A wedding is a happy occasion, and Greek weddings are no exception! An Orthodox marriage is considered to be a joyous occasion in which two people are bonded together by Christ. The ceremony itself is beautiful and unique from other traditional wedding services of different cultures. Even Greek wedding receptions are unique and have their own set of traditions and customs. Here is some information about a traditional Greek wedding:
About the Greek Orthodox Wedding Ceremony
A Greek wedding actually consists of two services. The first service is the Service of Betrothal, where the rings are exchanged. During this first service, the priest offers petitions of prayer on behalf of the couple. He will ask for God’s blessings upon the rings and will bless the couple with the rings three times, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The second service is the Service of Crowning, where prayers are offered for the couple and crowns of marriage are placed on the bride and groom’s heads. This is also the part of the service where the common cup is shared and the ceremonial walk takes place.
Greek Wedding Traditions
There are many things for a couple to consider when planning their wedding. A traditional Greek wedding has some unique, but important components to it. Here are some of the traditions that will likely be part of your big day:
To Krevati is a bridal bed celebration that is either a surprise for the bride and groom or something the bride and groom may organize themselves. Gather some friends and family to help you with this special tradition. People can bring items such as rose petals, new linens, small trinkets, and money to decorate the bed with to bless the couple with good luck and prosperity.
Wedding crowns, known as stefana, are an important part of the Greek wedding ceremony. It’s a good idea to buy new stefana as choosing to use someone else’s stefana might bring their bad luck. If there is a special stefana that is part of the family and was used only for marriages that were long and happy, these would be acceptable to use.
Gown and Shoes
The bridal gown and bridal shoes are traditionally bought by the groom. Sometimes this is done as a surprise, but if you want to choose your dress and shoes, that’s okay as well. There is another tradition involving the bridesmaids writing their names on the bottom of the bride’s shoes before the groom puts them on her. At the end of the night, the name who has faded the least will be the next to marry.
For good luck, a Greek bride might put a cube of sugar into her glove to ensure a sweet life. A gold coin in her shoe will bring good finances. To ward off evil spirits, the groom can place a piece of iron in his pocket. It’s also good luck in a Greek wedding to invite an odd number of guests and have an odd number of attendants. Odd numbers cannot be divided and are considered lucky.
A Greek wedding is a beautiful experience with many unique and important traditions!