The Russian brides ransom is a native Russian tradition that has very old roots. In times of old, a woman's marriage was considered an essential economic blow to her family. For this reason the woman's parents naturally demanded compensation. The higher the social status a bride had the higher the compensation that should be offered. A wedding was arranged colorfully and very creatively. Many relatives, friends and neighbors were invited.
Some elements of the historical ransom have been preserved to modern times, but they have been transformed from obligatory ritual into a bright modern show. Modern Russian grooms, as well as their ancestor's, slap their pockets frantically, looking nervously back at their best man and friends as if they are worried that they do not have enough money to pay the ransom for the bride.
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But money in the modern wedding is not the most claimed currency. The main task of a Russian brides wedding ransom is to check the future husband's creativity and keenness of wit. Nowadays the ransom of a Russian bride begins when a groom and his friends come to the bride's house to take her and the groom to a marriage registry office. The ransom starts when the groom and his friends come into the yard and move down the path toward the front door. The bride's neighbors block the path and ask for a ransom in order for the groom to proceed further. Near the front door the groom is met by the bride's relatives who also demand a certain amount of money in order to be allowed to proceed further. They are given coins, sweets, fruit, whatever.
The main obstacle awaits the groom on the staircase to the bride's front door. Every stair will cost the groom a tender word in his address to his bride. If a Russian bride lives on an upper floor in a block of flats, and the groom runs out of tender words, money can help. If a groom cannot say any more lovely words he must pay a little for every step.
When finally a groom gets to the bride's apartment, he is met with some more tests. Sometimes the main "gold digger" is the bride's maiden. She can ruin a groom even before the beginning of the wedding process. She creates different obstacles and tests that the groom must overcome or render - to sing, to dance and of course to pay money or give presents to the bride's girlfriends and relatives.
The most popular Russian brides test is when various imprints of women's lips on a piece of paper are shown to the groom and he must guess which one belongs to his beloved. If the groom identifies his bride's lips correctly, he is allowed to pass and enter into the bride's apartment. If not he must pay to enter.
Inside the apartment the groom encounters more insidiousness. The apartment corridor is blocked by a wide table. And on this table the groom is demanded to spell out the full name of his bride using banknotes. In some cases he might be asked to spell out her full name: her first name, middle name and her last name. At this moment a groom probably feels as if he is a customer of a casino. His money flows across the table but the wedding procession is close to its destination - the bride's room. The groom presents flowers to his bride, kisses her, they drink champagne. The procession then goes to the marriage registry office and the wedding continues.
In these days Russian brides ransom is a kind of game and is arranged to please everyone, including the groom himself. The groom should smile even in a difficult situation and consider the ransom as a funny kind of game or test. But in this test the reward will be not an excellent mark or grade. No, his reward will be his Russian bride who, to him, looks like an enchanted princess sitting in a high tower, waiting for her prince.