Thursday, May 17, 2012

Locks of Love

How lucky are we!  Our visit to Russia seemed to coincide with the Russian wedding season!  And after witnessing a months' worth of weddings from Siberia to St. Petersburg I have only one question:  How does this not yet exist as a reality show?

Things that would make To Russia, With Love and Fur (my title, don't steal it) a clear Bravo hit:
1.  All Russian brides wear fur
2.  1/2 of Russian brides wear totally crazy and/or slutty outfits; the other half wear poofy dresses
3.  Russian brides and grooms like to pimp their wedding day rides
4.  There is a lot of day drinking
5.  Russian brides are gorgeous.  The men look to be about 17 years old.



Kind of slutty (+ fur)

Pimped, non-limo
Pimped, and so long it won't fit in the shot
Crazy pimped
A fleet of limos waiting outside Red Square
Chauffeur + Day drinking + killer ponytail = party animal
Russian weddings are especially fun because of the many unique traditions.  In the morning, the bride and groom go to the department of public services to get a marriage license.
Leaving the courthouse
... to a throng of waiting friends and family
(and another waiting bride and groom)
Then, they drive around town with their nearest and dearest (or whoever could take the day off of work), taking photos in front of famous tourist spots.

Sometimes they release a dove.

Sometimes they dance in joy in the parking lot.

At some point, the wedding party finds a bridge where two very important things take place.  First, they affix a fancy lock, engraved with their initials and wedding date, to the bridge.  (On at least one bridge in Moscow, metal trees have been provided.)
Locks bridge in Yekaterinburg
Locks tree in Moscow
A happy couple locking up their love.
There were four or five trees (and eight or ten couples) on this bridge at a time.
Festive port-a-potties were provided nearby
Then, the bride and groom kiss on the bridge while the wedding party chants.  Here, sources differ.  Our tour guide told us that the guests chant "beat her," so that evil spirits will think it is an unhappy marriage and won't bother meddling.  Wikipedia tells me that the guests chant "bitter," urging the couple to kiss for longer, so the sweetness of their kiss will take the bitterness out of their vodka.  Whatever it is, it looks like a lot of fun, and we were even invited to join in on one celebration we stumbled upon in Moscow.

Seeing so many happy, celebrating couples everywhere made our trip to Russia even more fun, and we dedicate this post to our sisters, Zoë and Lauren, our soon-to-be brothers-in-laws, Dan and Willie, and their upcoming nuptials!  We'll be sure to chant "beat her, beat her," with a bottle of vodka in hand, during their first kisses!

Fur.  Man-purse.

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