Wedding Traditions? You Betcha

I’ve been to my fair share of weddings over the years and I’ve come to realize how very different they all are culturally. My friends are all either American or Russian and I noticed that all of the American weddings were the same and all of the Russian weddings were the same, but American and Russian weddings as a whole are distinctively different. I thought that I’d share some of the differences, but take this with a grain of salt as I know that not all American and not all Russian weddings are the same as there are many factors that come into play such as religion, traditions, etc; this is strictly coming from my personal experiences.

That being said, let’s look at the major differences:

1. Food


Dinner begins with a salad and is followed by a plated or buffet style entree; there’s either 1 entree with 1-2 sides or 2 entrees with 1-2 sides.

In terms of desert, guests are served wedding cake and at times there are dessert tables or candy bars


Dinner is served family style and there is food on the table at all times throughout the evening. Typically guests are served 10 or more appetizers that are brought out to the table at various times. For example, 3 different dishes will be brought out to the table, then 30 min later 3 more will be brought out while the first 3 dishes still remain on the table, unless of course they’ve already been devoured, and then typically 3-4 additional dishes are brought out. Then once everyone has had enough “appetizers”, the plated entree comes out.

Dessert is the same as in an American wedding in terms of having a wedding cake, but typically there is a much large desert table.

2. Dancing


Typically guests eat their entire dinner and only afterwards does the dancing portion of the evening begin. I have been to some weddings in which the dancing begins after the salads have been served.


Guests begin dancing shortly after the first round of appetizers are served.

3. Toasts


The maid of honor, best man, father of the bride and groom, and the bride/groom typically give toasts at American weddings. I’ve also been to weddings where only the MOH and best man speak. In some instances I’ve noticed that either the father of the bride or the father of the groom speak, not both.


The maid of honor, best man, father of the bride and groom, grandparents of the bride and groom (if living) and the bride/groom typically give toasts at Russian weddings. There are a lot of similarities here but the main difference is that grandparents and if applicable, great grandparents speak.

What have been you experiences?


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