Weddings from the World: Gypsy Weddings

Wedding FamilyWe have been visiting different cultures for the last weeks so you know more about how wedding traditions are in other places of the world and in case you want to theme your wedding based on a culture. This week, it is the turn of gypsies. Gipsy weddings are unique, full of color, celebration and fun, let’s learn more about them.

First of all, you should know that if the bride is not a virgin, she cannot get married unless she finds a man who is not married and wants to marry her despite that. To determine if the bride is a virgin, she has to pass the “test of the handkerchief” which consists of getting the bride into a private room and extract blood from her hymen. The “ajuntaora” uses a handkerchief and it must show three roses to prove her virginity, otherwise, the girl cannot get married. Once they pass the test, the wedding celebration starts. All guests will break their shirts to show joy. The couple will be raised over shoulders and everyone will throw caramelized almonds while singing.

The wedding dress is actually two dresses. One is pink and goes under representing femininity and the other one, white, represents purity. The dress must always be new and purchased by the bride’s father. The groom wears a conventional suit.

Usually the religious ceremony is Christian; however, some gypsies are married at the Roma rite and by the Catholic or evangelistic church while others are just married by the Roma rite. The bridesmaid and best man are usually the same of baptism and some other times, uncles. The pastor usually invites the “church’s elderly man” who, out loud, recites a mix of prayers and petitions for the couple.

Gypsy weddings usually last for several days and they have a huge feast. This may also vary from the region where the gypsies are settled. The gypsy wedding ceremony is all full with hymns or spiritual songs played by guitars and other instruments. Everybody sings in unison so it is basically a chorus coordinated by a director. They are always sung in groups, preventing them individually. So they enjoy a chorus that will be coordinated by a director.