Weddings are a bit different in Moldova than in the states. First of all, Moldovan weddings are typically an all-night ordeal, starting anywhere from 7-11 pm and finishing at noon the next day. I have been to one traditional Moldovan wedding, and I lasted until 6am. I have been to two other Moldovan weddings which were not so traditional according to Moldovan culture but more traditional according to LDS culture. A and D were married in July and T and S were married in September, and I had the privilege of being their photographer. A and T’s mornings started like most brides… up early for hair and make-up. Then the spouse to be showed up at the door and tried to convince the bride’s friends to let him marry her. He would respond to their protective questions for 3-4 minutes until he had proven that he will love, honor, and cherish his wife to be. Then it was to the courthouse for the marriage and the church for the reception.

I think Americans would actually understand the word “nunta” to mean the wedding reception. It isn’t the marriage ceremony. A lot of Moldovas are married and have their receptions on different days. Some get married even months before and don’t have their nunta until much later for several reasons. Maybe they want to wait until somebody who is working abroad can come. Or maybe they are saving up for the wedding. A typical Moldovan wedding costs a lot more than one could afford according to their salaries, so guests are expected to pay up in the way of gift-giving.

Moldovan receptions are more of a program than in the states. There is usually an MC who leads the evening’s events. While there are many more activities involved, they do the throwing of the bouquet and the garder belt, the cutting of the cake along with feeding each other, and the first dances and the dances with the mothers. It’s a wedding reception with a lot of food and dancing. Thanks A and T for letting me be apart of your special day!

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