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This presents the primary opportunity for the majority of the wedding photographs that are taken at varying historical places around the town or city.
After touring the city for several hours, the couple meets the guests for the reception.
Despite their seemingly unique matrimonial ceremonies, Russian weddings have adopted some western traditions, including incorporating bridesmaids into the wedding party.
Once the groom arrives at the bride's home, he must pay a ransom for the bride, a term known in Russian as "vykup nevesty." This event is meant to be comical and entertaining.
When the groom realizes that it is not his bride, he asks for his love, but the bride's family will demand a more significant ransom to be paid.
Upon satisfaction with the ransom given, the bride's family gives away the bride to the groom.
During the civil ceremony, the parents offer the married couple two crystal glasses, which they are asked to break.
The more pieces or shards of glass they create, the greater the number of years of happiness they will spend together.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Holy Matrimony is considered a Sacred Mystery and the sign of the marriage is not the exchange of rings (that takes place at the betrothal) but rather the placing of crowns on the heads of the bride and groom.
First, the groom brings an offering (often money or jewelry) for the bride.
At this point, the bride's parents bring out a woman or man (the latter for amusement) who is not the actual bride but is dressed up like one covered in a veil, so the groom cannot see his or her face.
A traditional Russian wedding can last between two days and one week.
The celebration involves dancing, singing, toasting, and banqueting.