You won’t believe but somewhere deep inside I wanted to be a wedding photographer…you know why…because wedding photographers earn nice money and positive emotions, they have the most comfortable offices and they are in contact with many happy people who smile and pose for them…however, I do know very well that it’s a hard work and only for professionals who really are able to create and manipulate photos, who are able to look deep into your heart and show your best side…or not? Anyway, I was lucky enough to become such an amateur wedding photographer just for fun when I got an invitation for my cousin’s wedding. I did it for myself and not for money. So, when I dived into it I felt the need to share with you my impressions and ideas on weddings!
Many years ago Ukrainian weddings were very different from nowadays. There were obligatory traditions and rules to follow. Now we copy American or European style of weddings, which means that wedding became a real challenge for a couple and their parents…it costs a fortune! So, in case even after my very critical view on weddings you still would like to have a big wedding be ready to have a nice sum of money on your account! I am going to be pretty harsh and critical since I do not understand the reason of big and expensive weddings. In my view wedding is a formal procedure which purpose is to get a certificate that will confirm your marital status, I do not find romantic standing in hot registration offices where a serious lady reads some formal text and then pronounces you “husband and wife”, she does it quickly and sometimes forgets words because there is a big queue behind closed doors. Then you are going for a very boring photo-session in some park where photographer treats you like two statues. Finally, you come to a restaurant where you see a huge amount of unknown so-called relatives who start greeting you…then you hear endless speeches, toasts, stupid jokes from showman whose scenario is always the same. After couple of champagne glasses and some food your only wish is to escape and never come back here…am I not right?
However, it can be otherwise if you break this stupid wedding rules and do just like you would like. Wedding I visited was also quite typical, even I found out that a couple didn’t want to have it, that was their parents’ wish. Nevertheless, I found some interesting for myself, for example, the restaurant where it took place. It’s very nice, traditional Ukrainian one. Look at this building, doesn’t it look very nice?
It’s a countryside wedding, so restaurant was in a small village at the lake bank. Nature was amazing as well as air, I found myself here uncommonly pleasant. You just can stand at the lake bank and enjoy its wild nature. Surroundings are breathtaking!
Territory itself is decorated with many traditional symbols. This clay pot in Ukraine is a symbol of unity between Sun and Earth without which it’s impossible to have prosperity at home.
Look at this Kozak (Ukrainian), he is always on guard! He will protect you from evil power.
Then my attention is caught by this miniature of old Ukrainian house, which is usually made of clay and straw. All the materials required to construct this type of dwelling were available to the settler: longs, clay, straw, and lime. Pine or spruce logs were preferred but poplar was commonly utilized in their absence despite its inferior quality. An axe, saw and auger were the only essential tools. Nails were not essential but they were used if available. A unique feature of the Ukrainian house was the addition of a clay embankment (pryzba) at the vase of the exterior walls. The pryzba slanted downwards away from the house to a distance of approximately two feet.” The pryzbashed rainwater away from the house thereby preventing the log walls from rotting.
The house was usually subdivided into two rooms and a hallway although some houses simply consisted of two rooms. The western section of the dwelling consisted of a kitchen-living room (mala khata). The eastern section consisted of a room reserved for special occasions (velyka khata). A narrow entrance hall (siny, khoromy) separated the two rooms from one another. The mala khata “was a place for living, cooking, washing, eating and sleeping.
The velyka khata was reserved for formal occasions and the accommodation of guests.
But now we come back to our wedding, which was celebrated here, in this room. It was a very modest wedding with a limited amount of people, although a couple felt quite tired even from them.
Even if it’s always interesting to visit weddings and study them I cannot understand why weddings have become mostly money-making businesses starting from a bouquet of flowers for a bride till the food for guests. I have already visited several weddings and honestly at every I felt very boring and sorry that so much money was wasted on following the fashion. Maybe I sound too extreme for most of you (since you had your big weddings) but I would cancel big weddings if I could or offer to celebrate weddings after 10 years of common life. I do not cancel having a certificate, no, just I think that celebration in full swing should be later after many years of life full of compromises and different moments, fundamental joy of family as the raison d-etre of all men.
Marriage is a hard work, constant search of compromise sometimes with your heart…I hardly believe these newlyweds understand it, they are too young and too unexperienced. Only life can teach them…