Old Ukrainian tradition dictated for brides to wear a wedding wreath with their wedding attire. Such a headdress was an obligatory accessory worn with pride. During the wedding ceremony, a special wedding ritual was performed and a wreath was replaced by a kerchief that covered the bride’s hair. A wedding wreath was a ceremonial and meaningful headpiece and, despite being used for only one day, it had to be glorious – large, fancy, and eye-catching. The more imaginative you were with your wreath, the better. Here’s one of the many exquisite Ukrainian bridal wreaths – this rare item, remarkably, made from wooden shavings.
Ukrainian brides used lots of different materials to create wedding wreaths. Usually, there were craftswomen in every village who made just that – created masterpieces for the local brides. And, of course, every town had its own wedding wreath traditions, typical materials and shape, typical decorations, etc.
Among the most popular materials were dried flowers, wax, foil, paper, wooden shavings, beads and seed beads, sequins, canvas, metal elements, feathers, yarn pompons, mirrors, and such. A wreath had to look opulent and catch everybody’s attention, so various sparkly, moving, and multicolored elements were valued by the brides.
The frame of a wreath was usually created from wire, springs, or even woven from straw or bast.
The wreath we want to show you in this post is a modern replica of authentic headgear. The original bridal wreath hasn’t survived because wooden shavings don’t last long without chemical coverings. But this modern accessory was made by an artisan as accurately as possible. And now, it is preserved in one of the Ukrainian folk museums.
This bridal wreath has a wire frame. And wooden shavings are arranged into lovely flowers. Each flower is dyed, so the wreath looks bright and cheerful. Also, each flower is adorned with a foil ball in the center – this foil reflects sunlight and sparkles. Even the candlelight in a room would be reflected to create a romantic atmosphere.
Usually, Ukrainian wedding wreaths have a number of multicolored ribbons attached at the back of the head. And there can be numerous ribbons – often, you can’t see the clothes on the bride’s back behind all of these ribbons. But this particular wreath is adorned with only just a few white and bright-blue ribbons (by the way, the blue color is rare for bridal ribbons).
This wedding headpiece is truly unique. Although it’s a modern reconstruction, there are very few authentic Ukrainian bridal wreaths made from wood shavings that survived to this day. You can rarely find such accessories even in the biggest Ukrainian folk museums, not to mention private collections. And we’re so glad we can show you this beautiful and rare wedding wreath!