Hungarian Wedding Rings
Today’s Hungarian weddings are resembling more to the Western weddings ceremonies, but fortunately there are still couples that make a choice for the more colorful and traditional Hungarian wedding ceremony. In the past tradition required the best men to go in every guest’s house and verbally invite them to the wedding event. They did that generally in rhymes and it was their duty to organize the up to three days of wedding ceremony. Today the tradition is preserved through that that bride and groom go personally to invite siblings, neighbors, and friends to their wedding.
The Hungarian bridal dress was very complex colored and flowery motifs embroidered. The colors chosen for the wedding dress were mostly vivid color and the fabric included woven wheat in order to symbolize fertility. In the past it was a custom for the bride (carried in a colorfully painted and decorated cart) to be accompanied by a procession till she reached the groom’s house. Along the way bride was repeatedly toasted with good wishes and thoughts, sometimes there was the habit to “steal the bride” and the groom was left with the only option to go look for the woman of his life.
Another tradition was throwing a handful of coins on the floor and after that some plates broken; the bride was supposed to sweep the floor while separating the coins from the pieces of the broken plate. Today, part of this tradition has been preserved and is still performed by many brides and grooms. All the Hungarian weddings are supposed to be made first official followed by the religious ones.
As tradition says, the wedding rings in Hungary were exchanged at the moment of engagement, and to be worn on the left hand throughout the period till the wedding day would come. After the ceremony, the Hungarian wedding rings are switched to the right hand. During the religious service it is a custom for the wedding couple to sit on a platform at the front of the church, meanwhile guests would come to recite poems, or to sing songs.
Along with the exchanging of wedding rings, the custom required the bride to offer her husband a wedding present, such as a wedding present of handkerchiefs, usually three or seven, these numbers considered to be good-luck. Wedding gifts are offered to the bride and groom while they leave the church or when they arrive at their new home. The bride and groom took note of every gift each guest brought, in order to return a similar gift on guests’ similar occasion.
The art of creating Hungarian wedding rings has incorporated several symbols that reflected the cultural influences of the population to migrate from one place to another. So we meet one by one the Celtic knot wedding ring, the Runic wedding ring, the Byzantine style wedding ring. While times may have changed, there are the traditions to carry us back in time being able to attract upon them even the most modern of the weddings today.11