SOME OF THE MAIN GREEK WEDDING TRADITIONS
Although most Greeks are Orthodox, that does not mean they follow the classical Orthodox ways in all matters. A Greek wedding is one such example. I already wrote about some of the traditions which are very much connected to the Orthodox Church, now it’s time to look at some of the differences. Today I want to highlight some or the rituals which make the Greek weddings so unique that they have become famous around the Globe.
First of all, a wedding is no small matter in Greece. Well, don’t get me wrong – it is no small matter in any culture, but the Greeks start preparing for their wedding early and they have celebrations associated with the wedding even before the big day arrives. Such a celebration for the relatives and friends is called Krevati (Greek for bed) – it’s usually a merry celebration with food and wine, and it is customary that the guests let their young children play in the bed of the newlyweds and put some money in it for fertility and prosperity. This is the time when all the relatives of the new family forms a strong bond and really gets to know each other.
It is a custom that Greeks usually have their weddings on Saturdays; however, this tradition is not so strict, it’s OK to have the wedding on a Friday or Sunday. The groom mustn’t see the bride before the wedding; in some areas it is customary for the relatives and friends to accompany the newlyweds separately and play some traditional music instruments. During the ceremony the couple share a chalice of red wine, it’s a symbol of sharing the cup of life. When the couple leaves the church, the guests throw flowers and rice as a symbol of fertility and felicity in the lives of the newlyweds.
The Greeks sure know how to throw a good wedding party after the ceremony – they have a great celebration with plenty of food and drinks, music and dancing till the next morning. When the party is at its peak, it’s usually the time to dance the traditional dances – zeibekiko for the groom and çiftetelli for the bride. At some point at the end of the party, the guests eat the wedding cake. A typical, large Greek wedding could have anywhere from 100 to 250 invited guests, so the party is a big deal!
Photos from post-wedding/ honeymoon photo session with German Greek couple Georgia and Janni!
Photographer in Santorini Anna Sulte