Greek Wedding Etiquette

by Claire Valenty on April 9, 2010

in Special Occasion - Weddings

wedding greek etiquette

Greek wedding etiquette still employs a dowry. That is when the bride’s mother spends years accumulating various things (such as sheets and towels) that her daughter will need for her married life. After the dowry is given to the bride, Nyphostoli is when the local girls volunteer to set up the newlywed’s household with the dowry items. Greek wedding etiquette also states that the wedding will not take place during the country’s Christian holidays, such as Lent and Christmas.

In engagement ring etiquette, we learned about the engagement and wedding rings. In Greek wedding etiquette, the engagement rings are the wedding rings. They are blessed twice by a priest: once when the couple becomes engaged; and again during the wedding ceremony. During the engagement, the rings are worn on their left hand and during the wedding ceremony blessing, they are switched to the right hand. Also, during the ceremony, the couple will wear crowns that are connected by a strand of ribbon, signifying their union. Greek wedding etiquette states the ceremony isn’t about the bride and groom making vows about each other, but more about standing in front of their friends and family and proclaiming they are serious about the union.

For the always festive reception filled with deep traditions and tasty food, expect candied almonds as the party favor (but only an odd number will be in the bag, for good luck). During the reception, there are two important dances that will take place. The Isaiah dance is performed first during the ceremony. The second one, Kaslamantiano, is held in a circle during the reception. Often, there will be a money dance during the reception where guests pin money to the bride and groom to help them start off their new life.

If you are attending a Greek wedding, be prepared to wait outside the church with the groom until the bride arrives. You can be sneaky and weasel your way into the church to make sure you get a good seat, but, make sure you have a seasoned church sneaking into pro with you! Be prepared for a show, as well. The Greek tradition of Koumparo means musicians playing traditional Greek music will accompany the groom to the church, then will go to the bride’s home and accompany her to the church! What a way to start the party!

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