Macedonian Weddings in Melbourne are a delight to watch as they are extravagant affairs filled with lots of love, laughter, joy, singing, dancing, food, and drinks.
Macedonian wedding celebrations involve a ton of rituals and customs, due to which they last for days, thereby becoming a true endurance and patience test for everyone. Nonetheless, attending a Macedonian wedding is a pleasurable experience as you can witness the happiness in the eyes of the bride, groom, as well as their families, friends, and relatives.
We have been lucky enough to document a few Macedonian weddings in Melbourne and other cities of Australia. We try to show Macedonian weddings in their true flavour through the photographs and videos captured by us. From the early morning of the wedding day to the eve of the wedding ceremony, various traditions are followed in a Macedonian wedding. Some of the traditions and customs date back to ancient times, and so, they might seem weird or demeaning to many people.
But, as they have an interesting story and background, these traditions and customs are practised to add an element of fun to the wedding festivities. We have composed a list of Macedonian wedding traditions for you so that you can know what to expect whenever you attend a Macedonian wedding.
Be Ready for these Surprises at Macedonian Weddings in Melbourne
1. Shaving of the Groom
Shaving of the groom is one of the common rituals observed in Macedonian weddings in Melbourne and other parts of the world. This tradition began in the olden times with a rationale that if a groom shaves by himself, he might end up cutting himself due to the nervousness experienced on the wedding day. Therefore, the best man and friends of the groom shave him.
This tradition has become a source of humour as the best man and friends pretend to shave the groom using unusual objects, such as a knife, a sword, and an axe.
2. Buying of the Bride
One of the older customs which are still followed in Macedonian weddings in Melbourne is the buying of the bride. In earlier times, the dowry system was highly prevalent in all the cultures. So, in Macedonian weddings, the groom used to buy the bride at a price mutually agreed upon by both the families. Nowadays, this tradition is practised just for fun.
The groomsmen visit the house of the bride and are welcomed with warmth by the family of the bride. The bride and her attendees stay in a bedroom while negotiations take place between the groomsmen and the bride’s family.
3. Breaking of the Bread
A young unmarried girl from the bride’s immediate or extended family bakes a round loaf of bread as round shape symbolises the lifecycle which has no beginning and no end. The dough for the bread is kneaded with a wooden spoon with an apple attached to the top as apples are a sign of love. This bread is broken over the heads of the couple to ensure happiness in their married life.
The father of the groom and the father of the bride participate in a competition wherein they break the bread in two pieces. It is believed that whoever wins the competition, their child will rule after the marriage.
4. Drinking of Red Wine
The groom drinks wine in the house of the bride. The wine is served in a glass which has a golden coin on the bottom. The groom keeps this golden coin as a symbol of prosperity.
5. Filling Shoes with Money
The brother in law of the bride brings her bridal shoes, which are one size bigger. Then, he starts filling them with money to make them fit the feet of the bride.
6. Dumping a Bowl or Glass of Water
Before leaving for the wedding ceremony, the bride kicks over a glass or bowl filled with water to symbolise a life which runs as smoothly as water.
The Macedonian weddings in Melbourne are conducted with an orthodox ceremony where each ritual or custom has a deep meaning. The bride and groom are made to wear grand gold crowns which are tied together using a ribbon.
7. Singing and Dancing
Traditional Macedonian weddings are incomplete without singing and dancing. The party starts as soon as the groom and his side of the family enters the house of the bride. The Macedonian band is arranged to play folk music dedicated to weddings.
The traditional Macedonian dance ‘Oro’ is performed by the couple and their families and friends. In this dance, everyone holds hands and stands in a circle as it represents the circle of life and family. Everyone goes from house to the car for reaching the church by performing Macedonian dances.
In the reception of some weddings, the male members perform a ‘Pig’ dance wherein they hold bottles of wine, knives, and a roasted pig to display masculinity.
Macedonian Weddings in Melbourne are a perfect example of authenticity and simplicity. They have beautiful moments which create lovely memories to be cherished for the years to come.