The Best Man and his wife
The Best Man and his wife are the second important persons on the wedding after the bride and bridegroom. That’s why their choice was always hard and quite responsible. They should serve as an example for the new couple, and get them out of troubles during their married life.
The wife of the Best Man was supposed to teach the young girl about the details of the married life, and give her advice on how to keep the peace in the family. That’s why the best man was chosen as a result of long negotiations, and was chosen once and forever.
Some responsibilities of the Best Man
Early in the morning within the sounds of the zurna (national Armenian instrument) the bull -main meal of the wedding, was sacrificed (the bull was symbolizing the productiveness). The bridegroom was making a crossed cut on the bull’s neck, and then the Best Man was making a sign with that blood on the bridegroom’s forehead. Very often the mother-in-law was putting a red colored yarn in the blood, and then was keeping that yarn till the first married night of her son. After being touched by the bull’s blood, the bridegroom didn’t have the right to dishonor the nation on the first night, and was obligated to have many children in order to keep the family strong.
To the church were going the bridegroom, then the Best Man, his wife, then the bride and the bridesmaid, etc. The bride was keeping the handkerchief that was pined to the bridegroom’s belt as a sign of unity. They were used to sing loudly on that way, and even to scream, so the evils would get scared from the voices and didn’t come closer. Next to the church the best man was holding the sword and the shield above the couple’s head to protect them from various bad spirits.
The priest was binding red and green ribbons on the couple’s hands, and the couple couldn’t go to bed until the priest himself was untying that ribbons. To confuse the above mentioned bad spirits they used to come back from the church through another road.