The marriage has a special place in every society. Due to that, there have been various rituals in each culture. Engagement tradition is one of these rituals on the road of a marriage. Since old times, engagement ceremony has been organized so that the couple and their families could be closely acquainted with each other before marriage. After asking a girl’s hand in marriage and agreement to marry, both families arrive at a consensus about engagement’s date, place, rituals, and their mutual expectations. Of course, old engagement rituals has ceased to exist in some way or another. Many couples prefer that ceremony of agreement to marry and engagement are organized on the same day, and disregard other engagement rituals. In this post, we will try to explain the requirements of engagement tradition from past to today in Turkey. Here are the step-by-step rituals in engagement tradition...


Obligation for Engagement

putting a ring

In the day of agreement to marry ceremony, families decide when and where the engagement ceremony will be held. After this ritual, families bear some responsibilities. If the engagement ceremony is held in a wedding hall or a hotel, all expenditures will be borne by the bride’s family. Of course, it should be said that it is an old tradition. Today, families mostly prefer to share the expenditures of the engagement ceremonies. 


Engagement bundle tradition

Whether the engagement ceremony is held at home or outside, the families prepare engagement bundles for each other. The aim of this tradition is to buy reciprocally various gifts in order to celebrate the marriage. According to this tradition, families of bride and groom prepare a bundle in an elegant suitcase or in a chest and present it to each other. Moreover, bundles can be prepared and presented to bride’s and groom’s mother and father or siblings. Let’s note that these old rituals are not often followed as much as they’re followed in the past. Many couples mutually decide not to prepare engagement bundle for each other. 


What’s inside of an engagement bundle?

Presents to be put in an engagement bundle depends on the families’ hometowns’ traditions. Therefore, before the preparation of engagement bundles, families ask each other about what they prefer to put in the bundle. After they present the bundle, the gifts are exhibited to the guests and neighbors. Therefore, families generally prefer flamboyant presents to be put in it. Groom’s family buy following items for the bride’s engagement bundle: Nightdress and dressing gown, lingerie, slippers and shoes, a set of clothes, makeup supplies, skin care sets, perfume, bags, towels, bed linens, engagement tray, scarves... Bride’s family buy similar kinds of gifts to the groom’s family, as well. 


Engagement shopping

Generally, groom’s mother, the bride and one the bride’s acquaintance go shopping for these gifts. Best places for engagement shopping is traditionally Eminönü, Fatih and the Grand Bazaar in İstanbul. In these areas of the city, it is possible to find everything. Although this tradition continues even until today, the couples generally prefer to go shopping together, without their families, and mostly in big shopping malls.


Engagement ceremony 

During the period from agreement to marriage until engagement ceremony, these traditions are followed mostly. After that, the families are ready for the engagement ceremony. The engagement ceremony can be held at bride’s family home or in a different place at the presence of families and friends of the couples. According to tradition, all expenditures of the ceremony should be borne by the bride’s family. 

During the ceremony, the bride and the groom stand with a senior member of the family. Rings of engagement tied together with a long red ribbon are put on a tray, which a young girl carries. Senior family member put the rings to the fingers of the couples and cuts the ribbon with the accompaniment of standard words and wishes. After this ritual, the couples kiss senior family members’ hand, photos are taken. In some regions, the guests dance after the ceremony. During the ceremony, jewelry are given to the bride, and a wristwatch is presented to the groom. 

After all of these rituals, the couples remain engaged until the wedding day. The engagement is not an official step for a wedding. It is an old tradition and celebration through which the couples share their intention for marriage. 

Every society has its own engagement rituals and traditions. For example, engagement ring... There are various theories about its history. Here we present you one of them.


History of the engagement ring

wedding ring

 It is claimed that the history of the engagement rings dates back to 2000 B.C. In Ancient Egypt, people used to carve some plants as a ring, because it was believed that the circle shape symbolizes the eternity. In this way, they thought that they symbolized immortality of the love. 

In the Roman Empire, they preferred iron rings rather than rings made from plants. However, during this period, only women used to wear rings. By the way, as far as we know, there is only one common point among all civilizations: the ring is always worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. People believed that the vein in the ring finger on the left hand run directly to one’s heart.

As the time passed, the rings were started to be made from more precious metal like gold. The engagement ring and wedding ring were separated in 860 A.D. by the Pope Nicholas I. It is known that he entailed the couples to wear gold rings to symbolize their marriage. After this decision, the engagement and wedding rings were separated completely.

What about diamond ring? Diamond was the first precious stone added to the engagement rings after the Archduke of Austria gave a diamond ring to his fiancée. Diamond engagement ring tradition that still continues is associated with the Archduke. The wedding rings have been designed in many different shapes and patterns until now.

And after this long journey, the engagement ring even today connect fingers of the couples who promise each other to share the life. And even today, people continue to follow this tradition.


These articles may also be of interest: