Marrying a Ukrainian Woman – What to Expect?
Congratulations! You found the love of your life and she happily accepted your proposal to get married and share your love for the rest of your lives. Now that you are marrying a Ukrainian women it is important to understand that our western traditional weddings are very different compared to Ukrainian traditions.
In order to make your special day a wonderful experience I will share in this blog post some information on wedding traditions, law and legislation and other important steps you need to follow.
Wedding traditions in Ukraine
Oh boy – I hope you are ready to hear some very interesting (also very funny) Ukrainian wedding traditions.
As I have been working and living in the Ukraine for several years now, I have had my fair share Ukrainian weddings and parties. If you ever have get invited to one, I highly recommend you read this blog post as it will be prepare you for the fulfilled day to come.
The first part of the day will be about the groom (you!) and his efforts to collect his bride from her parents house by bringing several gifts and money. One you arrive at the door you will play this little game of convincing the parents and bridesmaids that you are Mr. Perfect for their daughter/best friends.
This game lasts about 30 minutes and mostly consists of you answering questions about your bride to be. If you answer the questions wrong, the price will go up and vice versa.
Back in the old days the parents would give you a pumpkin if they did not think you would be a suitable partner for their daughter. Thankfully, that does not happen anymore – but sometimes the father in law does like to play a little trick on foreign men as they are not familiar with the traditions.
Therefore, if you get a pumpkin – Just smile and play along – All will be good!
Unless he really does not like you.. If that is the case you better run before the Ak-47’s appear! :O
A wedding party in the Ukraine can be describe by using just two words: Games & Vodka!
These two items are the two basic ingredients of any Slavic themed wedding party. The Ukrainians have a whole bunch of traditional wedding-games that allows every guest to participate at least once. Most of the games are focused on bringing the single bridesmaids and men together.
These games are fun and are designed to entertain. Therefore, you do not have to take any of them very seriously. Go with the flow, enjoy the vodka (as you win a small bottle at each game) and appreciate the Ukrainian wedding culture to its fullest.
You will not regret it!
On an extra note: Most single bridesmaids will be very keen on hooking-up with a single foreigner. If you play your cards right it might be a very lucky day for you as well!
Law and legislation
I highly recommend that you get married in the country of residence. Ukraine is a great country, but when it comes to law and legislations it can be very bureaucratic and simply exhausting to get anything done!
For example; If you are from the UK or US, you should do the official wedding in your own country and only the “party part” in the Ukraine. This will make the transfer to your own country or even to the Ukraine a lot easier. I have had a couple of friends that got married according to Ukrainian law and it was a nightmare to get.
Good news! Since June 2017, Ukraine has become part of the Schengen-area. This mean that all Ukrainian citizens can travel to other Schengen countries for 90 days within a 180 days period.