Weddings around the world: A Latvian celebration

19 Aug 2016

In a new blog series, European photographer Anete Lusina offers exclusive access in to her colourful and culturally diverse world of weddings

As a European wedding photographer, I see that there are plenty of different wedding traditions in the British culture, which still make an appearance in modern weddings in some shape or form. But what about a Baltic wedding, or a Latvian wedding in particular?

The Eastern and Northern European nations are very rich in culture, mythology and traditions, which is why covering a modern Latvian wedding was very interesting to me, especially because it allowed me to compare the experiences as a wedding photographer in quite different settings.

weddings-around-the-world-a-latvian-celebration-2

The wedding of Arta and Maris began peacefully, by shooting the bridal preparations. I say ‘peacefully’ loosely, because tying the bride’s dress proved a task to test the patience and teamwork of the whole family! Whilst in the UK the bride would not normally see the groom until the ceremony begins, this time the groom arrived with his party outside the flat, where he met the first of several obstacles before marrying the love of his life.

weddings-around-the-world-a-latvian-celebration-3

weddings-around-the-world-a-latvian-celebration-4

The first task was to answer tricky questions, given out by a witch, as well as to haggle his way through the door by offering sweets, drinks and even proving himself as a worthy man as he rode on a wooden horse up and down the hallway, whilst the music was playing and everyone was clapping (what did the neighbours think!?).

You'd think that’s enough to get to see your bride? Next task involved saying ‘no’ to two fake brides the witch offered the young man instead of his chosen one. Even though they would make amazing wives and look after the household, or so they promised, the groom held his ground and requested to see his real bride. That’s when the celebration ensued, with everyone toasting with a glass of champagne or something stronger, a few snacks and prepping themselves for what was to come.

weddings-around-the-world-a-latvian-celebration-5

weddings-around-the-world-a-latvian-celebration-6

weddings-around-the-world-a-latvian-celebration-7

The ceremony was held in a picturesque church, that unsurprisingly attracted a group of curious tourists who peeked inside as we waited for the last few guests to arrive. The ceremony was beautiful, with prayers, vows, and more flowers than anyone could ever imagine. Before the couple heads out of the church, it’s a custom for guests to congratulate the newlyweds with a bouquet of flowers, which means the couple leaves the church with enough flowers to fill a small floral shop.

Traditional group shots of families and friends ensued, including the confetti shot - that’s something we see in most weddings, and same with this one.

weddings-around-the-world-a-latvian-celebration-8

weddings-around-the-world-a-latvian-celebration-9

So, is this the time for the couple to sit down, have a drink and relax? You’d assume so, but no chance!

After a brief rest, our next stop was a gorgeous old bridge across a river, all surrounded by masses of forest, where the happy couple had to throw a key to their new happiness over the edge, one never to be found. One thing very noticeable was how the nearby community (whether tourists or locals) all wished happiness to the couple whenever they passed them by and every single car made the same message by honking their horns and waving. And I mean literally every single car!

weddings-around-the-world-a-latvian-celebration-11

What’s to follow? Visiting a local point of interest - a site of caves, small bridges and a park. This time we began by smashing some pottery, as both the bride and the groom revealed an embarrassing secret of something they had done in the past. Then the groom carried the bride across a small bridge whilst saying out loud one pet name for his bride with every step he took. If you accidentally repeat the same one? Too bad, take a step back and come up with a new one!

Finally, we finished with the groom burying a bottle underground that contained small messages written by the couple of what they wish to achieve in their first year of marriage, a small touch yet so meaningful and intimate.

weddings-around-the-world-a-latvian-celebration-13

As we arrived at the venue, Sapnu Salina - a large guest house next to a small lake, the couple still had a few tests before they were allowed to actually sit down and put their feet up. Gifts, such as confectionary and alcoholic drinks, are customary for newlyweds to offer to anyone who might stop them on the way before they’re allowed to pass through. Inside the venue the couple’s parents lit one candle each, with the couple using the two to light their own candle, a symbolic way of beginning a new family.

The food, the dance and the music all intertwined in the beautiful evening as the sun began to set. We still managed to catch a few shots of the couple just before the light turned dark. A wedding day this long and full of various ‘challenges’ for the new couple to complete is not something as customary in the UK, but we all have our own beautiful traditions, we make new ones constantly, but in the end we all officiate our unions by saying "I do" and celebrating.

weddings-around-the-world-a-latvian-celebration-14

weddings-around-the-world-a-latvian-celebration-15

www.europeanweddings.co

Related content

supplier finder

Get a quote

Looking for that perfect local supplier?
Let us know what you need and we’ll start looking for you.

supplier finder

Find a supplier

Search over 200,000 Suppliers in the UK.

or

Leave a comment

Comments

There are no comments to display, be the first!

bride

Everything for your wedding

10 ways to survive your hen do

How to make it through your hen party with your dignity, sanity and health intact Ima...

Wedding Photo of the Week: Bloomwood Photography

Each week we’re inviting all wedding photographers to submit their images to be Bri...

A vintage wedding shoot in Warwick

Celebrating the free-spirited bride, a trio of wedding suppliers set about creating a pho...

How to keep your bride tribe happy

A rowing bridal party is the last thing you need while in the middle of wedding planning,...

Wow wedding venues in the South West

Looking for a South West wedding venue with the wow factor? Take a look at these settings...

Looking for that perfect local supplier?
Let us know what you need and we’ll start looking for you.

the wedding show

Sun -Sun 20
The Hop Farm Wedding Experience, 2019 find out more »
Sat -Sat 02
Bride: The Wedding Show at Tatton Park find out more »
Sat 02
Lodore Park Wedding Fair, Lake District find out more »
Sun 03
Rhinefield House Hotel Wedding Fayre, Hampshire find out more »
Sun 03
Puckrup Hall Wedding Fayre 2019 find out more »
Sun 03
The Kimberley Hall Wedding Fair, Norfolk find out more »
Sun 03
The Kings Head Wedding Show, Cirencester find out more »
Sun 03
The Wellington Barn Wedding Show, Nr Calne find out more »
Sun 03
Taplow House Hotel Wedding Fair, Maidenhead find out more »
Sun 03
Bolton Town Hall Wedding Show find out more »
Sun 03
Eastnor Castle Wedding Showcase find out more »
Sun 10
Vintage Wedding Fayre, Hampshire find out more »
Sun 10
Trinity Park Wedding Fayre, Suffolk find out more »
Sun -Sun 22
Tortworth Court Wedding Fayres 2019 find out more »
Sun 10
Abbots Barton Hotel Wedding Show, Canterbury find out more »
Sun 10
Ingleside House Wedding Show, Cirencester find out more »
Sun 10
Lillibrooke Manor Wedding Fair, Maidenhead find out more »
Sat -Sat 16
Upton Barn & Walled Garden, Open House Weekend find out more »
Sun 17
Shuttleworth Wedding Show, Bedfordshire find out more »
Sun 17
Uttoxeter Racecourse Wedding Show find out more »
Sun 17
Stourport Manor Wedding Show 2019 find out more »
Sun 17
Ashford International Hotel Wedding Show, Ashford find out more »
Sun 17
The Osborne Hotel Wedding Fayre by Prim and Proper Events, Torquay find out more »
Sun 17
St David's Hotel Wedding Show, Cardiff find out more »
Sun 17
The Marsh Farm Hotel Wedding Show, Swindon find out more »
Sun 17
Hillfields Farm Estate Wedding Fair, Reading find out more »
Sun 17
Old Thorns Manor Hotel Wedding Fayre, Hampshire find out more »
Sun 17
Inn On The Lake Wedding Fayre find out more »
Sun 17
Hotel Miramar Wedding Open Day, Bournemouth find out more »
Sun 17
The Moorlands Wedding Fayre, West Yorkshire find out more »
Sun 17
Copthorne Hotel Wedding Show find out more »
Sun 17
Hythe Imperial Wedding Fayre, Kent find out more »
Mon 18
The Grand Brighton Wedding Open Day, Sussex find out more »
Thu 21
High Lodge Wedding Fayre, Suffolk find out more »
Fri 22
The Ned Wedding Showcase 2019, London find out more »
Sat -Sun 23
Bride: The Wedding Show at Norfolk Showground find out more »
Sat -Sun 23
Bride: The Wedding Show at Bournemouth International Centre find out more »
Sat -Sun 23
Royal Bath Hotel Open Day, Dorset find out more »
Sat -Sun 23
The Scottish Wedding Show, Glasgow find out more »
Sun 24
Barney Hill Wedding Open Day, Surrey find out more »
Sun 24
Martels Wedding Events Village, Essex find out more »
Sun 24
The Gloucestershire Wedding Show 2019 find out more »
Sun 24
The Grand Hotel Wedding Show, Folkestone find out more »
Sun 24
The Ramada Hotel Wedding Show, Dover find out more »
Sun 24
Oxleaze Barn Wedding Show, Lechlade find out more »
Sun 24
The Westonbirt House Wedding Show, Tetbury find out more »
Sun 24
DoubleTree by Hilton Wedding Fair, Reading find out more »
Sun 24
Urban Wedding Festival at Victoria Warehouse find out more »
Sun 24
Sketchley Grange Hotel and Spa Wedding Fayre, Hinckley find out more »
Sun 24
Aldwickbury Park Golf Club Wedding Fair, Harpenden find out more »
Sun 24
Aldwickbury Park Wedding Fayre find out more »
Sun 24
Casterley Barn Wedding Showcase, Wiltshire find out more »
Sun 24
Merrydale Manor Open House Day, Cheshire find out more »
Sun 24
Colshaw Hall Open House Day, Cheshire find out more »
Sun 24
The Fir Hill Wedding Open Day, Cornwall find out more »