Ukrainian weddings (Vesillya/Весілля) are like a play; there are lots of scenes and they have many actors involved. Each member has certain traditions associated with their role. Some terms overlap people and some people have numerous titles. Of course, the final count of who you want to include in your wedding is up to you!
Bride (Moloda/Mолода); Fiancée (Narechena/Наречена); Wife (Dryzhyna/Дружина or Zhinka/Жінка); Daughter-in-law (Nevistka/Невістка or Synova/Синова); Sister-In-Law (Bratova/Братова); Princess (Kniahenia/Kнягиня); Queen (Koroleva/Kоролева).
Groom (Molodey/Mолодий); Fiancée (Narecheney/Наречений); Husband (Muzh/Mуж or Cholovik/Чоловік); Son-In-Law (Zyatʹ/ Зять); Brother-in-Law (Shvaher/ Швагер); Prince (Knyazh/ Княж); King (Korol’/Княж).
Parents of both – Father (Bat’ko/Батько); Mother (Maty/Мати); In-laws (Svaty /Cвати́)
Matchmaker – can be an individual or a group of matchmakers, sometimes called Svaty (Свати or Starosty).
Starosty (Старости) – run the show like the director or wedding planner.
Godparents (Kumy/Куми) – often act as the Starosty;
Groomsmen (Druzhby/Дружби) or in Olden times (Boyary/Бояри)
Family (Rodyna/ Родина or Sim’ya/ Сім'я); sometimes grouped in with Svaty.
Guests (Hosti’/ Гості) – sometimes grouped in with Boyary
Svashky (Свашки) — a woman's choir that sings during the wedding traditions and ceremonies
Korovainytsi (Коровайниці) – the groom’s family and the bride’s family all have their wedding bread bakers. Usually an odd number of happily married women. Nowadays, the Korovai can be made by a family member, a bakery or hopefully, a specialized baker like me!
Go to the next Traditions section: Wedding Schedule