If you’ve ever been to a traditional Greek Wedding, then you’ll know that there’s plenty of dancing, hundreds of guests, very loud laughter and so much food! But if you’re Marrying a Greek Groom or heading to a Greek Wedding in the future, we’ve compiled 7 Greek Wedding traditions so that you know what you can expect!
1. It’s A Family Affair
One thing that you need to know about a Greek Wedding is that it’s not only a celebration of two people becoming one, but it’s also a family reunion! An average Greek Wedding has between 300-400 guests and most of the time, they’re all related in some way, shape or form!
2. Making The Bed
While many modern Greek weddings don’t really practice this as much, it still exists. The making of the bed involves the couple’s friends and family coming over to help prepare the bed of their new home, and “lucky” items like rice, coins, and money are thrown onto the bed for a happy and prosperous life. A young child or baby then rolls around on the bed to ensure fertility.
3. All The Single Ladies
After the Bride is dressed, she writes a list of all her single friends on the bottom of her right foot! Why? Well, the Greeks believe that the names that get rubbed off by the end of the night are next in line to Wed!
4. I Now Pronounce You Husband And Wife
At the ceremony, the Bride and Groom are unified with traditional Wedding bands that are like crowns. They are then led around the table by the priest three times as a symbol of joy. You can read more about Orthodox wedding traditions here.
5. Stomp On It
Another unique Greek tradition is that the Bride literally squashes the groom’s foot during the ceremony. The story goes that if the Bride steps on her Groom’s foot, she will have the upper hand during the Marriage. To all Grooms out there, be prepared!
6. Why Are You Spitting For?
Yes it’s true; a very old Greek tradition is to spit on the happy couple. But, not literally. Guests will pretend to spit on the Bride and Groom to protect them from any evil spirits on their big day! This is generally done three times for greater luck.
7. Dance The Night Away
As soon as the newlyweds enter the reception, it’s party time. Everyone is up and dancing in a circle, holding hands, and rotating in a counter-clockwise direction to traditional Greek music. Don’t worry, you’ll pick up the dances quickly!
8. Save The Last Dance
All night long there will be non-stop dancing, but the last dance of the night is for the Bride and Groom. During this dance, guests will come up to them and pin money to their clothes!
Main image from Marcus and Serinna’s Wedding. Photography by Yervant Photography.