A traditional Russian wedding lasts for at least two days and some weddings last as long as a week. Throughout the celebration there is dancing, singing, long toasts, and a lots of food and drinks. The ceremony and the ring exchange takes place on the first day of the wedding and on this special day many events take place.
Paying the ransom : When the groom arrives at bride’s home he has to pay ransom for the bride, a term in Russian known as “vykup nevesty”. The entire event is played out in a comical fashion and everyone is entertained. At first the groom comes and gives something (often vodka) for the bride, and so the parents of the bride bring out a woman or man (the latter for amusement) that is not the actual bride, but is dressed up like one, covered in veil, so the groom can’t see the face. When groom realised that it is not his bride, he will ask for his bride, and the family of bride will demand for a bigger ransom. After being satisfied with the ransom they give away bride to the groom. This is a very popular ritual of russian wedding.
This is called “rospis v zagse”. This ceremony takes place at the department of public services, formally known as ZAGS. At ZAGS the couple is greeted by family members with bread and salt. The ceremony ranges from 15 to 30 minutes and during this time the rings are exchanged and the couple is pronounced husband and wife. This is how the russian wedding is performed.
After the civil ceremony, the newlyweds and their witnesses, travel around the city on a limousine and view many historical sights.
After touring the city for several hours, the couple meets the guests for the reception. The first toast is for the newly wed couple, second toast is for the parents. Then the new couple dances the first dance of the night. As the night continues the guests dance, sing, play games, and make toasts. For the next several days, the family continues to eat, drink, and celebrate.
Thus, we see that the russian wedding involves the whole family and it is very much similar to other cultures.