Hungarian weddings in Toronto and Vaughan
In the traditional ways of Hungarian weddings, it was the best man’s job to personally invite, using rhymed words, the guest to the wedding and to help plan the three days of wedding festivities. Even today, couples generally prefer to personally invite their guest to their wedding. In years long gone, the bride wore brightly embroidered dresses with flower motifs, supported by many crinoline petticoat undergarments to give the skirt fullness and volume. Today brides prefer the white wedding dresses adapted from Western culture.
In the custom of the past, the entire village would escort the bride from her home through the streets to the church in a colorfully painted cart or wagon. The bride would then be “kidnapped” by friends or family members and her groom would have to come and “rescue” her in order for the wedding ceremony to proceed. When the bride reached the home of the groom, the groom’s parents would give her a glass of wine. She would then throw the glass over her shoulder, breaking it. Sometimes eggs would be broken on the floor to ensure that she would have many healthy children in the future. Then coins would be tossed on the floor along with plates. The coins and the broken shards from the plates would be swept up and separated by the bride, symbolizing her industriousness and her hard work ethics.
In order for a wedding to be legal in Hungary, there is a civil ceremony and a wedding ceremony. The civil ceremony takes place at the courthouse with two witnesses who sign the registry book. This ceremony is followed by a religious ceremony at a local church. At the church, the bride and groom sit in the front of the church while friends and families tell personal stories, recite poems, read sentiments for a happy future, and sing songs to wish the couple well. Couples traditionally wear their rings on their left hand while they are engaged, and after the ceremony, they switch their rings to their right hand to indicate that they are now married. The bride will present the groom with three or seven handkerchiefs (three and seven being lucky numbers) as wedding gifts and the groom will present the bride with a gift of a small bag of coins.
The ceremony is followed by a wedding reception with lots of food and drink. The food is flavored with Paprika because it is thought to contain magical properties. There is gypsy violin music, folk dances, singing, and lots of drinking. A traditional custom at the reception is the bride’s money dance. The male guest pay money to dance with the bride by pinning it to her dress, dropping it in her shoes, or dropping it on the floor. In modern culture, there is sometimes a groom’s dance whereby the ladies pay to dance briefly with the groom. This money is then used to pay for the honeymoon or to set up the couple’s home for their future life together.
The Avenue Banquet Hall has hosted many Hungarian weddings. The catering team is able to blend traditional Hungarian cuisine with modern trends.