A wedding is a very important and one of the most remembering events for everybody and people try to make this day as special as possible. In this article, I would like to tell you about Georgian wedding traditions that might be interesting and different from your own.
A typical Georgian wedding has three formal stages. Everything starts with matchmaking. During the many centuries matchmaker (Machankali) was a common profession. Those people were travelling from one city to another in order to find suitable couples and match them with each other. If the chosen couple were lucky enough, they would see each other before the wedding. However, most of the time, engagement process was more like a negotiation between two families with the help of a matchmaker, acting as a mediator. Nowadays, this tradition is a past century, however, in some regions families are trying to find out information about each other before approving the engagement. Maybe not with the help of a matchmaker anymore, but with the help of gossipy relatives.
Next step is an engagement. By traditions, bridegroom visits a girl’s family and asks her father for her hand. If they decide to marry without informing families, it counts as a very disrespect thing to do for a girl’s parents. Nevertheless, in the past decade it was quite common when a boy was “kidnapping” her bride, but if everything was done according to tradition after the father-in-law gave his approval, both families would celebrate this happy day and a boy would present an engagement ring to his future wife.
Finally, everything is ready for the wedding. For example, by the Catholic tradition, a bridegroom should not see the bride’s wedding dress before the big day. However, by Georgian tradition, a bridegroom and his groomsmen and family members go to the bride’s house with flowers, sweets and drinks to take her to the church. They drink their first toast for their happy union. A bridegroom usually wears Georgian traditional clothes “Chokha” which gives extra masculinity to any man, while bride wears a white dress. They spend several hours in the bride’s house, after which they go to the church to marry in front of God and then to the wedding house to register their civil marriage. By the evening, they move to the restaurant where all the guests are waiting for the newly married couple and their families. By Georgian traditions, several hundred of guests are invited to the wedding party, sometimes even more than 500 people.
One of the most famous places in Georgia for marrying is Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Signagi, Prometheus Cave, Rabati Castle and etc. We believe that the oldest churches are the best places for this ceremony as it keeps a great history and strength as they have survived during many centuries, so we love to think that our marriage will last for years and overcome any difficulties.
What’s more, Georgian dance is a must tradition for every wedding. If a couple can’t dance well, they take private lessons before the wedding day as they have to dance on their own wedding for sure.
Georgian weddings are famous with fights as well. The most of the weddings end with the fight and maybe this is because of strong Georgian alcoholic drinks. However, this is so common and natural for us that no one makes a big deal out of it. I am sure you will like Georgian weddings as it is something that you will definitely never forget for the rest of your life!
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