Belarus, the landlocked country in the Eastern Europe, has a rich heritage. The people still value the country's ancient heritage and it also reflects in the wedding customs of the country.
Earlier, parents used to select the life partners for their children, but nowadays the younger generation has the freedom to select their partner.
The old tradition of the bride's family presenting gifts to the groom's family is still practised in certain regions of the country. It is presented during the engagement ceremony. But the modern day couples have disowned this custom for good.
In order to get the wedding the official recognition, the weddings have to be conducted in a registry office. Some couple considers this as their official wedding ceremony; others follow it by a grand wedding with all the ancient customs.
According to traditions, Belarusian brides are supposed to sew their own dresses or wear dresses passed down as heirlooms by their mothers. But now most brides buy or prefer custom made wedding gowns. Another local custom is that the bridesmaids would also wear similar outfits as the bride to confuse the evil spirits who may cast an evil eye on the bride.
Wedding in Belarus is a lengthy affair. The main wedding ceremony will be held in a church.
The groom and the entourage will arrive at the bride’s place to escort the bride and her family to the wedding venue. As soon as he arrives, the bride’s friends would make him answer questions about his soon-to-be wife or pay them bribes to get entry into the house.
The towel has an important role in the wedding traditions of this East European country. Each region has its own design of towel.
In earlier days, a bride will walk to her wedding venue with a towel tied to her hand. The towel which trails along her would make a path for her unmarried friends to follow. The bride and the groom will stand on a towel at the altar. It is done to show that the couple is going to share a path together as a couple. These towels are treasured and are kept as family heirlooms.
After the wedding ceremonies, the couple will go on a tour of the local war memorials, to offer gratitude for their life's conveniences on the back of others’ sacrifices. They usually travel in a car decorated with colourful balloons.
A grand feast will be organised later. The highlight of the wedding feast will be the famous Belarus wedding pie. The feast will be followed by music, dance and many games, such as kidnaping the bride, breaking a loaf of bread by the couple etc...
Unlike the other countries in Belarus, the bride instead of the bridal bouquet will throw her wedding veil towards her unwed friends.