Marriage in Albania is traditionally arranged by the elder members of a family or involves a matchmaker, rather by the couple themselves.
Traditionally the bride’s family has to present a dowry to the groom’s family. This will usually include gifts such as dresses, carpets etc… Traditionally the groom also requires paying a dowry to the bride’s parents.
An engagement ceremony is conducted where the bride will be given a gold coin as the sign of agreement. It is followed by a feast arranged by the bride’s family. The bride will be showered with presents and 'kufeta' - sugar coated almonds.
Celebrations will start a week before the wedding it is known as ‘jav’e nuses’.
During the week-long celebration, the groom’s family will come to the bride’s house to request her to be present for the function. They will also bring presents such as wine, flowers, sweets, cake, money etc…
The bride and groom each have their own celebration night that consists of guests singing and dancing to traditional Albanian songs. Everyone is invited. Traditional bread called ‘kulac’ is prepared to bring prosperity and peace to the couple.
On the wedding day, the bride will be given wine by her parents as blessings. She will be presented with cash by other guests. Next, the best man would come to the bride’s house with her shoes and sweets. He will be accompanied by singers and dancers along with the female members of the groom’s family. The groom’s family will then escort the bride to the wedding venue where the actual wedding rituals would be held. A grand reception would follow the function.
Next day the members of the bride’s family and women from the neighbourhood would come to the groom’s house to visit the newlyweds. The couple is asked to grab the bread and divide it into a half. The one keeping the largest piece is believed to be the most loved of the couple. Music and merriment are also part of the function.