International marriages

Marriage is a very important step, but international marriage - even more so. Wanting to meet a Russian woman, ask yourself whether you are completely ready for marriage with a Russian woman? In this article we want to show you a Russian wedding so to say from the inside. As if you are already going to marry a Russian girl or like you've been invited to the wedding of the Russian people. Here we present you the wonderful traditions that are usually observed at this solemn event. We guarantee that

Russian wedding will be one of the most outstanding events of your life!

Russian marriages. What are they?

Let's take a closer look at each stage of the Russian wedding, so:


As usual, the very first step will be a marriage proposal. So, you’ve found each other, you are in love and want to get married to share together all the good and bad things, which life brings us. First of all, you should know that the Russian engagement is not such a big event as is it commonly believed in the West. They have not accepted to give a wedding ring on this day and even more so to arrange the party. Do not wait your engagement will be long.

It is necessary to take into account, however, that today the Western traditions penetrate into the Russian society more deeply, many Russian couples declare they want to celebrate the full engagement on the Western model. No doubt - every Russian woman will be just happy to get her wedding ring!

Wedding celebration

After on the groom’s proposal was given a nice answer "yes", planning the wedding is starting. Most often Russians make weddings in 4-5 months after approval. The wedding includes ceremony and the subsequent 2-3 days of celebration. At the beginning of the ceremony the groom comes to the bride and takes her out of the house; then they go to the marriage registration service. There the newlyweds exchange wedding rings. All of these actions take place under direct observation of «witnesses», which are only two (by one from each side).

Today, many couples prefer also a wedding (crowning) in the Orthodox Church, where the exchange of rings occurs; the wedding ceremony takes place only after the official state registration of marriage. After all these enjoyable and exciting events newlyweds, witnesses and some guests go on a short journey through the city, where they photograph, drink champagne and simply enjoy the happy event. After this journey starts the celebration itself of a Russian wedding, in which:

• The first toast is always only for the newlyweds, after which the guests begin to repeatedly shout the word "Gor'ko" (in translation equivalent "bitter"). Why do guests shout so? So that the newlyweds with their sweet, long kisses diluted and sweetened the bitter taste of vodka.

• Next is the second drink, which is drinking for parents.

• Subsequently, the couple dances their first wedding dance.

• The celebration continues throughout the night - the guests dance, sing and make new toasts, come up with different pastime and just have fun.

• It's fun continues also on the next day (sometimes even the next 2 days).

• It is considered as good taste if at the ceremony will be a good, professional «Tamada» or the wedding manager (entertainer). Exactly he usually enters disco and all sorts of fun and games into a celebration. It introduces guests to each other and watches the whole celebratory part of the wedding (except kitchen).

After we reviewed the wedding, we offer you to get acquainted with the traditions of Russian wedding.

Basic wedding traditions

Like most other Russian traditions, their wedding ceremonies originate in past centuries. These traditions have come a long way, gradually developing and becoming more complex. Today, they are not so important in the minds of the Russian people, but in the past their impact on the culture was enormous. Nowadays, some rituals seem silly; others are extremely beautiful and romantic. Taken together, they make a wedding in Russia a truly memorable event.

Khleb-sol (Bread-salt)

Parents offer newlyweds "Khleb-sol" i. e. bread and salt that’s a symbol of family welfare and health. At that, the newlyweds bite a piece of this bread and one of them who took a more bite will become the head of the family (of course, this is something like a fun-filled entertainment)!


This tradition originates from ancient times: a groom arrives to a bride’s house and brings thither gifts, sweets and a certain amount of money. These gifts he gives to everyone in the house (including children) so that they helped him to find his bride that had hidden somewhere in the house before. Namely these gifts are called "Viykup" (it can be called «pay the ransom»). Such tradition exists also in many other countries.

A glass of champagne

On the table (in front of the newlyweds) relatives and friends put in newlyweds’ champagne glasses coins, serving as a marriage blessing on material abundance.

Bridesmaid dress

At Russians bride doesn’t sew a dress herself; should not do it and her mother (according to popular superstition). In addition, at least 1 day before wedding the bride should put on new shoes and walk in them, as a sign of future marital happiness.

Features of Russian marriage

Usually, in most Russian families husband is older than wife about 3-7 years, although the difference even a little more than 10 years is considered as a quite normal situation. Today, many young people in Russia are not in a hurry to marry. In recent decades there is a tendency to get at least basic education before been married, to get a good job and achieve certain career heights. Just young people want to, by the time of a family and especially children appearance, their life was established and financial situation become more solid.

Civil unions

In the last period in Russia and Ukraine so-called civil marriages are becoming very popular. This is a kind of relationship where people live together, fully sharing all household problems and costs, only officially their marriage is not registered. In fact, such a marriage is a good opportunity to test the sincerity of feelings, to see if the people are ready to have a real family life. If the couple will sign and receive a marriage certificate - their union becomes official.

At the end of the celebration begins joint married life. What will it be with a Russian wife? After the wedding some problems are waiting for you: one of you will move to a new (for him) country, to another house; someone of you will have to learn the language and laws of new country. Like any family you may have some mutual misunderstanding. Do not be alarmed! We can tell you for sure: the Russians and Ukrainians appreciate family values and you will always be able to overcome all the difficulties together!

Return from USSR Men to homepage