After choosing the bride, the next stage is “Promise Taking”. A woman that was well known by both families was chosen. Her role for making the wedding happen was very important. She was supposed to convince the bride’s mother, that the bridegroom is a great boy. Afterwards, the mother was supposed to do the same for her strict husband. For ensuring the success the bridegroom’s parents were hanging a big spoon in their house before the visit of the liaison, which was most likely symbolizing a common kitchen. The idea of the “liaison” is still kept in nowadays, because she is able to inform about their intentions to the both families, but now the difference is that fortunately they are not hanging spoons from the walls.
After receiving a positive answer, the “delegates” were going to the girl’s house – the mother and uncle of the boy. The girl’s side was informed about they arrival beforehand, probably for having an appropriate reception.
The in-laws speech in general was something like this: “We came to take a little fire from your home, and make our warmer…” or “…to take a stone and build our home…” and etc. In nowadays it is really hard to assess these expressions. We can only mention that there was no way that the girl’s side would agree at once. To make the brides “price” higher they were telling them that they will think about it. Usually for making the “Promise Taking” happen, the boy’s parents with the same speech were coming to the girl’s place several times. Only after the girl’s father was giving a final positive answer, that part of “theatre” was finished! But the father was not saying a simple “Yes”; he was saying “We are ready to give you our handkerchief”. We are sure that for the girl it was better to be a fire or stone, than a handkerchief.
Before getting a positive answer, there was no right to give food to the in-laws, because if you give them food, then you need to give also your daughter. How strange it may seem, but before giving his agreement, the father publicly was asking the girl’s opinion. But no daughter ever had the courage to go against father’s decision.
P.S. It is obvious, that during the “Promise Taking” the girl was asked to bring a cup of water, so the groom could see if the girl has any disabilities (like shaking hands, being lame or squint, etc.). There is also a version, that they were asking water in order to “examine” the bride from the bottom to the top. In this case looking at the bride wouldn’t be considered as a rude thing.