Given their common Slavic roots and culture, it is not surprising that Ukrainian weddings are very similar to Russian weddings. Having said this, there are still some differences.
, Ukrainian weddings traditionally began with a courtship ухаживание whereby the parents of the groom would choose a bride for their son. This would have been carried out with the approval of the bride's parents. However this tradition is no longer observed. Nowadays, the couple may sometimes request their parents' approval of the union but they choose their partners themselves.
On the day of the wedding, the groom's first duty is to pick up his bride from her house. Before he meets his loved one he is met by relatives and friends who will demand a ransom for the bride. This is the most special and exciting part of the whole affair. The groom must complete several tasks in order to demonstrate his strength and intellect. If he fails to complete a task, then he must give out money, sweets and liquor to the guests. The result of his efforts is the possession of his loved one. This tradition remains popular to this day. After the groom's challenges, the young couple will go to the ZAGS (Registry Office) and then the church (if they so choose). A celebration of the events usually follows the registration of the marriage.
In the past, Ukrainian weddings would begin with a celebration in the bride's home once the groom had paid his ransom for the bride. At the house there would be a celebratory meal and several traditional activities. For example the guests may untie the bride's braid or sometimes even cut it off and replace it with a wreath венок . After observing these traditions, the young couple will go to the groom's house, where the bride will cover the table with her rushnyk (ritual towel). Nowadays this tradition has become outdated and Ukrainian weddings have become more equated to the European style of wedding where the reception is held in a restaurant or banqueting...
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