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Greek Wedding Traditions: What You Need To Know!
Going to a Greek wedding? Get ready to celebrate not only the bride and groom, but their entire family as well!
Greek culture is very family-oriented – marriage and children are still the natural ‘next step’ for a serious relationship. While weddings typically focus on the gathering of two families, Greek food, music, dancing, and the wedding ceremony itself are equally important.
Allure Films has compiled a short list of just a few Greek traditions you’ll see at a Greek wedding:
- On wedding day, the bride traditionally prepares at her house while her family gathers and watches. The bride to-be comes out in front of her family wearing her dress, and the bridesmaids and maid of honor proceed to add accessories.
- The groom prepares by getting dressed in his tuxedo or very formal suit by the best man. The groom also sits in a chair and best man proceeds to shave his face in what is referred to as “the last shave.”
- The betrothal service begins at the door of the church where the priest blesses the rings and puts them on the couples’ fingers three times. During the marriage ceremony, the bride and groom stand together with two candles. (Most things are done three times during the betrothal service, in reverence to the Holy Trinity.)
- Jordan almonds (called koufeta) are given to the guests to represent the sweetness (sugar coating) and the bitterness (almond) of life. They are given in odd numbers to represent that this new couple being formed is indivisible.
- Modern couples tend to share a home before they get married, so they usually have all the basic house needs covered. For gifts, a fine piece of art or cash is acceptable.
- Expect a lot of food! Greek brides and grooms are notorious for filling their guests up with traditional Greek dishes, from roasted lamb to suckling pig to famous spinach and feta pies.
- Greeks do a variation of the money dance where cash is thrown at the musicians and the couple while dancing.
- Besides hearing opa (a sound of acclamation), you may also hear na zisoun (wishes for a long life), and I Ora I Kali, which means, “Here’s to the good times that are coming.”
Experience it for yourself! Enjoy this wonderful look at Arhodia and Kosmas’ Merion wedding.