Prague Town Hall Wedding

Discussion in 'Expat Life' started by Blake76, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. Blake76

    Blake76 Member

    Lots of helpful information here!
    I'm getting married (to a Czech man; I'm American, and we've already started rounding up the forms) in Prague this summer. Can anyone tell me what to expect at a civic ceremony in a town/city hall, though? What's the attire like? Do the bride and groom exchange vows? What roles do the families play? Is it typical to have a reception? Flowers? Music? (Yes, we're putting this together at the last minute; hence all the questions.)
    I imagine it's quite different from a typical American wedding (which is fine with me), but my fiance can't remember the last wedding he attended....
    Many thanks in advance! :D
  2. Halef

    Halef Well-Known Member

    I think it is quite similar to an American wedding.

    As for the official part:
    You should have two rings and two witnesses. The bride is supposed to have a bouquet of flowers. Some music is usually provided, but you may wish to invite your own musicians. The bride and groom enter the room first, the witnesses behind them, then all the other guests / family members. Everyone except the pair sits down, the most important people (parents, close family,...) to the front.

    When the mayor or someone enters, everyone stands up, he or she greets them, they sit down again. You still standing :)

    After a short speech he or she asks you and your fiancee, whether you really want to marry each other. This is the part where you should say "Yes" :) As this is is a bilingual marriage, you may need an official translator, unless you understand Czech good.
    Then you are given the rings and you exchange them (you put his on his finger, he puts yours). After that (or maybe before, I do not know exactly), you and the witnesses have to sign the wedding record - just a formality, but required.

    After all this, your marriage is declared completed and valid. You are to have a first kiss as wife and husband. Then all the people come to you and congratulate, and you leave the town hall. No throwing the bouquet away, unless the traditions have changed.

    A reception usually takes place somewhere - typically in a restaurant, in villages usually in bride's or groom's parents garden. It might be quite far away - my parents had their wedding in a chateau about 20 miles from the reception place :)

    In some areas, you do not simply enter the reception but have to accept some traditional challenges - groom cuts wood, bride cleans up broken plate,... But this is very specific, you really have to ask someone who helps you prepare the wedding.

    Music is usual, flower decorations as well. But it is your wedding, so you have to decide what it should look like :)
  3. Blake76

    Blake76 Member

    Thanks very much for your insight. My fiance and I are still working on the major factors--paperwork, rings, translator, etc. I did tell him that I wasn't too keen on the plate-sweeping tradition...... :wink: One other question--in Old Town Prague, is it typical, in the summer, to see wedding parties walking down the street (from the ceremony to a restaurant)? My fiance assures me this is normal; I figure maybe I shouldn't wear tiny sandals, in that case.......! Anyway, thanks.

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