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Customs and Traditions

Ukrainian Traditions

Hiya!  We are having a non-denominational wedding but I want to know if any of you have been able to work in Ukrainian traditions.... we'd like to do something with the myrtle wreaths during the ceremony (perhaps before we exchange rings) and then the traditional welcoming and bread from the parents at the beginning of the reception.

I'd love to hear your experiences if you've done this.  And I would love you forever if you had a script or something from us to work off of.  My family got married in the church, so it can't be exactly the same, for obvious reasons. 

Re: Ukrainian Traditions

  • Hiya!  We are having a non-denominational wedding but I want to know if any of you have been able to work in Ukrainian traditions.... we'd like to do something with the myrtle wreaths during the ceremony (perhaps before we exchange rings) and then the traditional welcoming and bread from the parents at the beginning of the reception.

    I'd love to hear your experiences if you've done this.  And I would love you forever if you had a script or something from us to work off of.  My family got married in the church, so it can't be exactly the same, for obvious reasons. 
    A quick Googling tells me the wreaths are part of the rite where the couple becomes married in the eyes of God. If you are not having a religious wedding, that would not be appropriate. You should still ask your family about wording and such for things, and thus also feel out if they will be offended by your borrowing rituals without getting married in the church.
    image
  • I've already spoken to my family and they don't mind the borrowing of the tradition, so it's not like I'm going to offend anyone.  That was the first thing I took care of.  

    I know that the wreaths are part of that rite, so I was more looking for a way to work them in in a non-religious manner.  We wanted to explain the tradition and then wear them when we are officially pronounced married.  We are also going to have a florist make them... if it were traditional and by church policy, my mom would have to grow the myrtle and fashion the wreaths, and she's already said she has no time for that nonsense, haha!  We are definitely not going to use the church language, of course.  I'm more wondering if anyone else has done this and if they have a good starting point. :)
  • It just feels really odd to me to use them but then not keep the purpose/meaning they originally have. IMO your ceremony should include something only if it is meaningful to you. What about choosing a not-explicitly-religious tradition to include, like the bride and groom entering together to demonstrate that they are equal partners? Or the rushnyk to represent the hope you will never live in poverty? From what I am reading there are many options but I don't see any kind of wording to use for the wreaths that would not include God.

    You can certainly still request wording help from family; I don't think we have many Ukrainian brides posting here to supply what you're looking for.
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  • Well, the traditions ARE meaningful to me, that's why I want to include them.  If they weren't meaningful to me, I wouldn't even be asking about it, you know?  It's important to my fiancé that we don't get married in a church, and I want to respect that wish of his.  My family will support me in using the traditions or not using them.  AKA this isn't something they are forcing on me. :)  My parents were married in the Ukrainian Orthodox church so I want to incorporate as much of that as I can… just in an altered way so that my fiancé doesn't feel uncomfortable. 

    I never said that we weren't including god… just that we were having a non-denominational ceremony.  Perhaps I should have been clearer.  To me, that means that we can include god, just not in the strictly Catholic or Orthodox Ukrainian way.  (Again, that's something important to my fiancé so I'm trying to balance what's important to him with what's important to me, which are Ukrainian traditions.)  I think you can absolutely include god in a ceremony without being married IN a specific church.  We believe in god, but long story short… getting married in a Catholic church condones that belief system, which both of us do not agree with all of the way.  It would feel inauthentic.  Our minister understands this and wants to work with us to craft a ceremony that reflects all parts of us.

    (And we are going to use the rushnyk and also have a traditional welcome to the reception with the symbolic gifts and a korovai.  And lots and lots of hopak music… we are dancers in our family!)

    I'm sorry that this feels odd to you.  I'm just trying to balance what everyone wants and was hoping that someone else had already figured out a smooth and elegant way to do that.
  • I think the PP thought you were talking about a non-religious ceremony, still they didn't' need to jump to conclusions. 

    I think that if you are Ukranian that including it into your wedding is a great idea. The Myrtle wreaths would certainly be a great cultural tie to your heritage. If your fiance has a different heritage you could always include a flower or something representative of that. Like a Myrtle and Rosemary crowns for a Ukranian and Czech couple joining their lives together.... something like that. 

    It would represent your culture, and his as well. 
    girleyeslightup
  • I think the PP thought you were talking about a non-religious ceremony, still they didn't' need to jump to conclusions. 

    I think that if you are Ukranian that including it into your wedding is a great idea. The Myrtle wreaths would certainly be a great cultural tie to your heritage. If your fiance has a different heritage you could always include a flower or something representative of that. Like a Myrtle and Rosemary crowns for a Ukranian and Czech couple joining their lives together.... something like that. 

    It would represent your culture, and his as well. 
    That is an AWESOME idea!  He's mainly Polish, so I will look into their things.  That would make it traditional, but still unique to us.  Love, love, love.
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