Russian Wedding advice?

  1. Hey there,

    We have some friends here in Holland getting married in September - he's Dutch and she's Russian. They've asked my husband to be the best man and I'll be unable to understand what everyone's talking about and probably get horribly drunk.

    Anyhoo, my question is this. The bride-to-be told us last weekend that the best man has to "buy" her off her parents with cash. I've googled and can't find any reference to this in an traditional Russian wedding. She has also said that the guests throw money into their wedding car and that the wedding cake is auctioned off for cash (ie. no cash, no cake). To be honest I feel like we might be being taken advantage of.

    Has anyone had any experience with a traditional Russian wedding and does it seem odd that my husband has to pay money to the brides parents (which we've never met and will never see again)?

    Also, when asked about what kind of gift they'd like they just shrugged and said they expect their friends to know what to get them. I actually don't know either of them very well (he's a work colleague of my PHH) but was thinking of some nice bed linen - any other suggestions?
  2. That's a little different than what I've heard. I've always heard that the bride is "kidnapped" and the groom has to pay to get her back. Actually, if you pick up the book My Sergei by Ekaterina Gordeeva (the figure skater whose husband/skating partner died), there's a chapter about her wedding, and that tradition is mentioned.

    I also found this:Russian Wedding Traditions and Customs: the wedding day

    Movements become quite hectic; some people go out "to refresh", and at some moment in this movement the bride gets... "stolen"! She disappears, and when the groom starts looking for her, he is faced with a request for a ransom. Usually it's his buddies who "steal" the bride. A more or less short wrangle about the amount, and he can have his new wife back. But he must watch out - the bride sometimes may be stolen a few times!
  3. I've passed along your questions to my DH. He's Russian (second generation Russian-American). I'll let you know what he says.

    Sounds weird to me, but I know first hand that the Russian Orthodox faith has some pretty weird "rules" too (weird to me anyway), so you never know!:shrugs:
  4. woah.....all this to get married??LMAO..hope he is worth it..LOL...
  5. I've never heard of this before either in any kind of wedding. Hopefully someone else here can help you out. I understand how you feel though. I'd feel that way too!
  6. Thanks Jillybean - the groom paying a ransom for his bride is what I've read. I absolutely can't find anything about the best man paying the parents (this is supposed to happen prior to the wedding according to the bride to be). Also, I can't find any reference to these other traditions involving money (cake and car) that the bride to be was talking about.

    Any idea on how I can tactfully approach this issue of giving money with them?
  7. Thanks Prada - I appreciate your help.
  8. I am Russian and have been to many Russian weddings but I've NEVER heard of any of the things you've mentioned above!:wtf:
  9. Just heard back from DH. He's in agreement with LV_addict. Never saw it or heard of it either.

    Sounds like someone needs to start asking some pointed questions of the parties involved as to what the real story is here....
  10. LOL...MAybe they need to find a less expensive reception place?????
  11. Thanks LV ADDICT

    I know they're finding their finances a bit tight and part of me thinks that this might ease it a little for them. She initally told me (a couple of months back) that the groom has to buy her from her parents and last week they both told us that it was the best man that was supposed to do this.

    I have absolutely no problem paying for my own meal at a wedding or even giving cash as a gift, but don't feel comfortable giving money to a complete stranger for buying a bride (for my husbands work colleague). Icky.
  12. Thanks Prada - I think they might be making up the traditions as they go along.

    Damn it, wish I was a little more creative with my wedding.
  13. Cal, it could be a family thing or a local to the area thing. In Pennsylvania they do something called The Dollar Dance at weddings. I'd never heard of it before, but at weddings you're suppose to pay money to dance with the bride. My friends told me that it was something that was mostly done in Pennsylvania.

    LOL, I'd give cash, and tell them that you've already added the money for the cake and the kidnapping of the bride into the gift. What are they going to do, tell you it's not enough?
  14. I know Jill - and they've only got 20 people going??!??!?
  15. Maybe they just need to invite more guests: more guests, more gifts!! :roflmfao: