On the GWC today we have a special guest blog post by Jayden from wedding car hire company Love Wedding Car Hire. If you are looking to hire a car for your big fat Greek (or non Greek!) wedding, check them out! This post is all about Greek wedding traditions and customs – have you heard of all of them?
GREEK WEDDING TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS
Greek weddings are a wondrous event. Full of old-age symbolic traditions and lively parties. Greek weddings are entirely different from other weddings that celebrates in Europe. The custom and rituals are altogether contrary, here bride and groom do not make vows to each other. Moreover, their presence in the church is meant as they are serious about marriage.
Whether you are incorporating a Greek Wedding or looking for some inspirations and beautiful themes, you will find that there are many beautiful customs integrated into Greek ceremonies.
Most of the prevalent ceremonies in Greece are held within the Orthodox Church – a ritual that has been followed since ancient times. A Greek Wedding involves exciting traditions, some of them are listed below.
According to Greek tradition, the engagements are held before the wedding. The bride and bridegroom exchange rings then the mother of bride present gifts to newlyweds. Also, the groom takes permission from the father’s bride for the daughter’s hand.
The bride and groom are blessed with rings at the ceremony time also by a priest. Before being wed the couples wear rings on the left hands and after the second blessing the rings wear on right hands.
The Beginning of the ceremony
Greek weddings are romantic, and each part of the celebration represents traditional values.
To begin the wedding, the guests patiently wait outside the church for the couple. Once the bride arrives the guests follow the soon-to-be-wed couple and everyone is seated together.
Then inside the church the traditional Greek ritual name – the Service of Betrothal and the Service of the Sacrament of Marriage perform.
Service of Betrothal
It mainly focuses on an exchange of rings. The priest blesses both couples with wedding rings by holding them in the right hand and making the sign of the cross over the heads of the bride and groom. The rings are then placed on the third fingers of right hands. The Koumbaro – the couple’s religious sponsor, swaps the ring over between the couple fingers, three times. The three-times symbolises the Holy Trinity and their everlasting bond.
Stefana – The wedding crown
The bride and bridegroom are adorned with beautiful wedding crown or Stefana which are joined with a white ribbon and blessed by the priest. The crown symbolises the glory and honour – that from now you are the king and queen of your castle, whereas the white ribbon represents unity. Similar to the ring exchange the Stefana is also passed between the heads of the couple, three times.
The Common Cup
The crowing of the couple is followed by a reading of the Gospel, which tells the marriage of Cana at Galilee. It was the wedding where Jesus performed a miracle by transforming water into wine. The priest shows the same, offers wine to the couple which they have to drink three times.
The Ceremonial Walk
Wearing the crowns the priest ask the couple to walk three times around the altar, their first steps as a married couple. After that, whosoever is standing nearby the couple is showers rice. Then priest removes the crowns from the couples head, and places the bible between the couples joined hands – it signifies that only God can break that marital union.
The Wedding Reception
The wedding traditions in Greek Weddings are family oriented. The bride joins hands with her bridesmaids and performs a raucous dance known as Kalamatiano.
Koufetta – Sugar Almond Food
It is a traditional sugar-coated almond which is distributed to guests. It symbolises a unification that cannot be separated.
Money gifting is a common tradition in Greek wedding. The newlyweds are showered with money while dancing. The family members and guests pin up the cash on the couples dress or throw on the dance floor.
Traditional wedding cakes are made up of thin layers of sponge cake, but now the time is changing the couples prefer to have flourless almond cakes. Also, the guests are served with sourdough white bread that is decorated with beads and blossoms.
Wrapping it up
Greek Weddings are traditional and poetic. Their different traditions signify perfect unity between bride and groom.