In several Ukrainian regions, there was a certain wedding tradition – the bride’s family presented their most honored and respected wedding guests with a special gift. They gave small embroidered kerchiefs, which the wedding guests gladly took and stored in the most prominent place at home. These kerchiefs were a very important present, like a very special wedding favor given only to the selected people. But let’s have a look at some of the wedding kerchiefs. Aren’t they cute and bright?
These embroidered kerchiefs were handmade and hand-decorated by the bride. She started to embroider them long before the wedding day. She even could make out her own patterns. And usually, every single kerchief was unique, with its own embroidery design or at least with a different color palette. Often, the bride took inspiration in her mother’s or grandmother’s wedding kerchiefs and invented her own patterns similar to theirs.
Why were these embroidered kerchiefs so important? Because they were a symbol of respect from the couple. Not all the wedding guests got one, only a few people received such a gift. That’s why people put them in plain sight when they came back home from the wedding and showed them to visitors. The more wedding kerchiefs you had, the more respected you were in your town.
Today, this wedding tradition isn’t practiced anymore in Ukraine, but you can incorporate something like this in your wedding if you like. You can show your gratitude and respect to those people at the wedding, who helped you the most or who always support you, to someone who is or are special for you. Make a DIY gift for them or buy something nice and unique. They will be happy to get the attention they deserve and to realize how important their love and support is for you.
So, these are several vintage wedding kerchiefs from central Ukraine, the beginning of the 20th century. They are displayed in the Ukrainian national center of folk culture “Ivan Honchar Museum”. Despite being made more than 100 years ago, they are still bright, very colorful, and really cheerful-looking.