Albanian Wedding Traditions
Traditionally Albanian wedding celebrations last a whole seven days. This is known as ‘jave` nuses’ which translates as ‘wedding week.’ Albanian wedding traditions vary from region to region, but usually involve celebratory parties taking place at both the home of the groom, and home of the bride prior to the wedding. Bridal wedding parties are usually held on either a Wednesday or Saturday and the groom’s ceremony is held the following day. At the home of the groom guests will usually sing songs and perform traditional Albanian dances. Both parties are very family orientated.
Albanian wedding traditions include the giving of money and gifts. On the day of the groom’s wedding party the bride will take a dowry to be presented to the groom and his family. This is not money, but instead gifts that are given to all of the groom’s closest relatives. These were traditionally handmade or embroidered items like pillows, blankets, clothing or even furniture. The groom also gives presents and money to the bride’s family. The bride may also receive a selection of special gifts including clothing suitable for each season and expensive gold jewellery. In some regions it is an Albanian wedding tradition for the groom’s parents to pay a dowry to the bride’s parents as a sign of respect.
Wedding day proceedings
On the actual day of the nuptials, the bride’s parents will get her to drink a mouthful of wine whilst they give her their blessing. The rest of the family will proceed to shower her with money. The bride’s shoes are bought to her by the ‘vellam’ who will act as the groom’s best man. It is an Albanian wedding tradition for the bride’s shoes to be filled with candied almonds and rice and for the vellam to throw coins in the air so that each guest can catch one, symbolising good fortune.
The Krushquit is the name of the groomsmen who accompany the groom to fetch the bride from her parent’s home on the day of her wedding. This is usually an emotional time for the bride and her family as it symbolises her leaving her parent’s home to join her new husband’s family.
It is an Albanian wedding tradition for the groom’s youngest male relative to hold a bunch of flowers to give to the bride.
Traditional Albanian wedding dancing
It is an Albanian wedding tradition for the newly married bride and groom to share a dance together. During this dance their family will attach money to their attire, wishing them a wonderful start to their new life together as a married couple.