Greek Wedding Traditions
Fun and loving costumes
Greek wedding traditions are fun and unique. Whether you decide to go with an ancient or orthodox Greek wedding, one thing is certain:
Traditions will fill your ceremony and party and will make your wedding one of a kind.
Let's explore some of the traditions that you could incorporate.
Getting Ready for the Big Day
Some Greek wedding traditions take place even before the wedding day:
* Dowry: The bride's mother collects items for the newlywed’s home. Once the couple is married, these items are given to them. Linen, cutlery, decorations, anything goes.
* Nyphostoli: So many gifts from the dowry! So many things to accommodate, what's a new bride to do? Well, the nyphostoli is the name for this wonderful tradition, where unmarried young girls help the bride prepare the home.
* Rings:Traditionally, no extra engagement ring for the ladies (sorry, no diamond ring here). The rings go through a first blessing when couples are engaged and worn on the right hand. At the wedding ceremony, the rings are blessed again and moved to the left hand.
* Flamboro: Family and friends of the couple look to find a branch that ends in five twigs. Then an apple is tied to the longest twig while the other twigs are adorned with red wool.
This "flamboro" is displayed in front of the bride's house for weeks before the wedding takes place.
* Baby rolling ceremony : First the newlyweds mattress is covered with sugar coated almonds and rose petals. After that family and friends take their babies to the newlywed’s room and roll them in their bed.
On the Big Day
* Wedding parade: The groom prepares for the wedding with a koumbaro (best man). They walk together to the church followed by musicians. Once they get to the church, the musicians will return and escort the bride.
Another take on this tradition is for the flamboro to be picked up at the bride's house and taken to the groom.
The groom shows up the bride's house and is blessed by the bride's mother with wine, a ring shaped cookie and an herbal boutonnière. After this the bride and groom walk together to the church.
* At the church: The bride and groom will meet outside the church (if they didn't walk there together) and enter together.
* Betrothal: The koumbaro holds the rings over the couple’s heads and blesses them three times (representing the Holy trinity). The ceremony is concluded by exchanging the rings three times.
* Stephana: Crowns are placed on the bride and groom head and tied with a silk ribbon. They should be switched back and forth three times. After this, the couple walks around the altar while their union is sealed by praying.
After this, they circle the altar (yes, you guessed it—three times!) and are showered with rice and/or sugar coated almonds.
* Money dance: Guests can only give gifts to the bride by pinning money on her dress. This tradition usually takes place during the first dance.
Photo courtesy of StefanLaketa
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