to go for a second dinner.
Both of them are kissing each other, anyone inside the circle when the music is over has to kiss all the musicians.
The musicians play a traditional march so the guests will sit down for a meal: cabbage rolls, potatoes and pirogues.
Each parent gets a flower chaplet before he or she is getting a famous wheelbarrow ride.
The bride picks one of the bouquets from those given by guests, not the bridal bouquet, and throws it into the crowd.
Ukrainian weddings now include a garter tradition. Here we can see how Ruslan is removing a garter using his teeth.
This ceremony is very moving, it symbolises the maturation of the bride. She should try to escape from the shawl.
The pieces of the korovaiis are placed into plastic bags, so all of the guests can take one bag per family.