A round dance, for example, was performed when the bride was prepared for the wedding and her “maiden braid” was loosened.

Other dances included the one that accompanied the transfer of the bride to the friend of the bridegroom, a dance for people coming back from church and an old people’s dance, A highlight of a wedding was when the bride and groom danced together at the request of the guests.

Women dress up in fancy dresses and wear lots of perfume.

Sometimes it wasn’t held until after a child had been born.

[Source: , edited by Paul Friedrich and Norma Diamond (C. Hall & Company, Boston)] Wedding parties feature lots of feasting and vodka drinking.

Folk dance have traditionally been a fixture in Russian weddings.

In the old days weddings usually took place in the fall after the harvest and lasted for three days, with different dances accompanying each phase of the event.

About half of all Russian men and women have at least one divorce during their lifetime. The majority of them are set up so that someone living outside of Moscow can get a residency permit to live in Moscow, where there are greater opportunities to get ahead.

About a third of the divorced are young couples who live together less than five years. Brokers charge ,000 to set up the marriages for out of town men and often enlist prostitutes to serve as brides.

Marriage is regarded as a sacrament in the Orthodox church and called “the crowning.” In many rural areas there is a shortage of marriageable young women.

This is because many women leave for cities to find jobs and better marriage prospects while young men stay behind to tend family farms.

Even though single parenthood and premarital sex have been common among both Russian peasants and workers, marriage has traditionally been an important institution.

It has traditionally been an economic contract between families with the groom’s family footing the costs for the wedding and the bride’s family providing a dowry.

Petersburg should have been called the Factory of Weddings.