Reception should be not only lush and beautiful, but also unusual, different from the standard drunken feast. For example, you can make the wedding in the Greek style. Of course, not just copy “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” from the movie, try to use the original rules and traditions for your own celebration.
Greek wedding is full of traditions and rituals, which are quite difficult to fulfil in ordinary circumstances. However, it is possible to use some aspects similar to common traditions. Even a small inclusion of Greek features will make your celebration original. Initially you should think over the ceremony, the outfits of the bride and groom, the desired menu of dishes and drinks. Cooking Greek cuisine pretty simple — cooks, specializing in it is easy to be found.
Such a menu is a typical Mediterranean cuisine with a predominance of vegetables, legumes, olives, olive oil, cheeses, pastry. Ones of the most popular fruits are lemons and oranges. Dishes are often flavoured with mint and nutmeg.
For wedding table one should choose the famous Greek salad, which definitely includes tomatoes, cheese, olives, and peppers. The course is dressed with a sauce made of olive oil.
Instead of usual snacks you can prepare meze — small dishes, suitable for cocktail parties and served to alcohol. In Greece feta cheese with olives and a variety of seafood commonly served as a meze.
For a hot course dolma is perfect choice. This is a vine-leaf, stuffed with peppers, tomatoes, and other vegetables, cooked with tomato sauce. It is usually meatless, so if you want some meat at your celebration, Greek cuisine can afford you several variants.
Popular meat dish is souvlaki. Like Caucasian shish-kebab, it consists of pieces of meat, but grilled on wooden skewers. For souvlaki there is usually used pork, rarely mutton. Souvlaki is served with white bread and slices of lemon.
Wedding is impossible without beautiful traditional bread, so you should definitely have it baked.
As alcohol drinks choose Metaxa, orange liqueur, light wines. On the aperitif serve ouzo —a very strong alcoholic drink, often compared to the famous absinthe.
Wedding dress in Greek style is usually made in the Empire style, sometimes with a collar of special fit. Such dresses are very popular in recent years— they could be found in collection of almost all the leading bridal fashion designers. So the choice of the gown won`t be a big problem.
Colour of the dress is traditionally white. Though, since ancient times, Greek women wore bright veil of warm colours — yellow, orange, red. It was believed that veil would protect bride from evil spirits and negative. Same colours could be used in a dress as an extra decoration. Greek brides often wear gloves with the dress. In one of the gloves they put a piece of sugar – it is believed, that it makes family life sweet.
The groom’s suit could be black, but neutral colours, like beige, grey, sandy chosen nowadays more frequently.
Nice accessories, which would bring some Mediterranean features to the appearance of the bride and groom, are flower wreaths. Wearing them during the ceremony, newlyweds will look elegant and touching, and make the atmosphere even sunnier.
No matter when would you celebrate stag or hen party (in Greece those parties take place a week before the main event), it is important to prepare small gifts for guys and girls who will come to these events. The gifts themselves should be both pleasant and small. Besides, Greek wedding involves the giving of gifts to all guests who come to the reception. Usually it is sugared almond or small chocolate, wrapped in white veil. With such a package, a guest often leaves the celebration.
The Greeks celebrate weddings for three days, usually beginning on Saturday and finishing on Monday. The first day starts with family and friends, on Sunday the ceremony takes place and on Monday according to the tradition, the bride will be obliged to show everyone her marital devotion and ability to keep the house.
The most beautiful day is the wedding ceremony day. The newlyweds have to go to the Church by feet, and on their way people wish them a long and happy life together — the more people they meet, the stronger and better their marriage will be. After the ceremony in church there is held the reception with gifts giving, feasts, music and dancing starts. Reception in Greece usually lasts till the very night; This distinguishes it from European one, held in the UK, France, Germany, etc., with rather short reception.
Unusual traditions and rituals
Before the ceremony and immediately after it, a “loud performance” of tooting commonly made. During the ceremony newlyweds are “crowned” by putting the same crowns of a noble metal or colour. In this case crowns are bound together by tape.
Throughout the wedding, newlyweds celebrated as the King and the Queen of the day. In Greece, the crown has to be taken off after the ceremony, but the couple can leave them for all the day (only the ribbon that connects them should be removed). Then the crown remains as a souvenir. Some Greeks are even buried in their ceremonial crowns.
The Greek best man is considered to be the groom`s godfather, but it is not that important: a friend can be the wedding ringer too.
The place is decorated with numerous types of flowers. Predominant colours in the decoration are red, yellow, and orange.
During the Greek wedding a dish has to be broken on the floor — for luck. Musicians are thrown with some money — it means that the young family will be prosperous. Another custom during the reception is to fix as much money as possible on a bride, and sometimes on both newlyweds. The money for this purpose are usually given by guests.
The wedding dance is an integral part of almost every celebration. In Greece, the newlyweds start their dance together, and then they get joined by their guests forming a circle (traditional Greek dance).
Greek weddings are characterized by collective, friendly dances in a circle, when guests put arms around each other’s shoulders.