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Russian Wedding Traditions on Gossip Girl, The Unblairable Lightness of Being

Newlywed Game: Russian Wedding Traditions Worth Stealing

Who knew an episode of Gossip Girl would deliver a fascinating lesson in Russian wedding traditions? The game-playing theme continued on last night's episode, but this game was less manipulative and more like The Newlywed Game.

Before Dorota and Vanya's wedding ceremony, Cyrus explains that "in Russian tradition, before a groom can marry his bride, the wedding party gathers and demands that he answers a series of questions about his beloved. If he's unable to answer these questions to the satisfaction of the crowd, the wedding cannot proceed."

This sounds like a fun tradition, but given that I learned about it on a fictional TV show, I did a little research. Turns out, it's a real tradition, and it's just the beginning. To learn more about Russian wedding traditions and to see a cute clip of Vanya answering one of the questions,



Russian weddings often continue for two days and include family and friends in all sorts of activities and games. Here's how it works.

  • As in American wedding tradition, the bride and groom start their days in separate places. But in Russia, it's the groom's job to make his way to his bride, while his friends and family try to block the way.
  • Sometimes, there are physical hurdles, like making his way up to a top floor apartment. Along the way, friends will pepper him with questions about his bride. It could be as simple as when her birthday is, or something more involved, like asking him to guess which baby photo is of his bride. If he answers wrong, he might have to fork over cash or another sort of "ransom," like performing a song or dance. Looks like Vanya had it pretty easy:

  • Once the groom locates his bride, the couple heads to a civil ceremony, accompanied by close family and friends, such as the wedding attendants, called witnesses. Afterward, the couple will traditionally take a tour of the city, sometimes stopping at historic sites or graves to remember fallen family members, while drinking champagne.
  • After the tour, the couple arrives at the reception, which is usually a spirited party, marked by hours of toasts and dancing and sometimes stretching into the next day.

Have you ever attended a Russian wedding? Would you want to steal any of these ideas for your own wedding?

Photos courtesy of The CW

inlove23 inlove23 7 years
Wow! These are all pretty cool! I don't think I would have any ideas, but it's pretty interesting.
sado44 sado44 7 years
i like the veil
Pups Pups 7 years
Well, I would not say its purely Russian tradition... there are some very cruel wedding games... veeery cruel. 2 Chloe bella Yeah, 35 minutes is actually not a big thing. It can take even two hours or even more... It is always that this day a couple should do almost everything - church ceremony, civil registration, photo-video shooting + traditions (buying fiancee is the longest I suppose cuz you have to bargain there). Its kinda unforgettable but very hard to follow and very tiring. Such weddings end 3-4 a.m. when everyone is dead tired.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
My next door neighbor growing up married a Russian girl last spring. My mom went to the wedding and arrived at the church 15 minutes before the invitations said the ceremony was supposed to start. No one was there except a few of the groom's family members and friends. The bride's family and other Russian guests didn't get to the church until after the wedding was supposed to have started, and the ceremony actually began 35 minutes behind schedule! The groom's mom said that "understanding everyone is going to be late" is apparently also a Russian thing and thus luckily wasn't alarmed when, at first, it appeared that the bride didn't plan on showing up for the wedding.
Sweedalicious Sweedalicious 7 years
I couldn't stand a long wedding celebration, let along two days! Not my thing.
lizkiernan lizkiernan 7 years
We had a few of these traditions at my wedding. Another one is the 'race to the bathmat' right after the bride and groom are married. A bathmat is placed at the back of the church (or whatever place you get married at), then the bride and groom literally run down the aisle in attempt to reach the bathmat first. Tradition says that the first one to reach the bathmat will be the head of the household, so there's a lot at steak with winning the race :) Of course I won.
belle28 belle28 7 years
I like the idea of someone fighting obstacles to get to me ;)
genesisrocks genesisrocks 7 years
No traditional Russian weddings in my family, but I might start it up!
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