Kisses at a Ukrainian Wedding

Ukrainian-American wedding: You may kiss your bride

Olya and Jim's Ukrainian-American wedding

There are two differences between kissing at Ukrainian weddings and kissing at the weddings in Western world.

1. In North America or in Western Europe guests at weddings tap their wine glasses to get newlyweds to kiss.
At a Ukrainian weddings guests sing a special song to make the bride and groom kiss:
Oy girka horilka,
Ne budemo pyty,
Prosym molodogo
Ta y posolodyty!
Girko! Girko!

It means literally, “Horilka is too bitter, we will not drink it; we ask a groom to add some sugar to. Bitter! Bitter!” Then the newlyweds have to kiss.
I better show you this tradition on example of my wedding, so watch this video.

I hope you had fun watching this, especially when I am pretending like I am shy :) Old Ukrainian tradition says, a bride suppose to be shy at her wedding :)

2. Bride and groom are the only ones asked to kiss at West European or North American weddings:
At a Ukrainian wedding not only the newlyweds are kissing, but each groomsman is suppose to kiss his bridesmaid. To make the bridesmaid and groomsman kiss, Ukrainians have a special song too.
Ne budemo pyty
Tu girkuyu yushku
Nekhai potsilue
Starshyy druzhba druzhku.
Girko! Girko!
The translation is almost the same as in the song for newlyweds, “We do not want this bitter drink, let the first groomsman kiss his bridesmaid! Bitter! Bitter!”.
The guests are singing the same song to the second bridesmaid and groomsman (to know more about special rank of bridesmaids and groomsmen at Ukrainian wedding, read here).
In some cases, when groomsman is too confused or too shy to kiss his bridesmaid, people are singing to him, “What a gromsman, what a fool, he is scared of bridesmaid like she is wearing a gas mask” :) Fortunately, both of groomsmen at my wedding were not that shy: you can see on this video

Read also:
Ukrainian-American Wedding
Ukrainian-Canadian Wedding