Creation of Estonian Wedding

ESN Estonias National Event is traditional Estonian Wedding. It is a tradition in Estonia to make a mock-wedding as a part of your senior year in high school. Bride and groom are elected in the class and everyone else also gets specific roles: mother and father of the bride, the couple’s best friends, etc.  Mock-wedding is organised in high schools, because is a beautiful way to finish the senior year - gathering all the classmates together, organising the wedding from scratch and playing through traditions.

To introduce this tradition to Erasmus students seemed like an opportunity to reveal small piece of Estonian history to them. And as Estonian Wedding has been organised in May - it is also a way for Erasmus students to say goodbye to Estonia and wrap up their semester here with most unusual event.

Event is organised at one of the most beautiful places in Estonia: on our biggest island, Saaremaa. Our National Event Estonian Wedding in Saaremaa was born and held for the first time in May, 2013. There were about 100 participants: international students, local ESN’ers plus even two international guests and everyone enjoyed it. There was sightseeing, traditional evening activities and parties and a wedding ceremony near a castle. So keep your eye out for the next one and join us!

Wedding Traditions

Estonian Wedding is full of tasks and rituals for all the participants of the wedding. As by tradition getting to the ceremenony is already full-on adventure. The bride and groom are challenged and have to prove to the attendees that they are "ready" to be married. Many of these rituals are often performed during the car procession that follows the ceremony.

The procession called Pulmarong (wedding train) is actually just the whole wedding party moving from the ceremony location to the reception location. The fun thing about the procession is, that people can put up road blocks for the bride and groom which they can only pass when they have performed the task which they are given. Usually it’s something that they need to know how to do as a wife or husband, like chopping wood, sewing something, cleaning the fish, changing a baby’s diaper.

During the event students are shown sightseeing of Saaremaa where the wedding "rituals" take place. For example purposal to the bride, different tasks for the bride ang groom, asking for "parents" approval. By joining Estonian Wedding you will not only see the most amazing places in Saaremaa, but you will have unforgettable experience and face-on introduction to Estonian traditions. No one from participants can stay aside from the wedding. Each one will have a role in this event. There’s the Wedding Seal, The Guard of the Bride, The Wedding Stud, The Dance Father, and The Kibe Yeller and many more.

There is Bachelor and Bachelorette party called stag and hen parties. It is held in the accommodation and on the first night of the event. There are activies and games, sigining Estonian folk songs and introduction to the folk dance as well. The highlight of the event is the wedding ceremony near a beautiful castle in Saaremaa.

Publications about the Wedding

Estonian Wedding 2013 by Reporter
Video of Estonian Wedding 2013
Video of Estonian Wedding 2014
Video of Estonian Wedding 2014 by Aktuaalne Kaamera
Video of Estonian Weddin 2015 by Meie Maa
Saaremaa Adventure National Trip + National event 2017
Meie maa video and article about Estonian Wedding 2014
Article in Õhtuleht about Estonian Wedding 2015