Most Romanians are very religious people, so many couples have traditional church wedding ceremonies, with all the must-have wedding rituals. We’ve gathered for you the top-10 true facts about Romanian religious marriage ceremonies. As always, the godparents play a significant role in the ceremony – they’re the second most important people at any wedding in Romania. But what else should you know about a Romanian church wedding?
The right day of the week
Church weddings in Romania always happen on Saturdays or Sundays. Usually, couples go to the town hall, sign the papers, and get a marriage certificate on a weekday, and then they have their church wedding on weekend.
Romanian couples with their wedding processions go to the church together, but there is an order to their positioning in the procession. The very first people in the procession are the best man and maid of honor. They carry the candles. Next in line are the bride with the godfather, then the groom with the godmother. The parents of the couple go after them, and the last are the rest of the guests who choose a place randomly.
Usually, the couples who decide to have a religious wedding ceremony profess the same religion. It’s easier to do the church wedding rituals when they are the same for both the bride and the groom. If their religions are different, they either have only the civil marriage ceremony or choose the church of one of them.
By the way, weddings in church during the fast days are forbidden.
Candles shouldn’t be in the same car
We’ve already mentioned that the best man and maid of honor carry candles at the front row of the wedding procession. If the procession gets to the church by cars, the candles shouldn’t be in the same car. The groom, his candle (or rather candles because there are several of them), and the godmother are in one car, the bride, her candle, and the godfather in another. But in the church, the candles are given to the godparents who hold them during the ceremony – it’s a very honored duty. These candles are often beautifully decorated and rather tall. While they hold the candles, the godmother stands by the bride’s side and the godfather by the groom’s side.
Church wedding ceremony lasts 1 hour
The church wedding ceremony usually lasts about 1 hour. The priest reads from the Bible, prayers are sung. And the bride and groom are given special metal crowns called “pirostrii” to wear on their heads. It’s a symbolic wedding ritual.
During the ritual of exchanging wedding bands, the godparents also help. The priest puts the wedding rings on the couple’s ring fingers himself, but the godparents hand the rings over to him.
Bread and wine
Both the bride and the groom are given 3 bites of the wedding bread and some wine. They eat and drink these symbolic body and blood of Jesus Christ. This ritual is supposed to bring the couple well-being and prosperity.
Dance around the Holy Table
At the end of the ceremony, the priest takes the godfather by the hand with the candle and leads him around the Holy Table. They are followed by the groom, the bride, and the godmother. They dance the Isaia’s dance.
After the church wedding ceremony is over, the newlyweds leave the church. The wedding guests throw rice and wheat at them as a symbol of fertility and congratulate them. Often, the couple walks under the bridge of flowers made by the guests. It is a joyful and beautiful part of the wedding.
Romanian bride shouldn’t see another bride
In Romania, there is a superstition that says, a bride must not see another bride until the church wedding ceremony is over. But often, several weddings take place at one church, so the guests may have a hard time protecting their bride from seeing another woman ready to be wed. They block the bride’s view, lead her another way, or even hide her if necessary. And this can be fun.