Tiffeny Sammons Kate Schultz Composition 1 # 1535NA 17 July 2010 Greek Wedding Traditions I chose to focus my report on the observation of Greek Wedding traditions. It is different from our culture as where Greeks believe they should marry into their own religion. If for some reason they should want to marry outside their religion the outsider shall have to be baptized into the Greek religion to be married in a Greek church. The outside of a Greek church is similar to a catholic church.
It reflects some of their heritage and beliefs through mosaics. The inside is elaborate with beautiful chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, and lots of pictures portraying the likes of St. John or St. Luke. Greek music plays in the background while all the wedding guests are seated. The best man (also known as the Koumbaros) escorts the bride and groom to the church. When the bride walks down the aisle wedding guest spit behind her as she walks by, they believe this to be a way to take off the “Evil Eye” that could be caused by jealousy.
When the bride reaches the priest he usually says a Greek prayer over the bride and groom. The priest then places crowns, or wreathes on the head of the bride and groom. The crowns have a ribbon that connects them as a sign of unity of the couple, and the presence of Christ who blesses, and joins the couple. This also establishes them as King and Queen of their home, which they will rule with wisdom, justice, and integrity. The Koumbaros then steps behind them, and interchanges the crowns three times as a witness to the sealing of the union.
The couple is then given the “Common Cup” of life denoting the sharing of joy, and sorrow. The drinking of the wine signifies the couple is now one, and will now carry one another’s burdens throughout life. The Koumbaros then invites the bride and groom to walk around the ceremonial table. They are now taking their first steps as man and wife, this walk expresses the fact that the way of Christian living is a perfect orbit around the center of life.
While the bride and groom walk around the table a hymn is sang reminding the newly married couple of the sacrificial love they are to have for one another. The priest then removes the crowns, and while holding the bible separates the couple as to signify that only God can now separate them from one another. The reception usually consists of feasting, drinking, and dancing well into the night. The guests are then given sugar coated almonds know as Koufeta.
The coating of the almonds signifies purity, and the almond represents fertility, and the new life which begins with marriage. They usually receive an odd number of candies. The odd number is indivisible, symbolizing how the husband and wife will share everything and remain undivided. Afterwards, the bride and groom then take part in a dance called the Kaslamantiano, it is performed in a circle by the guest, and they all smash plates on the floor as a sign of good luck for the married couple.
I have never been to a Greek wedding ceremony, nor have I ever seen one. I think Greek’s are very passionate people. I noticed how they seemed so passionate about the wedding customs, and traditions. The one part that seemed to stand out to me the most was the wedding ceremony. I really liked the wearing of the crowns to signify unity, and the bond between a husband and a wife. Greek weddings are a lot different than American weddings, as they seem to believe more in the sanctity of marriage, and the bond between a husband, and a wife.