National Wedding Traditions: Greek Wedding

Greek Wedding Traditions The traditional wedding in Greece starts with the reception party: a day before the wedding, the bride and the groom conduct a party called “Krevati” (bed) in Greek. This party is organized in the new house of the engaged couple. Friends and relatives are expected to put money and to seat children on bed, thus wishing fertility and well-being to the couple. Krevati is followed by the actual party with dancing, singing and food. The groom cannot see the bride on wedding day, and they meet only in church. The formal Orthodox wedding ceremony is conducted there. The newlyweds have to sip red wine from the same cup. The guests leaving the church receive five or seven almonds as a token. After that, the reception party takes place during the whole night. Wedding reception in conservative families is conducted with traditional dances and local food; especially widespread is the baking of whole livestock (goats, pigs, sheep). The number of invitees exceeds one hundred people, sometimes it reaches five hundred. It is usual when the couple is not even acquainted with some of the invited, as far as parents decide on the list of invitees. In villages it is common that the whole village comes to the wedding. The weddings are usually conducted in the end of October – this is connected with the end of harvesting and a lot of free time, which is supplemented with the young wine. May is considered the least appropriate month for wedding. Traditional Greek wedding is interesting by the fact that it starts a week before the wedding ceremony. On Sunday, the groom sends a present to his bride, thus “reminding” of the future wedding. On Monday the preparations begin. On Tuesday the bride packs up her dowry, which she prepared during several years, and which is expected to be enough for the rest of her life. On Thursday and Friday the main preparations take place: transfer of dowry, invitation of guests, cooking of small loafs of bread etc. On Saturday the already mentioned Krevati takes place.

Marco Douglas