Traditions of a modern Ukrainian wedding


Every couple wants to make their wedding memorable. Those who found themselves Ukrainian ladies for marriage know that the ceremony in the Ukrainian style has a lot of traditions and details that make it unique.

A wedding in Ukraine is not complete without korovai, an alternative for a wedding cake. This round braided bread, baked from wheat flour and decorated with various figurines, symbolizes the welfare of the family. Even after the heartiest feast, every guest has to eat a piece of korovai to the last crumb.

You can’t marry a Ukrainian woman without paying the ransom for her. Now this ritual is just a game, but in the old days, this ceremony had serious meaning. Our ancestors chose Ukrainian girls for marriage in other villages. Usually, it happened after negotiations.

Those times are long gone, but the tradition still lives today. In fact, every modern Ukrainian wedding begins with it. The groom comes to the bride's parents and offers a ransom for her. The ceremony is accompanied by different competitions and puzzles.

Another important tradition is the covering of the bride’s head with the kerchief. This beautiful and touching ceremony involves the bride, her mother in law, the groom, and few unmarried girls.

The groom’s mother removes the bride's veil and covers her head with the kerchief. This means that the bride is no longer a girl, she's a woman. Then, the unmarried girls dance around the bride while she puts her bridal veil on each of them.

Traditions of a modern Ukrainian wedding

From the ceremony to the restaurant: Traditional venues

Many couples want to register their marriage in Ukraine not only officially, but also in the face of the Lord. In this case, the choice of the locations for wedding ceremony becomes more important. Here are some traditional churches for Ukrainian weddings.

St. Andrew's Church

St. Andrew's Church is one of the most famous and beautiful architectural buildings in Kiev. Many call it the hallmark of the capital. The church is located at St. Andrew's descent - one of the most popular areas of Kiev.

The church is very picturesque. The bright contrasting wall decoration gives it a unique look and makes a wedding ceremony in it a rejoicing of two loving hearts.

St. Vladimir's Cathedral

This cathedral is one of the most majestic and elegant in Ukraine. The beauty of its interior and exterior is stunning. A wedding ceremony, done in St. Vladimir's Cathedral, strengthens family ties of any couple.

St. Michael's Cathedral

St. Michael's Cathedral was built in the XII century in honor of the Archangel Michael, the patron saint of the city of Kiev. Today, it is a part of the St. Michael's Monastery. The cathedral is painted in sky-blue and decorated with golden domes. There is a beautiful park on its territory, which is perfect for wedding photo shoots. The biggest pride of the cathedral is the bell tower.

But the most important part of the wedding ceremony is a wedding banquet, so the choice of restaurant for it is the main component of the preparation for the wedding.

The couple decides where to hold the ceremony. It may be a large banqueting hall or a cozy little restaurant. Besides, they should take many criteria into account: delicious cuisine, prices, location, exterior, and interior. The restaurant should have a summer terrace and a winter garden for guests to relax from the noisy atmosphere of the wedding.

What a modern Ukrainian wedding looks like

Modern wedding is full of traditions, just as hundreds of years ago. But newlyweds sometimes simplify the ancient wedding rituals, so they lose not only their meaning but also their purpose. But in Ukraine, people stick to old traditions and don’t change them.

Some men want to marry Ukrainian girls at the bottom of the sea or in the air. But most of the couples prefer a traditional ceremony.

There are several old Ukrainian wedding traditions still popular today.

Embroidered dress

A lot of modern Ukrainian brides are choosing elegant wedding dresses with ethnic embroidery. Embroidered shirts are also popular among famous designers, models, and television hosts.


A traditional Ukrainian wedding is renowned for toasts. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins always have something to say. And each toast ends in a phrase “Hirko!” which means “bitter.” It indicated that the groom and bride have to kiss. According to a tradition, if something is “bitter,” a kiss will sweeten it. The guests at the Ukrainian wedding yell out “Hirko!” all the time.

In general, a wedding is already a tradition. And its rules are different in each region of Ukraine. It is influenced by both ancient and modern rituals. However, Ukrainian wedding has not lost its flavor. With the introduction of new customs and traditions, Ukrainian weddings have become more interesting and original. Even foreigners, who pick Ukrainian women for marriage, prefer a Ukrainian-style ceremony.