By all means marry. If you get a good wife you will become happy, and if you get a bad one you will become a philosopher.
Socrates (BC 469-399) Greek philosopher.
The country Greece brings to mind two images, ancient civilization, and a European island holiday destinations. Whether ancient or modern, Greeks always do weddings in a special way. Let us enjoy and appreciate their longstanding and fascinating marriage customs.
The Red Scarf
If you were to visit Greek Cypriot bridegroom's just before the wedding you may well see the same red scarf ritual. Another variation is to use the red scarf for relatives to throw money for the newly-weds.
The Bride's Shoes
The Groom's Shoes!
Sugar Almonds and Red Ribbon
The white symbolises purity, the egg shape represents fertility and the new life which begins with marriage.
The hardness of the almond represents the endurance of marriage and the sweetness of the sugar symbolises the sweetness of future life. The odd number of almonds is indivisible, just as a couple the bride and groom shall remain undivided.
After the ceremony the almonds and ribbon are shared amongst the single women who apparently if the ribbon is placed under their pillow that night they will see in their dreams the man they will marry.
Shaving of the Groom
* Koumbaros refers to the male sponsor (like the best man) and the Koumbara refers to the female sponsor (like the maid of honour).
The Newly-Wed Dance
Throwing of the Bouquet and Garter
This tradition has been passed on from other cultures.
At the end of the evening all single girls gather on the dance floor and the bride at a fair distance from them with her back turned to them throws her bouquet in the air at random. The girl who caches the bouquet is the next to be married.
Similarly, the groom detaches the garter from the bride's leg with his teeth. Once his has successfully got it between his teeth all the single men gather at a distance from the groom and with his back turned to them he throws the garter at random. The man who catches it is the next one to be married. All good fun we think.
As with all cultures, the Greek groom arrives at the church first and waits for the bride who is customarily late.
A young Greek man called Theo, announces to his mother that he's fallen in love and that he is contemplating marriage.
He says, 'Just for fun, Ma, I'm going to bring over three young women and would like you try and guess which one I'm going to marry.'
The mother agrees. The next day Theo brings invites three beautiful women to his mother's house. They sit on the sofa and chat for a while with family.
Theo then says, 'Okay, Ma, guess which one I would like to marry.'
She replies at once, 'The one on the left.'
'That's amazing, Ma. You're right, but how did you know?
The Greek mother answers back, 'I don't like her.'
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