The celebration of weddings abroad is the best opportunity to keep memories of a romantic trip for many, many years. We offer loving couples to hold a wedding in Georgia. You will ask why? There are many reasons for that: Georgia is a bright hospitable country with beautiful mountain landscapes, the delicious variety of national dishes, ancient temples, and unique wedding traditions. Furthermore, the marriage registered in Georgia is valid throughout the world.
In this article, we will tell you in detail about the most interesting wedding traditions, as well as how and where you can get married in Georgia.
Weddings in Georgia: Wedding traditions
The real Georgian wedding is a bright bustling colorful event during which many of old traditions are respected. Traditionally, a huge number of guests is invited to the Georgian wedding – their number may exceed several hundred. And the refusal to come will not be accepted – this is a big insult to the host side.
Of course, not all modern couples follow all the old national traditions of their ancestors. But most of the young still prefer traditional weddings. Before the ceremony, the couple must go through three stages: the courtship, engagement and wedding ceremony. Earlier in the old days, parents were involved in the choice of the bride or groom. Now the young choose their life partners, following their hearts. The only important point is that marriage must be approved by the parents of both sides.
On the day of the wedding, the beautiful ceremony of entering to the grooms house is held. First, the groom goes up to the roof of the house and releases a white bird. Then he goes down to the bride, and they are treated to the glass of wine. The groom makes a sip and then puts the engagement ring to the glass of wine and passes it to the bride. At the end the groom gets the ring, hands it to the bride and says beautiful words of love and fidelity.
Georgians are very religious people that’s why they consider the ceremony at church to be necessary. Almost all couples get married at church and register their marriage the same day. The feast is often held in a restaurant because the house can not fit such a huge number of guests.
During the celebration, the table burst from a variety of dishes and drinks. Tamada says beautiful toasts – the first in honor of the bride and groom. The guests present expensive presents or money to the newlyweds.
Of course not each family is able to arrange such a rich feast. Therefore, some families in Georgia organize so-called “bride kidnapping”. But do not be afraid – it all happens with the consent of the bride herself and parents.
In general, the Georgian wedding is a colorful fun-filled memorable spectacle. If you manage to take part in it, you will definitely have a good time. In recent years, many foreign couples prefer to celebrate their weddings in Georgia – to get married in beautiful churches, make great wedding pictures on the background of the Georgian nature and celebrate on Georgian traditions.
Weddings in Georgia: How to register marriage in Georgia
In order to register your marriage in Georgia, you will need only a passport and two witnesses. A registration can be held either in the Houses of Justice or in the Houses of Marriage, which are available in all major cities and some other towns of the country. And which town to choose for marriage we will tell you below.
The House of Justice in Georgia unites under one roof the whole range of services – obtaining a passport, and marriage registration, and registration of real estate and more. Just keep in mind that here, unlike the House of Marriage, will not be a ceremony in a beautiful room under Mendelssohn’s march. And one more thing – if you choose to register in the House of Marriage, you will still need to visit the House of Justice for apostilling the marriage certificate issued to you.
Weddings in Georgia: Where to spend the wedding ceremony
There are lots of beautiful places for wedding ceremonies in Georgia. Especially popular are regions of Kakheti and Kazbegi, towns of Mtskheta, Batumi, and Vardzia. Each of these parts is very beautiful, have their own unique atmosphere and architecture, their history and traditions.
If you want to have a ceremony at Georgian church keep in mind that Georgian church is Orthodox and the Sacrament of Matrimony is done only if the bride and groom are of the Orthodox faith and have been baptized.
The most popular town among lovers is, of course, Signagi located in the beautiful region of Kakheti. That cozy little town, built in the style of southern Italian classicism, is called the «town of love». There are town reasons explaining this name. The first one is connected with a beautiful story about famous Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani who hailed from Signagi. He became famous not only for his talent but also because of his strong and unrequited love for the beautiful French actress Marguerite. Pirosmani sold all his possessions and bought all the flowers in the town and ordered to cover the yard where lived his beloved with flowers.
The other reason is that in Sighnaghi is located the Marriage House which operates around the clock. All couples can register here their relationship without any problems! At the entrance, you will be met by a guard, who will politely explain the daily routine, what documents are needed and how much the ceremony costs.
The atmosphere in Sighnaghi is also very romantic – narrow cobbled streets, houses with beautiful balconies, cozy restaurants, and cafes with delicious Georgian dishes. The town itself is surrounded by greenery and by a fortress, which you can climb and enjoy the views.
For the perfect wedding the couples often choose St. George’s Cathedral located in the village of Bodbe (2 km from Sighnaghi).
The other no less beautiful town is Mtskheta. It is the oldest town in Georgia founded in the 5th century BC, the first capital of the country. Here you can get married in the most revered temple in the country – the Cathedral Svetitskhoveli, which is the object of UNESCO World Heritage. You can also climb the highest hill to the monastery Jvari, which offers a beautiful view of the confluence of the rivers Kura and Aragvi. This is a great place for a photo shoot. For marriage registration, you can go to Tbilisi which is located at a distance of 24 km from Mtskheta.
If you want to hold a wedding ceremony by the sea, then the sunny seaside town of Batumi will be an excellent choice. The theme of love and romance is found everywhere here – the sculptures of lovers with bright heartс, the composition «Love», the famous statue of Ali and Nino (local Romeo and Juliet).