Lance & Megan's Blog

I went to a Moldovan wedding…


I went to a Moldovan wedding, that is a wedding in the quaint little country of Moldova. My dear friend, Ruslan, was getting married. (Ruslan was staff here in Ternopil, you can read my staff bio on him here.)

I met Lance the day before and together we attended our first Moldovan wedding. It all started at the church, actually the festivities started at 6 in the morning when Ruslan’s mom and sister got up to do the kids hair and then go and have theirs done, but I was asleep for all that. The church service was at 10 and was part of the normal Sunday morning service. The church had their worship time and then as soon as the music ended they brought out the arbor and flowers. It was really much like a typical church wedding just set in the middle of the church service. They said their vows, had communion, were prayed over by the pastor and the church and that was that. Nothing huge, beautifully simple.

The happy couple

Exchanging vows

The real party began later at the reception which began at 6. Moldovans like to dance… a lot. Everyone dances, no excuses, there’s no reason good enough to not dance. You started the night by giving a blessing, flowers, or gift to the happy couple and then get your picture taken with them. Then you dance while you wait for everyone else to do the same thing. We finally sat down to eat at 7ish. Moldovans like to eat… a lot, especially at weddings. There was so much food.

Food on the horizon

Fellowship and food

There were multiple meat platters, chicken with mushrooms, sardines, veggies, salads, salted fish, holodets (meat jelly), bread, zucchini rolls, cabbage rolls, mamaliga (a Moldovan dish), fruit, candy, cake, crepes, canned mushrooms, stuffed chicken… it just never ended! This all came out in stages through out the night, stacking up plate upon plate. The cake was finally cut around midnight and then more desserts came out around 1 in the morning.

Dancing the food away!

And then we danced so we could keep eating more and keep ourselves awake. Moldovans have several traditional dances, one is similar to a waltz/salsa, the other pictured above is a circle dance that is a basic grapevine step. Easy to learn and enjoy. All of Ruslan’s friends and family were out dancing, I danced with his dad, his uncle kept calling me out onto the floor, his sisters danced every dance… there was nothing weird about it. You must dance at a wedding. I even got Lance to dance 🙂

Couples dance

Some unique things about the evening were that many people had prepared a song to sing for the couple. It is normal to prepare something to present the couple at the reception. His sisters also prepared a little dance to show everyone. There were games to be played by everyone. We had to spell out their names using separate letters that people were holding, they played a game with the couple asking questions on who would be responsible for what. They had their backs to each other and held up the corresponding shoe for you was responsible for something. Really funny.

Playing games

The night ended with everyone in attendance standing up and saying a blessing or wish for the couple. They did this as they gave them a money laden envelope. It was a great way to end the night and hear what everyone had to say. The couple got to hear from everyone. This would be a great tradition to have in the states.

The wedding began to break up around 2ish. Lance and I stayed to help clean up and gather the food up in bags. The couple was there until the end too. I finally fell into bed at 3 in the morning, having been thoroughly exhausted from my first Moldovan wedding. It was a wonderful experience and I’m so glad I made the trip. Ruslan was glad we made it as well.

Lance and I at the wedding

posted under cultural, funny, Megan, travel
3 Comments to

“I went to a Moldovan wedding…”

  1. On February 5th, 2013 at 6:15 pm Dad Says:

    You are a little too close, Lance!

  2. On February 9th, 2013 at 7:20 am Jessica Ferrell Says:

    Sounds like a blast! I just recently went to a Jewish wedding and they seem very similar! Glad you are able to travel and have some fun!

  3. On October 3rd, 2014 at 11:55 am Lance & Megan's Blog » Blog Archive » A lovely Ukrainian wedding Says:

    […] idea what a feast is until you come to a Slavik wedding. Lance and I had some idea since attending Ruslan‘s wedding in Moldova. The cold course of the meal consisted of sliced meat and cheese, […]