7 bizarre places to get married in Russia

Newly weds at an Ice Wedding Palace.

Newly weds at an Ice Wedding Palace.

Lev Fedoseyev/TASS
A wedding in a giant cooking pot, an ethnic yurt, or with your hands warmed by special love mittens - you don't have to go down the traditional route to for the ultimate love gesture in Russia.

A typical Russian wedding consists of a bride in a magnificent white dress and a groom in a suit, a couple of doves that the newlyweds launch into the sky, and drunken relatives joking, "But what is a wedding without a fight?" However, it’s not rare to see loved-up Russians riding in a procession around town and being photographed by the local landmarks. But a new generation of couples are tearing down wedding day stereotypes and thinking outside the box. Here are seven examples.

1. A giant cauldron in Kazan

Kazan Family Center. Source: Max AvdeevKazan Family Center. Source: Max Avdeev

In Turkic the word "kazan" means a cauldron for cooking food. One legend says that the city (about 800 km east of Moscow) was coined after the popular, large pot. The ZAGS (a Russian registry office), which is located in a palace built in the shape of a 30-meter high cauldron (with a flame) registers on average 100 couples a day. Each of the four floors has its own original decoration and on top of the building there’s an observation deck that offers a wonderful panorama of the city.

2. Palace of Matrimony in St. Petersburg

Wedding palace №1. Source: Press photoWedding palace №1. Source: Press photo

This is the most popular Russian matrimony palace. It’s a sumptuous 19th century manor house transformed into one of the country’s most famous and lavish registry offices. The magnificent marble staircase is the favorite place for wedding photo sessions. Due to its popularity, some couples have to wait for up to six months to marry here, especially given it’s not only St. Petersburg residents who want to get hitched in the palace, but people from all over Russia. Many of the country’s celebrities have also chosen this spot to tie the knot.

3. The Tsaritsyno museum and reserve in Moscow

Wedding palace in Tsaritsyno. Source: Press photoWedding palace in Tsaritsyno. Source: Press photo

The Tsaritsyno ZAGS is one of only a few to hold ceremonial trips to the Tsaritsyno museum and reserve, which has preserved the style of Catherine the Great's epoch. Registration takes place in the Grand Palace, in the Azure Hall. Musicians in 18th century attire play classical music while the guests are met by the master of ceremonies and are accompanied by a lady in waiting.

Tsaritsyno. Source: Press photoTsaritsyno. Source: Press photo

4. The Ice Palace in the Murmansk Region

Newly weds at an Ice Wedding Palace. Source: Lev Fedoseyev/TASSNewly weds at an Ice Wedding Palace. Source: Lev Fedoseyev/TASS

Each February the city of Kirovsk (1,800 km north of Moscow) opens its matrimony palace, which is built of ice and snow. The civil registry book is also made of ice, as are the fishnet champagne glasses. But the marriage certificate that the newlyweds receive is real.

5. The Gothic Palace in Yoshkar-Ola

The Bruges embankment in Yoshkar-Ola. Source: Legion MediaThe Bruges embankment in Yoshkar-Ola. Source: Legion Media

The waterfront in Yoshkar-Ola (760 km east of Moscow) is often compared to the vistas in Amsterdam and Hamburg. Several years ago the town built a matrimony palace in the Gothic style. In accordance with tradition, the bride and groom enter from one side of the building and after the ceremony, as husband and wife, leave from another, onto the waterfront -  where they hop on a river tram.

6. A tent in Yamal

A yurt in ethnic style. Source: Ramil Sitdikov/RIA NovostiA yurt in ethnic style. Source: Ramil Sitdikov/RIA Novosti

In Russia's Far East, in Yamal (3,500 km northeast of Moscow), the locals enjoy weddings in true ethnic style. They are celebrated in tents - the traditional dwellings of the Evenki people. The trend has even reached Europe. Today there’s a growing number of British brides choosing to wed in a nomadic yurt.

7. The Mittens Museum in St. Petersburg

Museum of mittens. Source: Press photoMuseum of mittens. Source: Press photo

The unusual Palace for the Registration of Warm Feelings at the St. Petersburg Mittens Museum registers matrimonies every day. The bride and groom make vows by uniting their hands in special love mittens and receive the Certification of the Registration of Warm Feelings.

Read more: 10 Russian marriage superstitions

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