I personally find Albanian weddings very entertaining and fun to go to. However, it takes lots of efforts, compromises, arguments, head-aches and stress into panning a perfect Albanian wedding.
Although times have changed, and Albanian people have become more lenient and modernized, many principles and traditions have remained the same.
First of all, the man has to go and ask the girl’s parents for approval in order to get engaged to their daughter. Although this step doesn't take place 100% of the time, I would make an educated guess and say it does most likely take place 90% of the time. Once the parents give their approval, the next step is for the couple to date and go ring shopping. Yes, that’s right, they have to buy the engagement ring right away, but most important everybody that knows them has to be informed about the engagement news. The news are spread around to prevent rumors.
After the couple breaks the new to all of their relatives and friends, they start to plan their wedding.
Throughout the time the couple is engaged, they also have to plan their future. For example, as to where they will be living, who they will live with, how many children they will have, who will work, who will take care of their children, will the wife work as well, etc. Although, the couple makes millions of plans together, as we all know plans don’t always work out, especially when there are other people that have a saying in their life, such as the husband’s family. If the husband is the youngest boy or the only boy, it's tradition that he and his wife live with the in-laws. He is basically responsible for always taking care of his parents. Although in most cases, the wife will not be happy about having to live with her in-laws, in most cases she will have to deal with it.
If she is lucky enough his parents will be modernized, and will refuse to live with the newlywed couple. If that's not the case, then hopefully they happen to be sincere people with good intentions. In the long run though, if we really think about it living with parent-in-law has it's benefits as well. It sure feels good coming from work and finding diner prepared by your mother-in-law, or finding the laundry done. But the greatest advantage of all is having a future free babysitter for whenever the couple has children.
Anyways, let’s get back to the Albanian wedding plans. During the engagement period the bride to be worries about having the perfect wedding dress, the perfect make-up, the perfect restaurant, and most importantly the perfect wedding pictures and wedding tape!!! Then we have the groom, which worries about how he is going to pay for everything (lol), depending on how much money he has :D
The husband to be has to pay for the bride’s dress and for all of the other expenses. However, if the bride does have an income, it is perfectly fine for her or her family to help with the wedding expenses as well. Although now a day every wedding is expensive, I find Albanian weddings to be way too expensive, probably because Albanians go all the way out when it comes to weddings.
99% of the time, there are more than 300 guests at the wedding, and at least 12-14 couples in the bridal party. The center pieces are always big and bold, there are about two-three limos, and most importantly the music is amazing.
( This is the link to the above wedding, it's an amazing Albanian wedding. Check it out)
In other words, when it comes to weddings Albanians go all the way big, in order to impress everybody, even if it means having to work extra hard in order to pay back all the expenses. However, we have the tradition of sending money to every wedding. As guests, each person has to leave an envelope with money to the bride and groom. I guess you can view it as a wedding gift. For example, if only one person goes to the wedding alone, he will most likely leave $100.00, depending on how close he is to the couple. But when there are three people that go together (mom, dad, and a kid), they have to leave around two hundred dollars. I’m sure you get it, around 50-75 dollars per person. We don’t really have wedding gifts brought to the wedding or send to the house.
However, most Albanian brides-to- be, especially over here in America do have bridal-showers, during which all of their friends and family members (only females invited) bring wedding gifts and presents. It’s a great chance for the bride-to-be to dance and party as much as she can. Plus she gets great gifts, well that does depend on whether she did have a registry or not. Frankly for most brides it is hard to have a registry, because they fear that other people will start saying, “she invited us for the gifts, all the things she registered for are expensive, this is a rip off etc. However, I personally believe that only close minded individuals thing that way, especially old ladies that only have a few months or years in the U.S.
So there you have it. That was enough about Albanian weddings huh??
In other words, they finally get married, and hopefully live happily ever after.
Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to come again.
P.S- If you have any questions about Albanian weddings, please ask :)
Have a wonderful day and don’t forget to SMILE :)