Greece - A Mediterranean paradise rich with the romance of ancient philosophy. The Greek traditions are as beautiful as they are plentiful and their wedding celebrations echo with the history of a loving and lively family culture.
If we want to talk about the Greek culture in regards to weddings, it must be acknowledged that the culture itself is not the same thing as Greek Orthodox tradition. A person can be either or both, as can their wedding.
Let's start at the beginning, with the engagement customs. Not only will a Greek man ask his bride's family for her hand before proposing, he will also do so ceremoniously on the day of the wedding. Now that's symbolism that will make your heart melt!
To ensure prosperity and fertility for the newly weds, many Greek families will perform one of the most adorable rituals our office has ever heard of; a baby-rolling ceremony and it is essentially self-explanatory! Friends and family bring their babies and place them on the bed of the engaged couple and roll them to and fro. Afterwards the bed is decorated in rose petals and sugared almonds (Koufeta as they are traditionally known) and the friends and family wish them “kalous apogonous” (“happy offspring”).
Live music plays a huge part in all Greek celebrations, weddings in particular. As the groom gets ready for the big day, he does so in the company of traditional Greek musicians. When he is ready, the musicians will go to the bride's house and accompany her to the church. Music is such a beautiful language of love. This custom would have us dancing down the aisle to our own adonis!
The Greeks love a party as much as any country, and they certainly love to give the dance floor a work out! After the bride and groom have their traditional wedding reception dance, all guests will take part in the Kalamatianos! Hands held high in a circle, it looks simple from afar. But try keeping in time with the cheeky footwork after a few visits to that incredibly rich Greek buffet and a glass of traditional Ouzo. Don't be too hard on yourself if you're not quite lord of the dance, just kick up your heels and rejoice in wishing the happy new couple "na zisete!” (happy life for many years).