If you’re curious what is a gypsy wedding is it’s a unique ceremony that combines gypsy customs and Orthodox wedding rituals. We will discuss what to expect in a gypsy wedding ceremony in more detail below.
Gypsies indeed have an interesting wedding tradition as with other cultures. But if you’re also interested in non-traditional weddings that aren’t under a specific religion, we’ve also talked about what is a spiritual wedding ceremony.
What Is A Gypsy Wedding: What To Expect
The Roma marriages have interesting wedding ceremonies that aren’t influenced by Soviet traditions. Instead, gypsies blend their customs with Orthodox wedding rituals.
A gypsy wedding starts with a church wedding, and it can take up to three days. A practice that is somewhat unique with gypsies is there is mock abduction or negotiation for the bride’s price.
This means that the groom’s family and friends will go to the bride’s home to ensure exogamy. It is also thought to be practiced to avoid a bride price, although it’s very controversial since even young girls can be kidnapped to marry teen boys.
Another practice that precedes a gypsy wedding is the bridal fair. The community has girls, even considered too young for marriage, seen in a bridal fair where boys and men show up to find their future wives.
Their parents stay in the background as the young people check each other out. But, then, flirtations can lead to a wedding months later after negotiations between the man and woman.
The parents will discuss the bride’s price, hence the term “bride price” before a gypsy union. The cost of a bride range from $3,000 to over $6,000, whereas a very beautiful bride with many suitors can have a higher price.
The gypsy bride and groom will arrive separately at the church, then afterward; they’ll travel together to the reception. The elders will bless them with bread and salt as they kneel and hold icons.
Orthodox gypsies do this ritual, and only the upper layers of the community can bless the newlyweds with the icon. On the other hand, the lower layers can only bless with bread, which is baked by women who have succeeded in family life.
There is also a ritual where the bride carries a staff while a procession encircles her. Guests also offer money as gifts to the couple by placing the bills in a loaf of bread.
Are you familiar with the wedding traditions of other cultures? For example, you might be interested in knowing what is a wedding lasso seen in most church weddings.
What Is A Traditional Gypsy Wedding?
Matchmaking is a common gypsy tradition that precedes a wedding and marriage. This is discussed between families that want to become bloodied.
The groom’s relatives will come to the girl’s parents’ home and bring dravets or flat and a wedding cake. Once these items are placed on the table, it’s insinuated that the bride’s parents agree that the groom marries their daughter.
Another gypsy wedding custom is that the groom will pay a ransom for the bride. The price is equal to the merits of the future wife, and if he can’t pay for it, it’s also typical for the groom to steal the bride.
But nowadays, stealing brides are not as common. And if they do happen, the expenses are transferred to the bride’s family.
Gypsy weddings also have the blessing of icon or bread. The lower layers of the community bless the newlyweds with bread, while those in the upper layers can bless them with the icon.
There are also Romani traditions where the bride and groom take a piece of bread and drop their blood onto it before eating each other’s bread. Another bread-related custom is when some salt and bread are placed on the knees of the bride, and the groom will eat it as the bride does the same.
Union of newlyweds
The gypsy wedding or the actual union of the newlyweds is called the ceremony of information or Honor. This happens after the bride and groom receive bread and salt and eat them.
They’ll then go to the wedding tent for the mixing, and the guests will be presented with the bride’s shirt and red flowers. Another version replaces the shirt with a sheet with traces of blood to indicate virginity.
Finally, there is a rite of passage called fraternization in gypsy weddings. After the Honor is produced, the demonstration of the blood unity occurs.
The husband and wife will have their hands incised so when they’ll hold hands; their blood will mix. They’ll then be considered relatives and are obliged to do everything in half.
Do Gypsies Marry?
Gypsies marry, typically after being arranged by their parents. The groom’s parents will initiate the matchmaking, and it’s common for gypsies to marry in their mid-teens.
And that’s it! We just learned what is a gypsy wedding, which has interesting and unique customs from traditional weddings in other cultures.
Some notable gypsy wedding traditions include arranged marriages, mock abduction, bride ransom, blessing with bread, and blood unity. We hope you learned a lot; leave us a question if you have any.