Saturday, May 9, 2009

czech out these traditions

These are some of the fun lil tidbits I discovered about Bohemian/Czech wedding traditions:

Wreath of rosemary: traditionally the bridesmaids made a wreath of rosemary for the bride to wear—it symbolizes the wish for wisdom, love, and loyalty.

After the ceremony, friends of the groom would hang a rope decorated by flowers, ribbons, and empty bottles. The groom needed to pay his friends in order to pass through the rope and pay himself out of the sins of his youth. (interesting concept, no?)

To start off the reception, someone in the wedding party would break a plate at the feet of the bride and groom. The newlyweds would then proceed to sweep the chips together to insure happiness and show a willingness to work together.

Before the ceremony, the bride would prepare kolaches (a very traditional Czech pastry...huge yum factor) and present them to her soon to be parents-in-law. If they were made well it was a sign that she would be a good housewife and cook for their son. (I just learned how to make these bad boys...hit up simplyfreckles for a how-to someday in the near future.)

Brides strictly follow the tradition of wearing something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. However, the borrowed item must belong to a friend who is already married and the something old must be a family heirloom.

Throwing rice at the newlyweds was a way to ensure fertility. (were you ever a Girl Scout? I remember learning that the founder of the organization WENT DEAF on her wedding day because a grain of rice got thrown into her ear and punctured her ear drum...yikes!)

At the reception, following a traditional Czech wedding song, the bride’s veil/shoes and the groom’s shoes are carried around by the best man and maid of honor so that guests could put in some money for the honeymoon. (this reminds me of the dollar dancing with the bride and groom which I hope to God we don't do...asking for money is not really my favorite thing)

[umm...I couldn't think of an appropriate picture here]
At one point during the reception, the groomsmen "kidnap" the bride and hide her (?). The groom must find her within a specific period of time, or he has to buy her back from his friends, to symbolize the fact that he has promised to care for and protect her. (I hate being cynical ...but ...really??)

Interesting stuff!

info found from here, here, here and here

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I don't usually comment on blogs but after I read this post, I just had to. My family is Eastern European (Rusyn) and my father (Mark Wansa) recently published a book called "The Linden and the Oak". In the book, two of the characters get married and there is a wonderful chapter about wedding traditions and the "kidnapping" of the bride. Just thought you might be in interested in it!



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