Traditions of Ukrainian wedding


The colorful traditions of Ukraine have always attracted the attention of other nationalities with their rich diversity. The Ukrainian wedding is no exception: its saturation with fascinating rites, which were introduced by distant ancestors, causes considerable interest. Even having superficially studied at least one wedding custom of Ukrainians, you will immediately be convinced that Ukrainians can boast of an original approach to wedding matters. Therefore, many will want to go deeper and find out what other interesting traditions the wedding of the Ukrainian people is rich in..


The first Ukrainian wedding ceremony, with which everything begins, refers to the preparatory (pre-wedding) stage. According to this ritual, relatives (father, uncle, older brothers) are sent to the bride’s house - matchmakers from the groom. They are the first to start an official conversation with the parents of a Ukrainian girl about the wedding. The art of such a dialogue is not to get a pumpkin (in Ukrainian - a watermelon), which symbolizes the girl’s decisive refusal.

Men from the groom woo the Ukrainian bride

Following the old Ukrainian customs of the wedding, the matchmakers at that time were supposed to go to a match not empty-handed, but taking with them a loaf of freshly baked bread. He was put on the table in the bride's house, after which the one who was the authority in the family began an exciting conversation with the parents of the girl getting married. If the whole ceremony was successful, then the bride, who had been nearby all this time, took the brought bread and cut it, saying the following words: «I cut this bread to give you my vow, and you accept me as your child».

After this replica, according to the wedding tradition of the Ukrainian people, the cut loaf was put on a rushnyk and given to the matchmakers. Those, in turn, responded with this speech: «Thanks to the red girl that the rushnyk embroidered so ryasny». Such mutual courtesies of Ukrainians symbolized a successful agreement, after which it was decided to immediately agree on further actions of the pre-wedding stage - engagement parties.


During this wedding ceremony of the Ukrainian people, the groom’s parents tried to seem as successful and friendly as possible, to once again bring about the location of the bride’s family. According to tradition, when the wedding was held, the girl had to demonstrate all her skills. She showed the future mother-in-law what kind of mistress she was. how agilely and deftly he does homework. It was important to show all your wonderful culinary abilities in order to win favor with the mother of the groom.

Brides and matchmaking of the Ukrainian bride

Immediately after the bride-show, according to the traditions of Ukraine, there was an engagement - a kind of ritual of the final consent to marriage, which was announced in the presence of witnesses (publicly). The groom and the bride were bandaged with a towel, tightly joining their hands (this was done for «legal» fastening of the wedding contract and retroactive effect was not). After which the bride had to bandage the matchmakers and give them gifts (shawls, shirts, linen).

Bachelorette party and ritual crying of the bride

On the eve of the Ukrainian wedding, the bride traditionally gathered friends to say goodbye to her girlish youth and leaving a carefree unmarried life. The bathhouse was sometimes the place for girls to gather..

  1. Girlfriends washed the bride before the wedding, and she performed the traditional ritual of the Ukrainian girl who gets married: she mourned and cried, saying farewell words to her dear childhood friends.
  2. After the end of the bathing procedures, the future wife took up weaving ribbons on a tree branch (in Ukrainian - a little spit), which then decorated the wedding table of the newlyweds at the wedding.

Bachelorette Party of Ukrainian Bride

Ransom bride

Following the wedding traditions of the Ukrainian people, the bride ransom took place directly on the wedding day. The groom went for his sweetheart to take her from her home forever. Heading to the bride’s house, the future husband met on the road ordinary passers-by, friends, acquaintances, relatives of the future wife, who in every possible way tried to take a ransom from the guy for the bride.

Various tests were arranged for him, thanks to which he had to not only tell, but also show in practice his mental and physical abilities. According to the customs of the Ukrainian wedding, in case of failure, the groom paid a certain amount of money, sweets, vodka or wine. After all these difficult checks, having bought his beloved, the future husband took his wife by the hand and together they went to church.

Relatives of the Ukrainian bride on the ransom

Rite pouring water under the feet of young

At the end of the ceremony of the sacrament of marriage, young people left the church under «rain» from grains and coins with which parents and other relatives showered them for happiness. Often, this Ukrainian custom at a wedding was accompanied by a ritual of pouring water under the feet of young people. In this way, parents created symbolic obstacles in the way of the newlyweds from a previously drawn fire line, and they used the water as a charm that extinguished the fire and served as a defense against dark forces. So was the Ukrainian rite of purification of the young before the start of family life.

Wedding loaf and rushnyk

In ancient times, the painstaking craft of embroidering a rushnyk was considered a routine for Ukrainian girls of all ages. Future brides had to beautifully embroider so many of these towels in order to present each guest on the coveted day of their wedding. On holidays, the main attribute of the Ukrainian table, bread, was laid out on a rushnyk. These two items (rushnyk and bread) are inseparable concepts in Ukrainian rites: bread is always served on a rushnyk, as a symbol of material well-being.

Wedding towel and loaf for Ukrainian wedding

Ukrainians call bread, which is prepared for any holiday and wedding, including loaf. It is served on a rushnyka when parents meet young people in a new status. Baked wedding bread in Ukrainian villages is decorated with wheat ears, viburnum leaves and two rings. The first personifies the wealth of the future family, the second - the fertility of the family, and the third - the infinite fidelity of the spouses. According to Ukrainian wedding customs, newlyweds break off one piece from it, whose size of this ritual bread is larger - that will become the head of the family.

Custom «Chobots»

To the fun rituals of the Ukrainian wedding is the rite «Chobots» (translated from Ukrainian - boots). It consists in the special actions of the groom, designed to achieve the location of his newly-found mother-in-law. Following the Ukrainian wedding ritual, this custom is performed as follows:

  1. A pre-made son-in-law buys new boots specifically for this rite.
  2. On the wedding day, a young guy invites his mother-in-law to the center of public attention to wash her legs to shine. He does this with special care, diligence and love..
  3. Having finished this procedure, puts on brand new beautiful boots on the clean legs of the mother-in-law, thereby showing a friendly attitude towards her.
  4. The whole rite is accompanied by traditional folk songs and dances around a pair of mother-in-law.

The ceremony of putting on boots at the Ukrainian wedding

Rite of passage «Bread salt»

Rite of passage «Bread salt» at a wedding held by the parents of the bride and groom. According to the old folk customs of Ukraine, this ritual is equated with a blessing for one or another important thing in the life of every person. Parents on both sides hold a specially baked loaf, on top of which stands a salt shaker. full of coarse salt. According to tradition, the young break off a piece of loaf, and then dip it in salt. Rite of passage «Bread salt» symbolizes the blessing of parents for the happy future family life of their newly-turned children.

Ukrainian custom to meet young with bread and salt

Tradition braid weaving

This rite is considered one of the most touching moments in the Ukrainian wedding. According to tradition, untwisting the braids of an already married girl should produce a mother-in-law, and a newly-made husband helps her. They carefully remove a wreath of ribbons from the bride’s head, untwist a girl’s braid, and tie a scarf over it or «pinch» in Ukrainian. This action symbolizes the new status of the Ukrainian beauty - she is now married. After completing this ritual, the wreath rushes the bride in the direction of unmarried girls to determine who will marry next.

Ukrainian rite with braid weaving

Rite of passage «Pulling»

Rite of passage «Pulling» according to old Ukrainian traditions, it takes place in a fun atmosphere on the second day of the wedding. The front men and women dressed as newlyweds act as the main heroes of the occasion. Guests have fun loudly, dance folk dances, sing songs, arrange a believable wedding festivities. In this way, even in the days of pagan peoples, people tried to divert evil eyes of evil spirits from the real protagonists of the wedding.

Features of Ukrainian wedding dresses newlyweds

A traditional element of a festive dress for any event in Ukraine is embroidery. A wedding is an ideal occasion to put on a shirt or dress on which flowers, magical birds or other ornaments are adorned with amazing beauty. Embroidered clothes are worn by both men and women, it is made using patterns of threads of different colors, made by stitch, cross, stitch.

In ancient times, all Ukrainians personally embroidered it, and the main drawings were poppy flowers, clusters of viburnum, oak leaves, etc. The Ukrainian people believed that these plants are special symbols in their traditions, because they represent wealth, a happy life, love and prosperity. For each occasion, including the wedding, there were certain patterns - for happiness, for luck in family life, for the continuation of the family.

Ukrainian national costumes of the bride and groom

Video: Ukrainian-style wedding

It is increasingly possible to observe how a modern wedding seeks to repeat the history of the long-standing Ukrainian people with their wedding ceremonies. This becomes more popular when it comes to organizing an entertaining wedding program. These rituals are accompanied by fun, laughter, mischief and are conducted mainly as entertainment contests for all invited guests to the celebration. To be able to see firsthand what a colorful Ukrainian-style wedding with its traditions looks like, watch the video: