As Armenians, we’re well aware that the Armenian wedding process is no small feat; it is, in fact, from start to finish, quite the lavish affair. From the proposal, to the engagement party, to everything that leads up to the wedding and, of course, the wedding itself, copious amounts of flowers, food, drink, music and family are constantly present. At Harsanik, we like to celebrate these traditions, so we’re taking you through a series of blog posts, each highlighting an event that leads up to the most important day of our lives.

The Morning Before The Wedding Armenian Traditions


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An Armenian engagement ceremony is almost like a wedding in itself. There is a grand party, usually in a banquet hall, where a priest blesses the engagement ring and asks the bride and groom to vow to be faithful to one another and marry in the future. Eating, drinking, and dancing, of course, ensue. But here's a brief history about where this sort of engagement comes from!

Armenian Wedding Traditions: The History of Engagement

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The Bride's Shoes:

Once the bride is dressed in her wedding gown, the closest male member of her family enters her dressing room to help the bride wear her wedding shoes. This member of her family can be a brother, cousin, or even a close family friend.

It is also part of Armenian tradition for a member of the bride's wedding party to hold one of the bride’s shoes for ransom until they are paid by the groom or member of his wedding party. This can be fun for about 5 minutes, just as long as the bride’s family members don’t drag it out for a long time and send the bride into a panic!

In addition, every single female present during the bride’s dressing process writes their name on the bottom of the bride’s shoes for good luck. As each single female gets married, the bride crosses off the girl’s name from her shoes.

See more photos of Mary & Raffi's Featured Wedding

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Traditionally on the morning of the wedding, the wedding party is split into two groups which begin the festivities from two separate locations. The groom, his family members, the groom’s men and the best man gather at the groom’s parent’s house. Meanwhile, the bride, her family members, the bride’s maids, the maid of honor, and the bride’s family and close friends gather at the bride’s parent’s house. The day begins fairly early depending on the time of the wedding service. Here’s an example of how a typical Armenian wedding day might be scheduled.

At Groom's Parent's House:

10:00am: Everyone meets at the groom’s parent’s house, where appetizers are served. A Sazandar, which is a traditional Armenian band consisting of percussion and wind instruments and occasionally an accordion, is present at the groom’s house. The Sazandar band begins to play once the Best Man arrives at the groom’s house.

10:30am: The photographer takes photos of the groom wearing his coat with assistance from the best man (or any other close male relative or friend). They photograph and videotape such events as the pinning of the traditional red and green ribbons.

11:00am: The groom’s family makes several toasts and dances to traditional Armenian music.

11:45am: The groom’s family leaves the house and heads to the bride’s parent’s house.

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