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Wedding in Russia

Home / Travel to Russia & Blog / Wedding in Russia


Get married in Russia …

                                  …with RNTO

   Are you planning to get married? Looking for that special venue? Then why not try something a little out of the ordinary … hold your wedding in Russia!
   It may seem like a wild idea. But imagine what a fantastic start to your married life a Russian wedding would be!
Of course, organising your wedding in Russia would be out of the question for most British people. But if you could find someone to do all it for you, then maybe it’s not quite so crazy after all…
Here at RNTO, we’re not a marriage agency, and we don’t claim to find your perfect partner. But whether you’re a British couple looking for the ultimate wedding experience, or you’ve already found the Russian partner of your dreams, we can make all your wedding arrangements for you. All you have to worry about is saying ‘I do’!
   From arranging just your flights and accommodation to booking the church, providing a translation of your marriage certificate and arranging the table decorations, we do it all. Whatever your wedding day wishes, we’ll make them all come true. So for the perfect Russian wedding, speak to RNTO, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Our services

   Planning a wedding can take months. There’s so much to organise – the church, the reception, the dress, the guest list … it just goes on and on.
You’d think that organising your wedding in a foreign country would only complicate matters further. But that’s not necessarily the case – not if you have someone to help you every step of the way.
Here at RNTO, we can do as much or as little of the preparation as you like. The only thing we can’t do is find you someone to marry!
Generally speaking, there are two levels of service, although we’re completely flexible, and will tailor our involvement to suit your particular requirements. So whether you’re marrying a Russian national, or just looking for something out of the ordinary to make your big day extra-special, here’s what we can offer.

• Complete travel arrangements: documents (translation and legalisation of documents, including the all-important marriage certificate), flights, visas, hotels, excursion for guests, pre-wedding family dinner. And of course, we’ll make sure every last one of your guests gets their visa on time!

• Complete wedding arrangement: all the above, plus all wedding arrangements (decoration, flowers, entertainment, venues, food, video and photographer, transport … the list is endless). We only work with the best wedding agencies in Russia (based in Moscow and St Petersburg) for a service that just can’t be beaten. 

   Whatever your requirements, we have the knowledge and the contacts to make it happen. And we’ll work with you to make sure your wedding day in Russia is the perfect start to your married life together.
   Go on – be different! Choose Russia as your wedding destination, and RNTO to make all the arrangements … for a big day that will stay with you forever!


What’s it cost?

What does any wedding cost? Of course, the answer depends on a whole range of things – number of guests, reception venue, limo hire, entertainment … the list goes on. The best we can say is that the cost of a wedding in Russia is largely comparable to one in the UK.

We’re proud of our personal service, and would like to understand your own particular wedding day plans before we try to put a cost on the services we provide. But the following gives an idea of the price range for some of the basics…

   These are just indicative prices, and may vary considerably, depending on what you require from your big day. To get a better idea of what your ideal wedding in Russia might cost, call us today on 0207 985 1234, and before you know it, you could be saying ‘I do’!


Marrying in Russia

In Russia, you don’t get married in church (at least, not formally).
To get married in Russia, you need to book an appointment at a registry office – that’s where all the legal formalities take place. But most Russians choose to have a church service as well, the length and complexity of which depends on the type of service you require.

There are all kinds of combinations, depending on how extravagant you want to be. But if money is no object and you want your big day to really stand out from the crowd, the following gives an idea of what a full-blown Russian wedding can become… 


Paying the ransom

‘Paying the ransom’ is a bit of comedy play-acting performed for the entertainment of the guests.

When the groom arrives at the bride’s home, he must pay a ransom to her parents, who have ‘kidnapped’ her. On paying the ransom (often money or jewellery), the parents of the bride bring out a woman (or man) who isn’t actually the bride, but is dressed up like one, covered in a veil so the groom can't see their face. Only on payment of a bigger ransom will the parents give away the real bride to the groom.


Traditional ceremony

Next, the bride and groom have an optional church ceremony. This traditionally takes place in the morning, and is divided into two parts: the betrothal and the crowning.
During the betrothal, the bride and groom stand inside the entrance of the church while the priest blesses them and gives them lighted candles which they hold throughout the ceremony. The deacon leads an ektenia (litany) with special petitions for the couple. The priest then says two brief prayers and the rings are blessed and placed on the couple's right hand. The priest then says a prayer blessing their betrothal.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the sign of the marriage is not the exchange of rings, but rather the placing of crowns on the heads of the bride and groom. For the crowning, the priest leads the couple into the centre of the church where they stand on a piece of new, rose-coloured fabric, symbolising their entry into a new life. The bride and groom each publicly profess that they are marrying of their own free will and that they have not promised themselves to another.

   After an ektenia and several longer prayers, the priest places crowns on the heads of the bride and groom. Then follow readings from the Epistle and Gospel, ektenias, brief prayers and the sharing of a ‘common cup’ of wine by the bride and groom.


Civil ceremony

Following the traditional ceremony, the couple must have a civil ceremony at the department of public services. The couple are greeted by family members with bread and salt. The ceremony ranges from 15 to 30 minutes, during which the rings are exchanged and the couple are pronounced husband and wife.

During the civil ceremony, the parents offer the married couple two crystal glasses to break. The more shards of glass they create, the greater the number of years of happiness they’ll spend together.
It’s also customary for the married couple to release either balloons or, better, two white doves to symbolise their love and partnership. The bride also releases another balloon with her maiden name written on it, as she embarks on her new life.


Tour of the city

Following the civil ceremony, the newlyweds and their witnesses travel around the city in a limousine to view its historic sites. This is where most of the wedding photographs are taken.



After several hours touring the city, the couple meet the guests for the reception.
The first toast is made to the newlyweds and, after the first shot, the guests begin to shout Gorko, which means ‘bitter’ and refers to the taste of vodka. At this point, the couple must kiss to get rid of the bitter taste of the vodka.
The new couple dance the first dance of the night, which continues with the guests dancing, singing, playing games and making toasts. For the next few days, the family continues to eat, drink, and celebrate. Of course, how much of this forms part of your wedding is up to you. The only essential element is the civil ceremony. How much of the rest forms part of your big day is your own choice.


   Whatever you decide, we can arrange it. We could provide a huge amount of detailed information here on our website, but it makes more sense to deal with you direct, so that we can understand your requirements and advise and support you accordingly.

So for a bespoke service and a wedding that you’ll never forget, contact us now, and we’ll be with you every step of your wedding day!


The paperwork

   Getting married isn’t just about the wedding ceremony, the dress, the evening celebrations and so on. There’s plenty of paperwork to be done, too.
A Russian wedding is no different … except there’s the different language to take into account. But don’t worry – we’re here to help you every step of the way.
If you’re a British person or couple getting married in Russia, not only do you need to have the appropriate documents; they also have to be properly translated with the correct seals and certification for use by a Russian registry office. 

   Getting your translations in the proper legal format can be complex and confusing, but don't worry – we do it all for you. Our one-stop service makes sure everything runs smoothly, and you get the documents you need, translated, legalised and ready for use, so that you can concentrate on your wedding plans.

Of course, we’ll provide you with all the one-to-one help and support you require, but the following gives a general overview of the paperwork you’ll need.

Before you marry


You should check with your chosen registry office in Russia to see if they have any specific requirements (we can do this for you), but typically you’ll need to provide the following:

Your passport and valid visa (you should obtain your visa before the translation process starts, so that the way the names are translated on the documents matches the translation of the name in the visa). 

A Certificate of No Impediment (obtained from your local registry office in the UK). To avoid problems in Russia, please ask the British registrar to stamp the certificate, if possible.

If you’ve been married before, the Certificate making Decree Nisi Absolute or your previous spouse's Death Certificate (if applicable). 

Please provide the original or certified copies of the documents (photocopies or faxed copies are not acceptable). Apostilles will be attached to the back of each document, legalising them for use in Russia.

The Russian registry office will only accept the Certificate of No Impediment for a period of up to 90 days from the date of issue, so please make sure you plan your dates of travel, document issue and translation accordingly. And remember: before you can get married, you also need to register your visa.

Once you’re married

If you’re getting married in Russia but plan to return to the UK, you should get your marriage certificate translated and an apostille applied. This will legalise the document and mean it will be accepted in the UK.


Don’t forget the honeymoon!

Your honeymoon (or ‘honey month’ in Russian – ‘медовый месяц/medovy mesyats’) is your chance to relax and enjoy being together after all the excitement of your wedding day.

If you’ve got married in Russia, where better to spend your honeymoon? As the biggest country on earth, there’s so much choice and so much to see. You can choose from our wide range of fully accompanied tours, or maybe you’d prefer something a bit more tailor-made for your new life together. Whatever your requirements, there’s no one better than RNTO to make your dreams come true.

And even if you didn’t marry in Russia, it’s still a great place to relax and enjoy your first few days of married life together. The range of packages we can put together for you is almost endless. From exciting city breaks to romantic river cruises, we do it all. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, maybe a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway is more your cup of Russian tea!

Whatever your heart desires, we can arrange it. Whether you’d like to stay in Russia’s tourist capitals or travel further afield, the world’s your oyster with RNTO.

So call us today on 0207 985 1234 for the honeymoon of a lifetime. Happy honey month!