Wedding Bridge holds "locks of love" for Russian couples
We discovered a romantic tradition in Russia. Brides and grooms take their wedding pictures inside a shopping mall, outside a cathedral and in a palace garden.
"We are going to take a lot of photos there and near the bay because there is a spectacular view," one Russian bride told me at the spectacular Peterhof palace in St. Petersburg.
We saw multiple brides and grooms taking wedding photos on every level of the GUM (pronounced "goom") department store which is adjacent to Red Square in Moscow.
"Because it's a good architecture," the groom told me.
Another newly married couple took their wedding photos on the "kissing bridge" near the famous Church of the Savior on Blood in St. Petersburg.
"This is a traditional place for people who get married to come here. We believe in God and want to come to come to this beautiful place, this bridge and Church on the Spilled Blood," a bride told me.
But we saw a unique tradition that followed wedding photos in front of Russian landmarks.
Russian brides and grooms bring a padlock to the wedding bridge in Moscow. As a symbol of their love and life-long devotion to one another, the couples put their padlock on the wedding bridge and throw the key into the river below.
"What it symbolizes in the lock is the unit of marriage. So, we lock it and we throw the key away. So no one can separate us," said one groom in Moscow.
Even though this tradition did not start in Russia, couples in Moscow have embraced the ritual. There are so many padlocks, the "wedding bridge" couldn't hold them. So, the city planted wire trees on the bridge. Lots of trees with thousands of padlocks.
"It means marriage forever. Everybody on their wedding day hopes it will be once and forever," said our tour guide.