Ukrainian wedding: a mix of traditional culture and modern trends

Culture and traditions play a vital role in Ukrainian everyday life. From the times of our grandparents, this has been the case. Let us explore the traditional culture and modern trends in Ukrainian marriages. 

The traditional culture

Originally, the parents chose the husband for their daughter, who would not be able to marry her beloved if he was not they chose. For them, the ideal husband would be a relative or someone from a wealthy family. They would not care about the girl’s feelings, desires or preferences. Everything was arranged.

The groom paid for all expenses, including inviting the family and guests (could be up to 300 or 400 people in some cases).

Weddings used to be celebrated in a private residence or a special building constructed from wood. The family distilled their own vodka from sugar or fruits, and guests brought their own wine and meats for the party (everything was homemade, not store-bought). Traditional breads were prepared and placed on a special table for the bride. The bride and groom were dressed in traditional Ukrainian garb. They would have feast of traditional Ukrainian meals, and the celebration lasted for about 3 days.

21st century weddings

Much has changed since then; 21st century weddings are completely different. Women can marry whoever they wish. Weddings are celebrated in luxury restaurants, with sumptuous decorations, live music, professional photographers, video operators, and finally, a ride for the married couple in a white limousine. If you have money, this is an amazing opportunity to have a unique wedding with much entertainment for your guests. This is the reason why, weddings are not celebrated as large as they used to be. Most weddings have about 20 to 40 guests in a small private party, inviting only close friends and relatives.

Marriage procedure

In order to be legally married, the couple needs to go to the civil registry, where they will get a stamp in their marriage certificate. The wife will need to change her surname to that of the husband’s for her new passport. Two witnesses should be present during the ceremony. The next step would be to get married in a church and get the corresponding certificate. Nonetheless, not all couples do this.

The costs for weddings

If you want to have a unique wedding, you cannot forget about the budget. Your overall expenses would be about $10,000 (for a wedding with about 20 guests). For a luxury wedding, the ceremony can cost up to $25,000. These costs are for large cities such as: Kiev, Odessa, or Kharkov. The costs for weddings in smaller towns will be much cheaper than this. Generally, men take care of all the expenses or share the costs with the bride’s family.

According to Ukrainian law

Prenuptial agreements are accepted in Ukraine. According to Ukrainian law, however, in event of a divorce, property is shared between both parties. A court of law will make a decision on who gets how much. In case the couple has children, the husband will need to provide the wife with alimony if their children are minors (under 18 years old).

We wish you luck in finding the right person to build a lasting relationship with. Hopefully, you will never need to think about divorce, and will be able to enjoy a simple family life for years to come.

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