The Czech Republic has many wedding traditions dating back through the ages; without them, Czech weddings would definitely be incomplete.
The most important thing in every wedding is the bride. The Czech bride has to wear on her wedding day, beyond the wedding dress, something new, something old, something borrowed, and something blue. Blue is usually the garter, which will come in handy later on the wedding day. Something borrowed is usually from some happily married girlfriend so that the newly-married couple will also be happy. Something old comes from the bride’s family, mostly some family jewel. Something new represents the new period of life that the bride is going to start.
Most traditions follow after the ceremony. When the newlyweds step out of the ceremonial place, their friends and family shower them with rice, lentils or peas to ensure fertility. At this moment, the groom may receive a horse collar, meaning that he might become hen-pecked.
Shortly after that, the bride throws her bouquet into the crowd. The crowd consists of unmarried girls only, and the girl who catches the flowers will get married within a year.
Before the young married couple enters the restaurant for the wedding reception, the restaurant owner breaks a plate since the glass cullet brings happiness. What is more, the bride and groom have to clean the place and show everyone how synchronised they are. This tradition points out that the bride and groom will work together from now on.
The bride and groom eat soup together. They have one spoon only and are bound together. This tradition shows how the husband and wife will have to overcome all difficulties that will arise together. Moreover, it represents the need to go halves in a marriage.
The garter belt can then play two roles. It can either be thrown by the groom into unmarried men (with the same results as with the bouquet) or auctioned off. The money will help to start a new life.
When the atmosphere is at its peak, the bride is carried away by friends of the groom. The groom has to find his wife as soon as possible. If he fails to find her, he has to repurchase her from his friends. This symbolises the girl’s separation from her parents and a new phase of life. It also shows that the groom should be watchful!
All this ends when the married couple arrives at the place where they live. The “fresh” husband should carry his wife in his arms over the threshold. This tradition should secure against the demons waking up.
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