Czechoslovakia Wedding Ring Customs and Traditions for the New Bride
Weddings are a time of celebration for a lifetime commitment. Many countries and cultures have their own unique traditions and customs that make their weddings stand out from the rest. In Czechoslovakia, there is a sense of the old-world traditions and customs in the cobblestone streets and beautiful cathedrals.
One custom is strictly followed in these weddings. The bride must have something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. The borrowed item must be from a friend who is already married, and the old item must be a family heirloom. Both of these items are meant to represent the continuity of the family and the relationships surrounding the couple.
As a bride, you may also wear a special wreath of rosemary made by your bridesmaids. It is meant to symbolize wisdom, love, and loyalty, all qualities that are highly prized in a marriage.
At the start of the reception, a member of the bridal party would break a plate at the feet of the bride and groom. The newlyweds would then clean up the chips of the plate together, thus symbolizing their willingness to work together as a married couple. Other traditions include the couple sharing soup but only using one spoon.
Towards the middle of the reception, the bride is often kidnapped by the groomsmen and the groom must find her within a defined time period, otherwise he must buy her back. It is meant to represent his promise to care for and protect her throughout their days together. Throwing rice at the couple is meant to ensure fertility and plenty of children.
Other customs focus on leaving the past behind. A rope decorated with flowers and other ornamentation is meant to represent the past sins of the groom. By paying to pass under the rope, he is paying for his past sins and starting life fresh with his bride.
At the end of the reception, the shoes of the bride and groom are carried around through the guests, and money placed within the shoes is meant to help pay for the honeymoon. Many of these traditions focus on the commitment and promise that the couple has made to each other.
Of course, as with most countries, there are also a variety of meanings behind the rings. While there are traditional touches that you can add to your wedding ring, such as a braided band, many Czechs do not have an engagement custom. Some more traditional parts of the country consider it proper etiquette to ask the father of the bride for permission to marry.
Engagement rings are still not common. Many today choose to simply add a diamond solitaire to their gold wedding band, instead of purchasing another ring.
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