Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Major Role Players at the Armenian Wedding.

(Who are the major role players during the Armenian Wedding, besides the Bride and the Groom?)

One of the major peculiarities of the Armenian families is that they are very solid and strongly pursue national traditions. Once it is assumed that the couple is getting married once and for all in their life, the Armenians pay special attention to organizing the wedding, and try to make it as unforgettable and glorious as possible.

As it was mentioned before, the Armenians keep gracious relationships with other families. In this sense close relatives and friends of the couple feel a high responsibility in arranging the wedding and there are major role players in Armenian weddings except the bride and the groom. Traditionally four people accompany the couple during the wedding. The most important of them are the cross father and the cross mother. Usually the cross father is the close friend or member of the groom’s family. He is supposed to be not just a very important person during the wedding day but also a regarded advisor and supporter during the life of the couple. The cross mother should be the cross father’s wife.

The bridesmaid is usually a bride’s sister, cousin or close friend who shouldn’t be married or engaged. The duty of the bridesmaid is to assist the bride on the day of the wedding The same is true for the best man. In Armenian tradition, there can be only one bridesmaid and only one best man, unlike other countries. The best man is also required to help during the wedding day, decorating the newlywed couple's car, dancing with the guests and the bridesmaid, providing practical assistance with gifts, luggage, or unexpected complications. Armenians often joke that the best man and the bridesmaid also get engaged. In life, sometimes it happens that the best man and the bridesmaid like each other so much, that they also become life-time partners, i.e. get married.

The traditional wedding starts in the afternoon when the relatives of the groom go to the bride's house: women help her to get dressed singing national bridal songs. The bride’s brother helps to put on her shoes and puts some money in it as a sign of further wealth. Then they take the bride to the church where the couple will get married. Traditionally, the groom’s mother doesn’t go to the bride’s home and waits for the couple in the church. So, all her responsibilities are levied on the cross mother. However, this tradition is not often preserved in our days.

Another tradition prescribing the bride’s mother to stay at home, and not follow the wedding ceremony in the church and wedding reception at the restaurant is also not generally followed in nowadays. After the marriage in the church all people go to the wedding hall in the evening and celebrate the party till the midnight. There is not a special rule for attitudes but usually the groom’s relatives make more noise during the party. The most active dancer gets gifts from the cross father and/or the tamada.


Anonymous said...

I'd like in my wedding be a lot of guests and haold the party in best traditions!!!

Anonymous said...

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog.
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curtis03 Lewis said...

Good to know about Armenian weddings as was not aware anything about it. Want to have really amazing traditions for my special day at one of New York wedding venues. Will make great plans and arrangements.

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Yerevan,, Armenia
Armine Karakhanyan, 2nd year student, Political Science and International Affairs, American University of Armenia Narine Hovakimyan, 1st year student, Business and Administration, American University of Armenia