From Russia with lovepublished May 05 2012, filed in Recent Weddings
Plenty of people meet the love of their life at work and so it was for Tatiana and Wayne. It just so happens that Wayne's work was in the oil and gas industry in Russia and he and Tatiana worked on the same project. I first met Wayne over a year ago and corresponded by email with Tatiana in Russia. She was as gorgeous in person as she was in our email exchanges and it was exciting to meet the two of them together and plan their marriage ceremony once Tatiana and her son Maxim arrived in Perth.
Tatiana and Wayne married at Rotunda 2 in Kings Park, one of my favourite ceremony locations. Tatiana looked absolutely gorgeous in a strapless gown brought from her homeland. It had a lace bodice and long flowing chiffon skirt with a leaf green sash (with matching flowers in her hair). She was escorted up the aisle by Wayne's father Harry and her delightful son Maxim proudly carried the rings.
One of the greatest joys in being a celebrant is being able to talk about traditions and rituals and incorporate them in the ceremony. We had such a hoot exploring and discussing some of the Russian wedding traditions, some dating back to medieval days. We decided to share some of these as part of the ceremony.....
Did you know that traditional Russian wedding ceremony lasts for at least two days and can go on for as long as a week?
Once the groom arrives at the bride’s home, he must pay a ransom for the bride. 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 jewellery) 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 realises 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!
Bread is offered to the newlyweds by both parents as a symbol of health, prosperity and long life. Both bride and groom must take a bite of the bread and the one that takes the largest bite will be the head of the family!
Throughout the actual ceremony, the couple wear crowns and share wine from a cup and then the ceremony concludes with a tour of the city.
At the beginning of the reception a relative or close friend makes a wedding toast to the bride and groom. By Russian tradition everyone throws their champagne glasses on the floor and it is considered a good luck if the glasses break when they hit the ground. As Tatiana and Wayne's reception was being held at his brother's house I'm not sure that would have been fully appreciated!
Throughout the celebration there is dancing, singing, long toasts, and a lot of food and drinks.
The most notorious gift given in a medieval Russian wedding was the whip which the father of the bride gave to the groom. According to tradition, the father struck his daughter with it and then passed the whip to the groom so he might keep his bride ‘in line’. By some accounts, the groom was also supposed to strike her as a sign of his dominance. We did comment that perhaps it was just as well Tatiana's parents were not there on her special day!
Tatiana's son and Wayne's daughters were all present at the ceremony and friends and family alike (plus yours truly) shared in a glass of champagne to toast the bride and groom. Alas, they were plastic glasses so no traditional glass smashing took place, probably to the relief of Kings Park. I do have it on good authority however, that the groom may have had a few traditional surprises up his sleeve for the reception (no whips but possibly some bread.....).
Best wishes to a truly fabulous and fun loving couple.