What Makes Greek Weddings so Big?
The Greek wedding ceremonies are distinct, beautiful, and symbolic in nature. There is no exchange of any vows between the couples in an orthodox Greek wedding. The bride and groom do not get married in presence of a priest; rather they said to be married by God himself. Hence, vows are not a part of the Greek wedding culture.
The roots of the Greek weddings lie in ancient customs and rituals. The Greek couples get married typically with the ring exchange before the entire gathering which includes the family members and friends of the couple. Each of the partners gets to wear a gold band on their left hands to signify their engagement. These engagement rings are the same wedding rings that the couple shall be wearing throughout their lives. The bands are not ordinary gold bands; rather they are blessed and symbolic ornamental pieces.
Deciding the appropriate wedding date
In the case of a typical Greek wedding, they would never decide the dates. Instead, they directly choose to land over the churches for executing the solemn event in the best faith of almighty.
Although there is no specific wedding date, yet there has always been a custom of some prohibited dates. The Greek weddings can never take place in the initial two weeks of august. The first two weeks of august are devoted in the prayer service of the Virgin Mary. Besides, these two weeks, Greeks never get married 40 days preceding Christmas. These forty days are allotted in the worshipping of God and thus they are not acceptable for weddings. There are additionally few days when the wedding ceremonials cannot take place. 29th of august is said to be the most unholy day for the wedding ceremony as it marks beheading of the Saint John; the Baptist. Another date in which wedding can’t take place is 14th of September in which the celebration for holy cross takes place.
Preparation of the bed
Just before the wedding takes place, the new couple must prepare their home and bed accordingly. The bride and her unmarried female friends shall prepare the bed. The bed is showered with money and rice for prosperity and wealth. At last, a small baby is made to roll across the bed for enhancing the fertility of the bride. Superstition claims that whatever shall be the sex of the infant, the first baby of the couple shall have the same sex. Thus, if a small baby boy is made to roll, then the couple shall most probably have a son.
The wedding dress
The best man of the groom shall shave him and prepare him for his wedding. The best man of the groom is called koumbaro who even stands by his side during the entire occasion. The friends and the best man together dress up the groom with a crown and a jacket. They all have a symbolic role in preparing the groom.
The bride is prepared by the bridesmaid. She is also called the “maid of honor”. Preparing the bride is quite a pious task. The bride heads towards the marriage ceremony as soon as she gets dressed. She has to leave her father and stay with the boy after the entire wedding occasion executes. The bride is given some holy and eternal advices by her mother to look after her family and raise children.
The religious counseling and symbolism
The couple should frequently meet the local church and the priest for ensuring whether they are ready for the marriage or not.
The bride carries a sugar lump within her gloves as an epitome of happiness. The groom can carry an iron piece for getting rid of the evil. The odd numbers are considered luckier for the couple. Hence, the number of attendants kept is not even in number.
The wedding ceremony
The groom waits for his lady outside the church while holding the bouquet in his hands. The bride gets handed with the same bouquet by her would be and is followed by her father till the church aisle. The priest shall reside the bible subsequent to the ring exchange. The bridesmaid and the best man have their role play while the ring exchange tale place.
At the end, the marriage is celebrated with lavish wedding cakes, food, and gifts followed by the dancing and merry-making. Each guest shall leave a small bag of Kou fets and almonds for the couple.