Armenian Traditions - Part 1: Pre-Wedding Traditions

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The Proposal:

Traditionally, the groom must ask the bride’s family for the bride’s hand in marriage, but everyone knows that this tradition has lost its popularity. Yet, it’s safe to say that most grooms communicate their intentions to propose to his bride-to be’s immediate family one way or another. The traditional “Khosk-Arnel” (asking for permission) method is being replaced with a “Khosk-Kap” following the groom’s proposal.


The groom’s immediate family is invited to the bride’s house for coffee/tea or dinner. The groom’s family arrives with floral arrangements and a box of chocolates. The groom asks his soon to be father-in-law for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Khosk-Arnel is less formal than a Khosk-Kap and is limited to the couple’s immediate family.

Traditional Armenian Proposal


The groom’s immediate and extended family which includes aunts & uncles, grandparents, and possibly a few close friends are invited to the bride’s house for a formal dinner. The groom’s family arrives with beautiful floral arrangements, chocolate and cognac to be served after dinner.

This event serves two purposes. Most importantly it creates a social setting for the couple’s families to be formally introduced. It also creates the opportunity for families to partake in such traditional practices such as asking the bride’s family for the approval of their son’s proposal.

Typically once the groom’s family enters the bride’s home the families are first introduced. The families are then seated and tea is served. The tea is a cue for the groom’s family to proceed in formally asking for their daughter’s hand in marriage. Traditionally, it is the groom’s eldest present family member who asks for the bride’s family’s seal of approval. It is only after the bride’s family gives their blessings that the groom’s family can begin to drink the tea.

It is not unusual for the bride’s family to refrain from playing music until they have been asked to offer their blessings.

Note: The Khosk-Kap is held often as a substitute for an Engagement Reception if the couple is to be married within a year or so. If the couple plans on a long engagement period they can opt to have both a Khosk-Kap and an Engagement Reception.


The Engagement Reception:

The engagement reception has evolved into a mini-wedding over the years. The primary difference between an engagement reception and a wedding reception is the religious ceremony. The engagement reception includes the Priest’s blessing of the engagement rings and the couple’s future plans for marriage.

Over the years, we've featured many Armenian Engagements on our blog!

Continue reading...

- Part 2: Wedding Day Traditions
- Part 3: Sample Armenian Wedding Itinerary