From the enchanting woodlands of Hungary and the Czech Republic to the colourful villages of Poland and Romania, Eastern Europe is filled with some of the most spectacular beauty on this earth. These Slavic lands offer a rich treasure trove of inspiration for your wedding.
From Orthodox to Catholic weddings, in each Eastern European country you’ll always find an ancient ritual woven into the celebrations somewhere. Polish weddings will often see the arrival of a modest horse and cart, decorated with an array of blooms to take the bride to the church. At a Bulgarian wedding, traditional folk songs are usually sung prior to the formal ceremony. Of course, there are those little elements of simplistic beauty too. Here are some sweet little aesthetics that will add a glorious Eastern European vibe to your wedding.
Sported by the bride and her bridesmaids, the joyful flower crown is a staple at most weddings in places as diverse as Slovakia and Russia. Traditionally, weddings took place in the spring and summer months, when flowers were in abundance and there to be used in any way possible. Substituting the diamante tiara with a stunning flower crown will give your wedding outfit an injection of true fairytale romance.
Any good florist will be able to create one for you, with your choice of fresh vibrant blooms or dried flowers.
Varying throughout the Slavic world, folk costumes add some true individuality to your wedding, for both men and women. In the Ukraine, the traditional men’s tunic with intricate embroidery gives the look of a proud warrior, and for the bride, a long flowing embroidered white dress will make any bride look like a folk princess.
Aside from buying directly from the Ukraine, hand-made outfits can be sourced from Etsy.
Korovai (flour and salt) is ornately decorated bread, with origins that stretch back into the mists of history, long before the Christianisation of Russia and its neighbours. Rooted in the Pagan belief that grain held mystical properties, Korovai is a symbol of hospitality in much of Eastern Europe such as Romania and Belarus, also incorporated into wedding celebrations.
Korovai is often highly ornamented – and with no set design, it can be as elaborate as you desire, festooned with flowers, pinecones, herbs etc, making an eye-catching addition to your wedding table.
Dried Fruit Garlands
A ubiquitous yet magnificent decoration for weddings, the origins of the dried fruit garland are a little mysterious – yet they are seen from Moldova to Georgia. Perhaps it has become a staple purely for its aesthetic purposes, but it is one that will enchant your guests with its ravishing rustic allure. Usually assembled from dried apples and oranges, cinnamon sticks and nuts, the garland is best adorning the tables and chairs, especially during an Autumn / Winter wedding.
Greet Your Guests with Music
In Poland, an old custom is to greet guests individually with music, as they come into the reception hall. Dating back many centuries, a separate tune is played each time a guest walks through the door. What a marvellous memory this would make for everyone. The rule is to go for something upbeat, steeped in tradition, so lots of violins are the order of the day.