Engagement, which is so popular in Western European countries and in the United States, is considered to be a kind of preparation for a wedding celebration. But even in Russia there were prerequisites for this ceremony: the groom's matchmaking at the bride’s house was carefully prepared by both parties and, in fact, finally decided the question of a future wedding.
The engagement with the holiday announcement of joyful news to relatives and close friends is a definite and very important stage for future newlyweds, writes Sunmag.me. What does this tradition mean, how to organize it properly and how is this beautiful and romantic ceremony going on?
What is the engagement?
This is a mutual official recognition of the feelings of partners to each other, a formal declaration of their readiness to become husband and wife, the transition of a man to the status of a groom, and a woman to the status of a bride. Often, the modern engagement is accompanied by acquaintance with relatives of the second half, such a meeting usually takes place in a festive atmosphere. And, of course, the man gives his beloved an engagement ring. The engagement girl is called engaged: she becomes a bride when she accepts the offer of a man’s hand and heart.
After the engagement the couple is officially considered to be the bride and groom.
Another serious question is being asked by some young lovers: from how many years can an engagement be declared? Knowledge of classic Russian works gives a simple answer - yes even from the cradle! Indeed, for profitable social marriages, parents often concluded an agreement according to which their newborn daughter and three-year-old son of a prince living next door would become husband and wife in a few years. Now, of course, this practice does not take place, but it is quite possible to be engaged to your beloved or beloved even in 14-15 years.
Announcement of engagement does not have any legal consequences and obligations, but the official marriage will be concluded only after each of the partners of 18 has reached the age (with the exception of some permitted cases of early marriage). The engagement may be terminated if the feelings for each other have died away or something has been done that prevents marriage.
How is engagement different from a wedding?
If you think about the essence of the rituals that are taking place, a simple and understandable difference becomes obvious: an engagement is the transition of a girl to the status of a bride, and a wedding is the transformation of a bride into a wife. The same applies to men. In addition, the engagement is a ceremonial action, beautiful, but optional, and, in fact, does not oblige any of the partners to anything. This is an opportunity to check your feelings and prepare for the upcoming wedding celebration. Wedding is a formal event, accompanied by legal registration of relations. A fully documented unit of society is being formed, the spouses have responsibilities in relation to each other and their future offspring, responsibility for the happiness and prosperity of the family. Engagement is the natural predecessor of the official registration of marriage and wedding celebration.
How long after the engagement should there be a wedding?
There are no clear time criteria separating the wedding from the engagement, there is no: this time interval between events that are so important for a couple can last a month, six months, and a year. Of course, it is not customary to declare the engagement, and the next day to go to register the marriage (although there are such cases after the fact). The time between the engagement and the official registration of the relationship is given to test the power of love, and for the elementary preparation for weddings.
It is traditionally considered that from engagement to wedding should take at least a month, but not more than six months: this is enough time to make sure of sincerity and reciprocity of feelings and prepare everything necessary for the wedding. Or give up on each other and break off engagement and love relationships. If the engagement lasts about six months, this is more than enough for meticulous preparation of even a very large-scale wedding with a large number of invited guests and a mass of festive events, solving the housing problem and everyday problems.
How to conduct an engagement?
There are no unambiguous recommendations for engagement, the rules of such a ceremony are simple and clear. In the old days, by mutual agreement, the bridegroom gave the beloved a ring, and she with his own hands sewed a white shirt for the wedding. How is this done now? The man simply has to choose the place and time of the offer of his own hands and hearts, but usually it takes place in a romantic setting - in a restaurant, in a cafe, on a joint trip or, as it is now very fashionable, in public, surrounded by friends or strangers. If a couple already lives together, then the coziness of a home can be a wonderful scene for beautiful action.
The engagement seldom takes place in a casual setting: the proposal must be remembered by the romance or surprise of what is happening.
The presentation of the engagement ring of his beloved is a very touching and exciting moment for a man in love. To make it exactly fit and like the future owner, it is better to consult, for example, with a friend or relative of the chosen one. Sometimes it makes sense in any way to get another ring - from those that the girl wears constantly, in the jewelry boutique, determine the size of the sample and decide on the design.
And, of course, do not forget about flowers, a romantic dinner or just choose the right moment for the offer. It is worth remembering that, no matter how beautifully decorated and presented everything is, girls do not always give their consent - a real man should understand and accept such an opportunity. If a public engagement is planned, it is better to introduce the parents of both parties to each other in advance. It is necessary to make appropriate preparations: a menu and a list of invitees are drawn up, a convenient place and time for the celebration are determined. Such an engagement can be called a kind of wedding rehearsal, sometimes even an engagement scenario is developed. Guests make symbolic, most often useful in life gifts to the bride and groom.
If the engagement was held publicly, then its termination, if necessary, should be the same - with the notification of relatives and friends. This eliminates various reservations and misunderstandings.
Engagement in the church
If a couple is religious and observes Christian customs, then the betrothal is held in the church. This rite has a serious philosophical and social significance, the holding of the ceremony is not retroactive. If the beloved decided to be engaged in church, they exchanged rings and swore oaths to become husband and wife, the betrothal committed according to Christian canons cannot be terminated. This is a definite commitment, which must be approached as seriously as possible.
If a separate engagement ceremony was not held, and the couple wants to get married, the engagement is held before the wedding ceremony in an abbreviated version. For non-religious people, such a church rite is not recommended for obvious reasons.