Oh how we love a Greek Wedding! Experience the joy and cultural richness of a big fat Greek wedding by incorporating unforgettable traditions into your special day. From delectable cuisine to lively celebrations, Greek weddings are renowned for their elegance and unique flair. With our guide you will discover the key elements that make Greek weddings so special, from the iconic music that brings guests to their feet to the timeless customs that have been passed down for generations. Plan a celebration that perfectly reflects your love story and individual style.
Customs and Traditions
Greek weddings are a true reflection of the country’s rich cultural heritage, with many customs and traditions that have been passed down for generations. These traditions add an extra touch of charm to your special day. Here are some of the most noteworthy customs that you can incorporate into your own big fat Greek wedding:
No Greek wedding is complete without the presence of the koumbaro or koumbara – the equivalent of the best man or maid of honor. This tradition adds a touch of mystique to the wedding ceremony, as the koumbaro or koumbara stands by the couple’s side, offering guidance and support as they embark on their journey together. This symbolic figure serves as a lifelong mentor to the couple, providing a source of wisdom and comfort throughout their marriage.
The timeless tradition of stefana, or wedding crowns, is an integral part of Greek wedding ceremonies. These exquisite crowns, made of delicate flowers, lush leaves, or gleaming metal, are exchanged three times during the ceremony, symbolizing the unbreakable bond between the couple. The crowns are intricately woven together with a ribbon, representing the unity of the couple as they enter a new chapter in their lives.
One of the most joyous and memorable traditions of Greek weddings is the breaking of plates. This tradition involves the smashing of plates on the floor, often accompanied by shouts of “Opa!” and cheers from the guests. While the origins of this tradition are unclear, it is believed to symbolize good luck, happiness, and the release of negative energy.
For Greeks, food is more than just sustenance – it’s a cultural cornerstone, a way of life, and an expression of love. And when it comes to weddings, food takes center stage. The mouth-watering aromas of souvlaki, spanakopita, and baklava fill the air, while guests indulge in plenty of wine and ouzo. These delectable dishes are an invitation to savor the flavors of Greece, transporting guests on a culinary journey that reflects the warmth and hospitality of Greek culture.
Throwing of Rice
This time-honored tradition dates back centuries and is a symbol of fertility, a wish for the couple to have a prosperous and fruitful union. As the newlyweds exit the church, guests shower them with rice, and the sound of rice hitting the ground is said to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to the couple’s new life together.
Lighting of Candles
Greek weddings are a feast for the senses, and dancing is no exception. The lively celebration is filled with traditional Greek music that’s impossible to resist, drawing guests of all ages onto the dance floor. The upbeat rhythms of the “kalamatianos” and the heart-pumping beats of the “syrtaki” create an electric atmosphere that’s simply irresistible.
Greek wedding celebrations are not complete without the soul-stirring sounds of traditional Greek music played by instruments such as the bouzouki, violin, and clarinet. Guests of all ages are drawn to the dance floor to lose themselves in the magic of the music, which includes timeless classics such as “Zorba the Greek” and “Misirlou” made famous by the iconic movie Pulp Fiction.
What Makes It Different and Unique
A Greek wedding is not just a union of two individuals, it’s a celebration of family, community, and tradition. Unlike other weddings, a Greek wedding is a large and vibrant affair that brings together extended family members and friends from far and wide to join in the festivities.
The celebration often lasts for several days, with a series of events leading up to the main event. Throughout the festivities, food, drink, and dancing are always in abundance, as guests come together to revel in the joy of the couple’s union. The sense of community and togetherness is palpable, and the love and support of family and friends is what sets a Greek wedding apart from all others.
A big fat Greek wedding is a celebration of love, family, and tradition. By incorporating customs such as the koumbaro, stefana, and traditional Greek food and music, you can create a memorable event that reflects your cultural heritage and celebrates your unique love story. Whether you’re of Greek descent or simply appreciate the rich traditions of Greek culture, a Greek wedding is sure to be a festive and unforgettable occasion.
READ MORE: If You’re Thinking of Getting Married in Greece You Need to Know This