Prague Wedding Photographer Peter Knight would just like to take this time to share with you some of the traditions surrounding the wedding ceremony in the Czech Republic
Czech wedding traditions
Many Czech wedding traditions have its origins in the early times of Christianity. Frequent rituals were not to only guarantee happiness and many children, but also to protect against illness, hunger, children’s death as well as against quarrels, hate, and most importantly against the bad spirits or ghosts. Other traditions were merely of a symbolic character. They were meant to document important events such as loss of virginity and a beginning of a new period of life. At times, it was a hidden appeal to the newly-weds, to hold together during good and bad times. You of course do not have to, as many don't, have all or any of these as part of your big day, but you see them pop up from time to time, not surprising the last one is the one you see the most. As a wedding photographer is Prague it is difficult to know which to follow at this point, the Bride or the Groom. I usually offer to be the get-away driver for the kidnappy party
Flower Petals Sprinkle
Flower girls, usually nieces of the engaged couple or friends’ daughters traditionally walk in front of the wedding procession leading them to the church to sprinkle flower petals. This is in its origin a pagan tradition. The flowers were to attract a goddess of fertility. This is of course a wedding photographers dream, in Prague or anywhere, close up of petals, and sweet flower girls are a great addition to any wedding album
Friends of the groom will prop a rope in front of the church after the ceremony. The rope is decorated not only by flowers and ribbons but also with empty bottles. The newlyweds are only allowed to continue in their way, after the groom pays himself out. This way, the groom pays himself out of the sins of his youth.
Flower Bouquet Toss
The bride throws the flower bouquet over her left shoulder once she leaves the church or town hall into a crowd of single women. The lucky lady who catches the bouquet is the next one to get married. Of course a great action shot of the bouquet in flight is a shot that any wedding photographer would love to catch, but be careful where you stand, or you could end up at the bottom of a pile of beautiful single Czech women if you are anywhere near the landing zone.
Breaking the Plate
At the beginning of the Czech wedding reception, a plate is broken at the feet of the bride and groom and they must sweep the chips together. This tradition has its roots in two superstitions; that chips bring happiness and the newlyweds show a will to cooperate by jointly sweeping the chips away and their marriage will therefore be harmonious.
Eating the soup jointly
At the wedding reception, the bride and groom are joined by being covered in a large cloth symbolizing unity, and then finish a bowl of soup using one spoon to symbolize cooperation. Another meaning, which may be even more substantial, is the symbol of the joint loaf of bread, from which it’s necessary to take and give by equal part to each other. Because of this concise symbolism, this tradition is still widely popular nowadays. Another great shot for the album, a perfect moment for a wedding photographer to capture, of intimacy and (usually) laughter.
Kidnapping the Bride
This tradition symbolizes a woman’s separation from her parents and a transition to a new living community. When the reception is almost over, friends of the newlyweds kidnap the bride and whisk her off to hide out in a bar somewhere. It is then the groom's jobs to find his new bride, while the kidnappers consumers as much as they can to pass the time away. If the groom finds her, he is obliged to pay the bill as a certain way of ransom for the bride, he intends to get back. But make sure to find her quickly, or it can get quite expensive.
So if you are thinking about getting married in Prague, maybe it will be nice to add some Czech traditions. But whether you will or not, congratulation and good luck!!