We live just a few doors down from one of St. Petersburg’s two Wedding Palaces, that is, the government registry offices, and so walking down my street each day is kind of an informal anthropological study of Russian wedding practices. Russian weddings are generally not the church-and-elaborate-party-for-300 affairs that they are in the US. They go to the registrar’s with family and close friends, take some pictures outside (this is the bit I get to see every day), lay flowers at places around the city that have some kind of personal emotional significance, like cemeteries or memorials, and then go for dinner at a nice restaurant.

Apparently Russians don’t favor long engagements. An article in today’s St. Petersburg Times highlights young couples’ complaints about having to wait six months or more for a date at the overbooked registrars’ offices. The forehead-slapping quote:

“It’s better to have the wedding when you are in the right romantic mood. Who knows how people’s emotions will change in almost half a year.”

Ummm, if your emotions might change that dramatically in half a year, then it’s probably better not to get married, huh???