In the Ukraine, couples share korovai rather than a cake. Korovai is a sacred wedding bread decorated with symbolic motifs that represent eternity and the joining together of two families. The bread has great symbolic meaning, and has remained part of the wedding tradition in Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora.

Coming from the pagan belief in the magical properties of grain, Korovai was a large round shaped braided bread, traditionally baked from wheat flour and decorated with symbolic flags and figurines, such as suns, moons, birds, animals, and pine cones. Wheat stalks, herbs, nuts, flowers and fruit were used to embellish the korovai. The style and ornamentation of the korovai varies by region, although colors red, gold and silver were most commonly employed in decoration. The bread has no exact design.

Traditionally, the bread was prepared in the home of the bride by women (korovainytsi) who sang traditional songs to guide them through the making. Interestingly, they were most often invited in odd numbers to do the job of bread making, usually seven women.

You can read more about this wonderful Ukrainian tradition at