Wedding Traditions in Slovakia


09/09/2019

Slovakia boasts with numerous wounderful traditions, where the wedding ones definately stand out from the rest of Europe!

Before the ceremony

The old tradition was that the bride was getting ready at her parent’s home and the groom at his parent’s home.

The groom then had a speaker, usually his godfather, or an uncle, who came with the groom and his side of the family to the bride’s home to ask her parents for her hand officially.

Bride’s family was already waiting at her house for the arrival of the groom’s party. Everybody met in the garden of the house and had some drinks and some sweet and savory canapes.

At this point, the groom’s speaker officially asked for the bride’s hand and the engaged couple received blessing from their parents. After this the guests moved to a church.

Slovak wedding ceremonies

Slovak ceremonies are not hugely different to any other wedding ceremonies. However, probably the only difference is that after the ceremony, the wedding guests line up to congratulate the wedding couple and personally give their best wishes as well as some flowers to the bride (which bridesmaids can hold for her) and a card with some money to the groom (which he can pop into his jacket pocket to keep safe).

If you choose to go with this tradition, I would recomend you have a videographer (if you have one) to film your guests’ wishes and emotions so you can recollect them later on your video.

Before the party

After the congratulations from the newlyweds’ guests, the wedding party moved to the party venue. The wedding guests groupped around the entrance, with the bride and the groom at the front, where everyone was greeted by the official of the venue.

The tradition at this stage is that a plate is broken, which the newlyweds have to sweep up. This symbolises their cooperation and working together as a couple.

The bride has to be extra careful as she has to get all the broken pieces, which represent children that the groom will have outside of the marriage.

Also the tradition is that the male members of both families try to kick the pieces around since they want the groom to have ‘fun’ (not really funny, is it?). After this the bride is carried into the party hall by her husband.

Midnight ceremony

An old Slovak tradition is that during the wedding ceremony and the feast afterwards the bride was wearing delicate green wreath on her head as a symbol of her purity and virginity. Becoming a new wife, just after the midnight, she had to take the wreath off and replace it with a beautiful hand-made handkerchief-like ’hat’, which symbolised the bride becoming a woman.

There is a great ceremony where women sing songs while taking the wreath off the bride’s head and men are drinking or just watching.

After the veil is off, the groom’s buttonhole is taken off and the bride has to stand on it, which symbolises that the groom will not find another woman in the future.

The bridal dance follows after which the bride and groom go ’freshen up’ and get changed. The bride usually gets changed into something red, which means that she is a new wife from now on. And the party carries on till early morning.

Nowadays, the ceremony of taking off the veil varies across Slovakia. What is similar, is a group of women singing traditional songs while taking the veil off.

In some regions, the tradition is that with the women a guy is also encouraging the bride to take her veil off (with an ‘axe’ – it’s fun really). Sometimes the veil is put on another girl’s head which means that she is going to get married next year.

Every guest is honoured with a dance with the newlyweds, the so called bridal dance. Dancers encircle the newlyweds. The tradition is that guests pay for this dance.

It is not an enormous amount of money; everybody pays how much they want (a paper note is most common). This money is usually collected by the eldest aunt or uncle into a covered bowl, also using a wooden spoon to navigate the dancers, make sure everyone has a go or just to wave it in the air.