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Lucie’s Czech wedding traditions

Horse Collar

This wedding tradition takes place after the ceremony, and in most cases once the guests have arrived at the wedding reception. Friends of the groom put a beautifully decorated horse collar around his neck, which symbolises the binding of his marriage. This also signifies that marriage is sometimes difficult if the couple do not cooperate together. In addition to this, the bride is also given a whip with ribbons to demonstrate who is holding the reigns in the marriage.

Lukas (Czech Republic) wears a horse collar around his neck after the ceremony to symbolise the binding of their marriage. Image taken by professional wedding photographers, Simona Smrčková and Kamil Saliba, using the D850 and AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G lens.

Breaking the Plates

The tradition of sweeping shards of a broken plate at a wedding is the first tradition to be arranged by the catering staff. At the beginning of the wedding reception, a member of staff wishes lots of happiness to the newlyweds and a toast is done. During this toast, the member of staff “accidentally” drop a plate, which is hidden under the tray they are holding. It is the tradition that the newlyweds must sweep the shards.

These porcelain shards symbolise happiness and the noise of breaking them casts off evil spirits who want to harm them. Sweeping together is a symbolic task for a bride and groom. It shows that they have to always work together, not only with problems in marriage, but also with housework. It is also really important who picks up the dustpan and who picks up the brush. Tradition has it that the one who sweeps will be swept away, and the other who picks up the dustpan will have the final word in the marriage. Newlyweds should also keep one shard for good luck.

Lukas and Nikola (Czech Republic) sweep up the shards of broken plates to symbolise that they will work together in their married life. Image taken by professional wedding photographers, Simona Smrčková and Kamil Saliba, using the D850 and AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens.

Water or vodka

Weddings are associated with many different toasts made by parents, best men, the maid of honour, friends, the newlyweds themselves and so on. Some of the toasts don’t just have the one goal to wish happiness to the newlyweds, but they can also predict the future of the relationship – namely, which spouse will go to the pub!

A friend or member of catering staff will put two glasses on a tray, one with water and the other with a transparent alcohol – usually vodka. The newlyweds will take a glass each in preparation for the toast. If the groom chooses water, he’ll stay at home in the evenings, if he chooses alcohol, he’ll likely go down to the pub!

Lukas and Nikola (Czech Republic) are pictured drinking water and vodka during the wedding toasts –but it’s a surprise which is which! Image taken by professional wedding photographers, Simona Smrčková and Kamil Saliba, using the Nikon D850 and AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED lens.