Greek Wedding Traditions

Greek Wedding Traditions

Every culture has its own unique wedding traditions. Greece, a popular destination wedding location, has many unusual traditions that make a Greek wedding ceremony memorable. Whether you are planning a destination wedding to Greece or want to acknowledge your Greek heritage in your wedding, here is a quick glance at the some of those wedding traditions.

Dowry The tradition of a dowry is still a part of many Greek weddings. The bride’s mother will spend years, usually from the birth of her daughter, collecting items for her daughter’s dowry. These can be anything from linens to silver and will be presented to the married couple at their wedding.

After the couple has received their dowry, young unmarried girls will help the bride prepare her home. This tradition is known as Nyphostoli.

The Wedding Date You will want to choose your wedding date carefully in Greece, as weddings are not allowed to be held on traditional Christian holidays. This tip should be kept in mind when planning a destination wedding to the country.

One ring, two blessings Wedding rings are worn by the both the bride and groom in Greece, and there is no additional engagement ring for the bride. After the engagement a priest will bless the engagement rings and the couple will wear their rings on their left hands. The rings will be blessed a second time at the wedding and then worn on the right hand.

Koumparo The groom and his best man prepare for the wedding together. This male bonding tradition is called koumparo. As the groom and best man walk to the church traditional Greek musicians will follow and play music. Once the groom is at the church the musicians go to the bride’s home and escort her to the ceremony.

Bread In Crete, a small island off Greece, the women bake ornamental, circular loaves of bread to be served to guests at a wedding.

Wedding Crowns An ornate crown is worn by the bride and a simpler crown is worn by the groom. These 2 crowns are tied together with a long piece of ribbon. The ribbon signifies the union of the bride and groom. It is also said to represent the couple as they share equal responsibilities in their marriage.

Dancing During the ceremony the bride and groom will perform a traditional dance. The Isaiah Dance is a part of every traditional Greek wedding. A pause in the ceremony allows the couple to perform the dance in front of friends and family.  At the reception, they will perform another more lively dance called the Kaslaantian.

Pin the money on the bride One unique way to give the Greek bride a gift is to pin a bill on her gown. Many Greek brides are covered with bills and envelopes with money after their receptions.  This money is often a substantial amount and may go towards the purchase of a new home for the couple.

Receptions at Greek weddings are fun and festive, with Greek food, drink and music always plentiful.  If you are planning a Greek style wedding both you and your guests are in for a fabulous treat.