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Russian Wedding Traditions

Russian wedding traditions (like most traditions in Russia) date back a long way, and are a testament to the importance that Russians place on their history and culture. Some may seem silly, others very romantic, but all of these traditions make Russian weddings a truly memorable and joyous occasion.


This is a traditional game, played prior to the wedding. The groom comes to his bride’s house, where she is hiding. He should bring gifts, money, and sweets, to give to everybody in her family, so they will help him find her. This is known as 'Viykup', and is a tradition in many other cultures around the world as well as in Russia.

The Loaf of Bread

At the wedding reception, the newlyweds take a loaf of bread, and at the same time they both attempt to take a big bite from it (with no hands allowed!). Whoever takes the bigger bite, it is said that they will be the leader of their family! It is not taken seriously of course, but you might want to practise this one at home before the big day!

The Bitter Kiss

One of the most intriguing Russian wedding traditions takes place at the wedding reception. The bride and groom must kiss when the crowd begin to chant 'gorko'. In English, this word means 'bitter taste', and you can be sure that every Russian wedding will have this happen more than once throughout the night! The kiss must continue until the crowd stops chanting, so you can imagine this creates a lot of fun for all involved!

The Champagne Glass

At the wedding table of the bride and groom, friends and family put some coins in the champagne glasses of the newlyweds as a wish for their marriage to be blessed with abundance.

Smashing the Plate

This tradition is well-known with Greek weddings, and it is also a tradition in Russian weddings. The bride and groom should drop a plate together, and break it into small pieces. Then they take a step together, over the broken pieces, as a sign of them advancing towards their future happiness.

The Wedding Dress

Superstition says that a bride must not make her wedding dress herself, and nor should her mother. She should also walk in new shoes at least one day before the wedding day, as a sign of her future happiness.

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