Put on your best, you have been invited to a traditional Czech wedding!

Have you ever been to a traditional Czech wedding? One of my closest friends recently got engaged and because she comes from another country but is marrying a Czech guy, she asked me about the specific traditions we have. The real old traditions have certainly changed but there are some that we managed to keep. So put on your best and let’s dance!

As is the case of most weddings, most traditions take place after the ceremony at the wedding reception. Frequent rituals were not only to guarantee happiness and children but also to protect the couple from hatred and quarrels. Let us have a look at the ones that you can still come across today.

1. Haul in

Right after the ceremony the friends of the groom stretch out a rope in front of the church door. The rope is decorated with flowers and empty bottles and the groom has to buy himself out to pay out his previous sins. The groom’s friends then also put a horse collar on his neck to symbolize that he is now under the yoke of marriage.

2. Breaking the plate

Before the couple is allowed to enter the wedding ceremony they are put through yet another test. They have to sweep together pieces of a broken plate. This shows how they can communicate and if the marriage will be harmonious.

3. Eating the soup jointly

At the wedding ceremony it is accustomed to serve dumplings soup. The young couple is covered in a large cloth to symbolize unity. They eat the soup together from one plate, feeding each other. This is probably the most popular tradition at the whole wedding. It brings out a lot of laughs from the whole company.

4. Wedding cakes – Invitation cookies

Of course a traditional wedding cake is a must at every wedding ceremony but in the Czech Republic the tradition is that two or three weeks before the actual ceremony, the couple goes to visit all the guests and acquaintances and brings inviting cookies. These are tiny round cakes with various fillings. The bride must never take part in baking them as it brings bad luck for the couple.

5. Kidnapping of the bride

Towards the end of the reception the bride disappears and the groom must go and look for her. She has been kidnapped by her friends. They hide in one of the local pubs and the sooner the groom finds her the better for him because he is the one who has to pick up the tab.

What do you think of these traditions? Have you ever been to a Czech wedding? Are you planning to go or are you getting married? Share with us your experiences and wedding traditions in your own countries.

[Čeština]

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