Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Big Fat Ukrainian Wedding

When we went out with our Ukrainian friends a week ago, they gave us their wedding disc so we could watch it. Since we are leaving tomorrow, we felt obligated to watch it today. I am telling you, it looked like the funnest- and longest- wedding reception ever! They told us it was very traditional so I feel like we got a good glimpse of what the weddings are like here.

This is how it went....
Bride and groom drive up to the front of the resturant. When they get out of the car, everyone throws rose petals and pops balloons.
The parents are waiting near the door with two glasses of wine, fancy bread with salt on top and a long embroidered Ukranian cloth (we had this at our wedding for those of you who went). Some speech in Russian...Bride and Groom take a big piece of bread and dip it in the salt (I tried to eat our bread and Marty told me it was like 20 years old). They feed each other and wash it down with the wine. I think I remember Marty telling me it was a parent blessing and it was to give you health and prosperity?
They go in the resturant and everyone sits on long tables. You go up to the bride and groom and say something to them and put money and a card into the giant jar with the "$" sign on it.

No speeches, you just start to drink. There was a lot of footage of shots being poured, bottles being opened.

Then there is the feast! I have never seen so much food on one table in my life! Pickles, fruit, whole grilled fish, meat, salad, meat and more meat.

The auction starts. There are several bottles of alcohol on the table and people bid on them. The money goes to the bride and groom and the alcohol goes to the highest bidder.

Then the games start. The best man and maid of honor did not get off easy with no speech. They don't have time, they have to start drinking in order to endure what they are forced to do next. They are the ones who have to entertain the guests for the next hour playing the games.

The bride's shoes were taken from her (not sure why) and the games begin.

Game #1- The BM (best man) and the MOH (maid of honor) sit on a bag filled with marbles. They have to move their bums around to try and guess how many are in there. The MOH won this one.

Game #2- the BM got on the dance floor with two other guys. They all had to put on blindfolds and start to dance. They told the two guys to leave the dance floor and the BM is dancing alone the whole song. He lifts his blindfold and sees he is alone and everyone laughs.

Game #3- Three people put as many suckers in their mouth as possible and try to say something.

Game #4- MOH has to wear the blindfold and give the BM a lap dance. She starts to dance and they switch him up with an old guy. Blindfold comes off...everyone laughs.

Game #5- The MOH has to lie down on some chairs and they place chocolates all the way down her body. The BM has to put the blindfold on, find the chocolates and eat them off of her body. They switch the MOH with a guy so the BM is eating chocolates off of his friend. A few times, he almost kisses his friend. Blindfold off...big laughs!

Game #6- BM dresses up like a girl, MOH dresses up like a guy. They have to dance together.

Then the groom and four of his friends come out with no shirt on and tutus and tiaras. They dance to Swan Lake.

Bride gets her shoes back.

Everyone then goes outside for the fireworks show. It is a serious show of fireworks that lasts about 5 minutes on the video.

Game #7- Grandmas have to dress two full grown men in baby clothes. They have to feed them a baby bottle full of alcohol. The first one done wins.

A couple more games were played and then there is the bouquet toss and garter throw.
Then there is a very serious candle dance. Everyone gets in a circle and holds a candle and the bride and groom dance in the middle. It was very serious. Then it is all over.


R, S, J and Y said...

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Lesya... said...

That sounds like the BEST. WEDDING. EVER!!!!!! I especially liked the part about the Grandmothers dressing grown men like babies and forcing them to drink alcohol. Maybe I'll play that game at the next party I have.

Anonymous said...

Nowadays, the Korovaj is a symbolic, braided bread, with love doves put all over the bread. There is always a bride and groom dove. It is presented on an elaborately embroidered cloth, along with salt and a drink of whatever. The salt represents the bitterness in life, and the drink depicts the sweetness in life. Your bread was varnished so that you could display it in your awesome coffee shop, and it would not mould.
Your depiction of the "Ukrainian Wedding" is quite humorous, but we am sure that not all weddings are like that. (Are they?)
Ukraine is a very vast country, with many riches. That is why everyone wants a piece of it. Ukraine is very rich in culture, resources, tradition, religion, and fortitude. Unfortunately, it will take decades to make it the great country that our parents remember.
We admire both of you, Zenon and Cindy, for your dedication, perseverance, love and caring. It takes very special individuals to contend with all the obstacles, and yet always see the bright, positive side no matter what, and know in your hearts that the outcome will be successful. We, on the other hand, are looking forward to another grandson in our family. We are praying for you, and sending you very positive vibes, because we know it's just a matter of time and you will be parents again, and bless us with another grandchild.
You are foremost in our thoughts. God bless and Godspeed. Hugs and kisses, Mom and Dad