Ukrainian Weddings Exhibit Home
Ukrainian Weddings Exhibit Home

Ukrainian Canadian Weddings
General Canadian Influences

Picture of Canadian Influences

With the immigration of people from various countries to Canada, many ethnic traditions became affected by more dominant "Canadian" styles with a strong Anglo-Saxon character. Such was true for the Ukrainian-Canadian community, especially following the Second World War, when many Ukrainian-Canadians moved to the urban centres.

Some of the strongest non-Ukrainian factors that influenced Ukrainian-Canadian weddings were based on practical factors rather than aesthetic ones. For example, because of the five-day Canadian workweek, multiple-day Ukrainian weddings became less practical. Thus, weddings were condensed to one or two days, and celebrated on the "weekend." Furthermore, during the era of prohibition, alcohol consumption had to be carefully concealed or eliminated altogether. The traditional boisterous celebrations became more regulated. Paper invitations were sent out as family and friends tended to live further away from one another. Because of employment and the necessary travel that might have been involved, guests needed to know about the marriage further ahead of time.

Wedding CakeWhite wedding gowns, multitiered wedding cakes, garters and bouquets, honeymoons, along with many other western traditions have become integrated elements of many families' Ukrainian-Canadian wedding traditions.

Getting married in a white wedding gown became the desirable standard - "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." A bouquet and garter toss were often included in the evening's events, either for entertainment reasons, or as a result of a desire to better assimilate.

Father Walking Daughter The custom of the father walking his daughter down the aisle was often adopted. Since culinary practice in North America included finishing the meal with something sweet, often times a wedding cake served both as an "adopted" wedding tradition that fulfilled the "dessert" option, or something the guests could take home with them as a souvenir from the wedding. A formal "program" of speeches and toasts following the wedding meal became a favourable way to acquaint the two families and all of the guests with the bride and groom and with each other.

Overview of Church Within the last forty years, it has become acceptable and popular to include ethnic traditions in wedding celebrations. This revival of Ukrainian tradition started during the 1960s, reflecting a general trend in Canada to celebrate ethnicity and diversity, and coincided with the third generation of Ukrainian-Canadians. Many couples and their families have opted to include visible symbols of their ethnicity at the weddings. Since that time, many Ukrainian traditions have been actively revived.


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