Ya Ssou, I’ve had positive feedback on my blog posts about different cultural wedding traditions and how they can be integrated into a modern fusion ceremony that combines the best of the various cultures. Since the world is a much smaller place today and with the increase in interest and acceptance of cultural traditions, many people wish to embrace some of their culture’s original wedding traditions and combine them with the contemporary wedding practices; and, to me, that sounds like a neat idea. I have chosen to start with traditional Greek weddings for this article and, even if you are not of Greek heritage, you might find a way to incorporate some Greek traditions into your own wedding ceremony. The Greek wedding traditions are very old and very special to the Greek culture even today, so let’s look at some of the traditions you may like to add to your wedding.
The traditional Greek wedding is made up of both religious and cultural parts which makes it easy to pick the parts you wish to include in any aspect of your wedding day. Many Greek couples participate in a tradition prior to the wedding ceremony. It is a sort of wedding parade and the groom is invited to follow someone who would be holding a flamboro, a five swigged branch, to the home of his future in-laws, Then together the procession proceeds to the church where the ceremony is to be held. The Greek wedding ceremony is a really lovely service where the bride and groom exchange vows, rings and their personal words of love to each other with family and friends in attendance.
The ceremony itself is broken down as follows:
The service begins with the priest praying out loud as he joins the hands of the bride and groom; traditionally they continue to hold hands throughout the ceremony as a symbol of their unbreakable union. The betrothal as the priest places the wedding rings on the bride and groom fingers. The Service of Betrothal. The betrothal in Greek tradition is a most important part of the service. It is the time that the priest blesses the rings and then the actual placing of the rings on the fingers of the bride and groom takes place. Crown of Flowers. There is a crown for both the bride and groom which is blessed by the priest, the crowns are tethered together with a red or white ribbon. A ceremony is usually performed with the crown of flowers and followed by a symbolic drink of wine by the bride and groom. The Marital Walk. Certainly one of the most popular traditions of a Greek wedding ceremony is the walk in which the priest leads the soon-to-be husband and wife a total of three times around the altar. Once they have made the ceremonial walk the priest blesses them again and removes their crowns and he then asks God to bless the couple with a long, happy life together.
The priest then separates the hands of the couple which is to remind the couple that as God has joined them, so He alone can separate them. After the wedding ceremony comes the Greek wedding reception which is usually fun-filled, loud and includes feasting on tons of great food, dancing for hours, and having a wonderful time honoring the newlyweds. The Greek wedding tradition of breaking plates at the wedding reception is from an ancient custom. The newlyweds broke plates in the doorway of thier new home together. This was believed to ward off evil spirits. When the bride and groom start their first dance together guests cut in and pin or tuck money on their clothing. Sometimes they throw it on the floor while the couple is dancing. As you can see, there are many Greek wedding traditions you can pick from while still having your wedding day contemporary and very personal to the two of you. It would be great if you could add more Greek wedding traditions to these above as I am sure there are others you have seen or participated in at a Greek wedding. Please comment below and share any of your Greek wedding traditions so we can all enjoy learning more.