Marching for Marriage


I want to celebrate the start of the wedding season by sharing an enchanting tradition that is emerging throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States. From Russia and the Ukraine to Latvia and Romania, newlywed brides will take over the streets this summer to joyously promote the values of marriage and motherhood.

Since they began in Moscow in 2005, the colorful and lively Bride Parades are now sponsored by  more than 50 Eastern European cities. The Ukraine, which is battling an exorbitant divorce rate, plans to host at least six wedding marches from May through July.

Bride Parade in Ukraine

Each year, 50 newlywed brides march through the streets of Odessa, Ukraine, to celebrate marriage and motherhood. © Nadiya Vlashchenko | Dreamstime.com

The fifth annual event in Donetsk kicked off the summer festivities on May 16. Participants in the May 26 Kremenchuk parade, which includes new brides and young girls who wish to become brides someday,  will each make a donation to support local family focused charities.

The exclusive 50-participant parade in Odessa on May 29 proceeds along some of the most beautiful and romantic places in the Black Sea port city before brides toss their bouquets off the Techin Bridge, a popular spot for making wedding day wishes.

Newlywed brides vie for five titles that come with European trips and spa resort vacations at the June 9 parade in Kharkiv while the most creative ensemble wins a prize at the third annual parade in Lutsk on June 30. The processional, which coincides with Youth Day, will proceed from the Theatre Maidan to Lesi Ukrainka Park for an afternoon of wedding-themed festivities.

Finally, on July 6, bike-riding brides will descend upon the historic town of Rivne, which is located in a rural region of the Ukraine that boasts the  highest birth rate in the country.

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