Greek Language Blog

Greek Wedding, preparation-customs Posted by on Mar 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

I suppose many of you have seen the movie “My big fat Greek wedding“.  Well, today my post will be on the customs which take place before the wedding. In another post I will tell you about the wedding itself and the customs after the wedding.

Making of the bed (Στρώσιμο του κρεβατιού):

Two days before the wedding is the making of the couple’s bed. This custom holds from the older times and it is connected with demonstration of the bride’s dowry (προίκα). Friends and family are invited to attend the making of the bed in the house in which the couple is going to live after the marriage (γάμος). The bed has to be made from single women including the future bride (νύφη). When the bed is ready, they call the future groom (γαμπρός) to inspect it. If he doesn’t like it, he removes everything from it and tells them to do it again. This is will be done a couple of times until the groom eventually likes it. When finally the bed is ready, the guests are invited to the bedroom. The visitors drop money and rice on the bed. The money is to help the couple to begin their life and the rice is to wish to the couple to make roots and stay together forever. At the end, if there is a boy or a girl or at best an infant (βρέφος) among the visitors, then they put him or her also on the bed in order to wish for fertility (γονιμότητα). It is said that the first child of the couple it will have the same gender of the one that was in the bed.

Preparation of the groom:

The preparation of the groom is pretty simple. Friends of the groom are gathering in his family house to dress him up. He is having a bath by himself and then he just sit on a chair and his male friends do the rest. His best friend starts with the shaving. This is to symbolize the trust between the groom and his best friend. Then, his friends will dressing him up part by part so that everybody can put something on him.

Preparation of the Bride:

As it is expected this is a whole story. Similarly with the groom the bride has to be dressed by her friends. Of course these are female friends and have to be singles (ελέυθερες). The bride has to wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. The old symbolizes her past and her connections with her family. The new symbolizes her optimism for a happy marriage.  The borrowed is taken from a married woman in order to take some her luck of her happy marriage. The blue symbolizes the love, the faith and the loyalty. If the bride takes care of these four categories in her life she will end up with a happy marriage.

Under the shoes (παπούτσια) of the bride single women are writing their names. The names that will be erased until the end of the wedding will be the women that will get married soon. The father or a single man from the groom’s family (σόι) put the shoes to the bride. Then the bride will claim that the shoes are big for her and the best man has to put money inside the shoes until the shoes fit well.

 When the bride is ready, she leaves the house together with her father. Once she passed the door she should not look back neither to go back even if she has forgotten something. She leaves her past life back and starts a new one. It has to be mentioned that is forbidden for the couple to meet one day before the marriage. Moreover the groom will see the wedding dress for first time in the church.

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