Recently we got to coordinate a beautiful Greek wedding. It was gorgeous and full of love, friends and family. It was also full of tradition, for instance the use of a button, that looks like a blue eye (the color blue is powerful to ward off evil spirits) was attached to the bouquets and boutineers of not only the bride and groom but also all of the wedding party attendants. The idea is that they would ward off any evil spirits that would bring any bad luck to the newlyweds.
Another tradition is the use of gold crowns.
Two gold crowns are made and connected by a single strand of ribbon. This symbolizes the union of the two people into a single married couple. The crown also signifies that they shall rule over their household together. The crowns are called “stefana” in Greek. During the ceremony, the crowns are swapped back and forth three times by the koumbaro.
The bride and groom also hold candles during the ceremony. These symbolize the light that Christ symbolizes. The candles can be left in the church to burn, or brought back home to be used, but should never be thrown out. They should be burned down completely.
The priest will pour wine into the “common cup” – that is, one single wine glass – and the bride and groom each take three sips from it. The wine symbolizes life, and the sharing of sips of it is symbolic of how the couple will share in life together. (https://blog.udemy.com/greek-wedding-traditions/)
Other interesting and sometimes disturbing traditions involving good luck and bad luck superstitions on wedding days include:
- If a spider is found in a wedding dress it signifies good luck in English traditions. Um, no thank you.
- Also in English tradition, Wednesday is considered the “best day” to marry, although Monday is for wealth and Tuesday is for health.
- Did you know the reasoning behind the groom carrying his bride over the threshold of their new home? We didn’t either…apparently it’s to protect her from any evil spirits lurking below the ground!
- The Hindus believe that rain on your wedding day will bring good luck.
- Forget rice, in Czech traditions, the guests throw peas at the newly married couple!
- Pine trees are planted outside of the home of the newlyweds as a symbol of fertility.
And finally, who really knows why we wear our rings on the fourth finger of the left hand? It was once believe that a vein traveled from this finger directly to the heart. That’s actually pretty sweet!
What traditions are you familiar with that others might not recognize?