GREEK ORTHODOX ENGAGEMENT
A traditional Greek Orthodox wedding is even bigger for a couple for it is not only their wedding day; it is also the day the couple gets engaged. Back in the day in Greek history, the groom would go to his future wife’s house early in the morning with his best man, or ‘kumbada.” Then the groom asks the bride’s father if he can have his daughters hand in marriage. If permission was given to the groom by the father, the groom’s kumbada would then take the couple to the church and arrange the formal wedding Greek ceremony. As you can see, in Greek tradition, the best man’s role is very important, so choose him wisely.
However, in today’s society, couples want to be engaged for more then a few hours before making the ultimate plunge as a married couple.
During the Greek orthodox ceremony, there are so many different cultural norms that some couples may choose to include in their special day. Many of these traditions in fact are practiced three times, to symbolize the holy trinity, the father, the son and the Holy Spirit.
- - The blessing of the rings: this is when both the ring of the bride and groom are blessed. The best man then steps in to switch the couples ring three times. During one of those three times, the couple must wear each other’s ring. This goes to signify that the couple not only needs each other, but ones weakness will be made stronger by the strength of the other.
- - The lighting of the candles: the bride and groom are handed candles, in which they will hold throughout the remainder of the service. A lit candle symbolizes the couples willingness and agreement to accept god’s blessing in their life.
- - The joining of hands: the joining of hands is when the couple grabs hold of each other’s right hand till the end of the ceremony, while the priest reads prayers. The holding of hands goes to symbolize the couple’s ultimate unity.
- - The crowning: the crowning is when the priest places either a gold or flower crown attached with strong, on each other the couples head. These crowns are then swopped from one couples to the other three times with the best mans help. This tradition was picked up from the olden days when kings and queens would be crowned when receiving their new kingdom or home, as the couple will now create.
- - The common cup: this ritual goes to symbolize the day Jesus turned water into wine. The couple each grabs a glass of wine, and drink it hands intertwined.
- - The ceremonial walk: the couple along with the best man walks around a table that holds a bible and cross three times, while the priest sings songs and recites prayers. This ceremony goes to represent that a church is the centre of life and a successful marriage.
- - The blessing: the blessing is the ending of the ceremony. It is when the priest blesses the newly married couple and removes the crown at once. Then the couple gets to release each other’s hand and only then is then officially married.
GREEK ORTHODOX RECEPTION
When it comes to dancing, the Greeks have a number of traditional dances such as the traditional Greek line dance Kalamatiano, Hasapiko and Tsiftertelli. Another Greek tradition that occurs at a Greek orthodox reception includes smashing of dishes on the floor, wish serves as a symbol of good luck. If a bride is wearing a glove, she can place some sugar in her glove to ensure that life for her and her husband will be a sweet one.
GREEK ORTHODOX FOOD
Food is also an important element in the Greek culture. If a wedding is expected to last long into the early morning, the couple may arrange to have breakfast served to their guests. Greek sweets such as baklava, diples and Greek cookies are always a big hit! Like the Italians, the Greek’s also hand out candy covered almonds however, the number of almonds distributed in the Greek culture must be an odd one.