Historically, our distant ancestors did not have many significant and solemn events in their lives. In fact, they all boiled down to three denominators:

  • Birth.
  • Wedding.
  • Death.

Yes, to call life in those difficult times was difficult. So each of these events was turned into a real ritual with a huge number of different rituals, rules, and steps.

So today let’s talk about perhaps the most joyful of these holidays, which came to us from time immemorial, namely the wedding.

Source: ori.wedding

Factors in the formation of wedding traditions

Due to the fact that for a huge part of our history, the states existed in isolation from each other and such benefits of civilization, as the Internet and television did not exist, then each nation has created its own traditions. And communication between people was very rare and very local.

The formation of traditions was connected with local realities:

  • The peculiarities of the region where the people lived – climate, topography, the presence of water bodies, and so on.
  • The second component of forming traditions was based on religious beliefs.
  • And the last component is legal. This is a very conventional designation because here we are talking about the form of inheritance, legislation, and other material aspects.

Since all these three factors are different in Georgia and the United Arab Emirates, for example, the wedding traditions formed in these territories have striking differences.

Wedding traditions of Georgia

Georgia is a very ancient country, and despite the fact that it officially began to exist only in 1991 after the collapse of the USSR, the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia existed in this region long before our era, and the current capital, Tbilisi, more than a thousand and a half years.

All this suggests that the process of formation of the wedding rituals counts for at least several centuries and deserves our close attention.

The traditional wedding in Georgia has three stages:

  • Machankloba – matchmaking.
  • Nishnoba – betrothal.
  • Kortisoli – the wedding itself.

Let’s consider each of them in more detail.

Source: ori.wedding

Machankloba (matchmaking)

Matchmaking – to describe the process in a modern way, it is a process of preliminary negotiations with the bride’s parents. Matchmaking takes place before the betrothal and at this stage, the groom should obtain consent to the marriage from the bride’s parents and the girl herself.

It is also worth noting that in the Georgian culture, the opinion of the parents is of particular importance. And consent to the marriage should be obtained from both families.

Often matchmakers came to the parents’ house before the coming of the matchmakers whose task was to advertise the groom and convince the parents of the bride that he loves her and can take care of her.

After obtaining the consent of the elders, the bride had to give her opinion. If she agreed to the marriage, the couple could proceed to the next stage of wedding preparations.

Nishnoba (betrothal)

The betrothal is the consolidation of the previously obtained consent to the future marriage. The groom and his parents arrive with gifts to the bride, where a sumptuously laid table awaited them. At the feast the guests are present and they give them presents, among which there must be bunches of various beautiful flowers, traditional Georgian alcoholic drinks, and spices.

During the betrothal, the groom presented his bride with a ring, which was often a family heirloom and was passed down from generation to generation.

Source: araratour.com

Kortsili (wedding)

A traditional Georgian wedding has a number of rules and instructions regarding its conduct. For example:

  • As many guests as possible are invited to the wedding. A Georgian wedding cannot be modest.
  • Refusing an invitation to a wedding is not allowed. Such a refusal can be perceived as a serious insult or disrespect. Such an “insult” can be the cause of a long-lasting feud.
  • Not inviting someone to the wedding is also considered a mortal insult and disrespect.
  • The wedding ceremony is a mandatory element of the wedding. After it, the couple walks under an archway formed of daggers by the groom’s friends. They are supposed to protect the family from adversity and show the loyalty of friends.
  • A wedding in Georgia can last for several days, it is not allowed to kick out guests.
  • There should be plenty of food and wine at the celebration, as guests should not go hungry.
  • The traditional wedding dress for women is a dress of two parts: the lower part of the attire is a shirt with a collar, which symbolizes the modesty and chastity of the bride. On top of it, she wears a luxurious dress embroidered with beautiful patterns. The traditional wedding colors are black and white. A red sash is tied around the bride’s waist. The bride’s attire is bought by the groom.
  • The groom at the wedding is dressed in a chokha, a traditional attire. A white shirt with a high collar and an expensive embroidered cape with satin notches. The belt necessarily presents an ornament and leather boots on his feet. The outfit is chosen by the bride.
  • At the wedding, it is customary to have fun and the toastmaster is responsible for this, and makes sure that all the guests are in good spirits. In addition, the main toastmaster also chose his assistants for each table.

After the ceremony, the next stage began – the inspection of the groom’s home.

According to tradition, after the marriage, the bride left her home and went to live with her husband’s family. During the inspection, she performed several obligatory actions:

  • Touching the cauldron, which symbolizes the hearth of the home.
  • Walks 3 circles around the pot of oil set by the in-laws.
  • Wets her mouth with honey before kissing – so that her speeches will be sweet.

The groom, on the other hand, must perform two rituals at this stage:

  • Release a white bird from the roof, which symbolizes the beginning of a new and clean stage.
  • Carry out the ritual with the wine, when he sips the wine from the glass, puts a ring in it and gives it to the bride. She also takes a sip and returns the glass to her husband. After that, he takes out the ring and puts it on the bride.

Separately, we should mention the most famous Georgian wedding tradition – the abduction of the bride.

Source: itinari.com

From a modern point of view, it may look barbaric, but a few decades ago this tradition was considered very romantic.

A bride could be kidnapped for several reasons:

  • With the consent of the bride. And thus the groom would declare to her parents his desire to marry.
  • With the consent of the bride. If the parents were against the wedding, and thus the couple wanted to insist on their own.
  • Without the consent of the bride. Kidnapping could compromise the girl and she could either never find a groom at all again or marry the guy who kidnapped her.

Modern Georgian wedding traditions have preserved only a small part of this flavor, but even in this form, Georgian weddings delight foreigners.

If you want to get married in Georgia, but don’t know how to organize it, then contact the «Shu Wedding» Agency for help. We can organize your wedding at the highest level!