Whilst making my way down to the river that runs alongside the independent “nation” of Uzupis last Saturday I came across a wedding party that was braving the elements on one of the bridges across the river.
Uzupis is exclusive, most unusual and most bohemian neighborhood in Vilnius. Uzupis residents safely say that it is a country in the country. This tiny area of the town, with the spirit of romance, booming tolerance hovering in the air, abundance of creative energy, flows of inspiration, creates true art and breaks all, even the smallest, stereotypes.
The Uzupis name means “beyond the river” and is protected by Vilnelė River that encircles it. This tiny district has as many as seven bridges leading to this spot of art and romance. When visiting, a viewing of the impressive Uzupis bridge with hundreds of small padlocks is essential viewing. They are brought here by wedding groups, newlyweds, believing that it will strengthen their feelings and connect hearts forever. The key is thrown into the river, so that they never can unlock the padlock of love.
I was told by a friend from Vilnius that in the “olden days” the groom was expected to carry the bride across the various bridges across the two rivers in the city so one can understand perhaps, the reason for choosing a very slim young woman with all that exertion to come.
The bride and groom were all dressed in their wedding finery and stopped to drink “champagne” on the bridge with the bridesmaids and friends and attach a lock as described above.
The bride looked lovely in her dress and her bridesmaids were outfitted in scarlet red dresses, whilst the groom and best man wore a kind of formal morning suit attire. Members of the part went around handing out sweets to members of the public from baskets they carried. Apparently it is an old custom that still prevails today, I first witnessed this custom nearly ten years ago with a wedding party in Bernardinu Parkas.
There were lots of people taking photographs so I took the opportunity to join in, and I have featured a few of the shots in this little piece.
Photographs (c) Kindadukish
Some source material courtesy of lithuania.travel