As we have discussed in previous posts, (like why Prague is the best city to have a wedding) Czech weddings are definitely something special, so we thought we’d discuss how this amazing moment is celebrated in Czech culture.
Though most of the traditions found at Czech weddings are typically Christian traditions and can be found at different weddings all around the world, we found a few in particular that stood out and are singular to Czechs. These traditions may very depending on the region you’re in and might not even be used in todays time, but have been passed down from generations and will always remain part of Czech heritage.
Eating chlebíčky is something we know all to well! These open faced sandwiches are common hors d’oeuvres not only in Czech households, but also at weddings. The variety of toppings and spreads is so wide that they make for the perfect party food. Typically, the brides family will prepare large batches of potato salad, or such for the chlebíčky .
Sharing The Soup
Just as the couple will slice the cake together here in the United States, in the Czech Republic, the newlyweds will eat soup out of the same bowl and with a shared spoon to “become one” and signify that they will share everything, including food.
The bridesmaids will make a rosemary wreath and give it to the bride the night before the wedding to wear on her wedding day, this wreath symbolizes a hope for wisdom, love, and loyalty in the couples future and is a lovely accessory the bride can either hold, or wear in her hair. Some people give out sprigs of rosemary to the guest of the wedding as well for fertility, and luck.
This is a common tradition found at many weddings around the world. It begins at the reception with a plate being broken at the feet of the happy couple. They then have to sweep the broken pieces together, this signifies they will work together in their future life together, but also that the wife will take care of her husband and keep their home tidy.
An Axe and A Bottle
At the brides home the groom is presented with a bottle and a axe, if he selects the bottle, it means he will be lazy and a drunkard. But if he chooses the axe, it means he will be a good husband and worker. If the axe is chosen he was sometimes expected to use it to cut wood at that moment.
Blindfolded Veil Pinning
At around midnight after the ceremony the bride is blindfolded and does a ceremonial dance around all her single women guests/friends holding her veil. She is to pick out a girl and pin or place the veil on her, and whichever girl she chooses is next to be engaged. This tradition is similar to the throwing of the bridal bouquet.
One very important Czech tradition, which is still used today, is the kidnapping of the bride. The groomsmen hide her and her husband must find her. If he cannot do this in a limited amount of time, he must pay some ransom. This symbolizes the girls passage into a new life by being separated from her family and found by the one she loves.
The groom must pay ransom once again at the exit of the church where the groomsmen hang a rope decorated with empty bottles, ribbons, and flowers. By getting passed this rope, he pays his way out of the sins of his youth. As they leave the church, the guests would sometimes place money in the grooms shoes and on the brides veil as funding for the honeymoon.
These were just a few of our favorites, if you feel that we are missing any crucial traditions you remember growing up with or witnessing, please feel free to let us know in the comment section below!
If you have not already subscribed to get TresBohemes.com delivered to your inbox, please use the form below now so you never miss another post.
Remember, we rely solely on your donations to keep the project going.
Become a friend and get our lovely Czech postcard pack.