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 Greek weddings are a celebratory affair that is an amalgam of traditions, right from the engagement to the marriage ceremony, with each ritual portraying its own meaning and significance. While you might find traditions varying as you move across the country, the underlying customs are similar to each other.

The Dance of the Garments

This is a ritual unique to Greece and it is quite fun to watch too. Before the bride and groom get to wear their wedding dresses, both their family members are to bless the garments by taking turns to dance around the groom and the bride with the dresses. Once the bride and the groom get dressed in their wedding garments, a red ribbon is tied around their waist three times by family members. While they go around tying them up, the family wishes them both and blesses the couples with health, fertility, happiness and love. Many Greek rituals are often performed three times by the wedding couples as the number three is considered holy, denoting the Holy Trinity.


As the name implies, the bride and groom are decked with crows that are exchanged three times as per Greek customs. The crowns stand for honour and glory and are joined with a silver ribbon that represents the union of husband and wife. The bride and groom will wear this crown until the marriage ceremony ends.

The Common Cup

The Common Cup that holds wine is held out thrice by the priest to provide the husband and wife a drink. Drinking from this cup symbolizes sharing every happiness and sorrow that would happen in their married life.

Wedding Reception

As soon as the wedding ritual ends, the audience will be provided with candied almonds in odd numbers, as a symbol of the sweetness and bitterness of life. The odd number is to denote that the couple is united and cannot be separated into two. The wedding reception goes full on into celebratory mode, with music, dance, food and drinks. People will break dishes and burn whiskey for good luck. Guests will be handed out candied almonds, koufeta etc. in odd numbers as favours.

Typically, a Greek wedding has two parts – The Service of Betrothal and The Service of Crowning

The Service of the Betrothal

During this ceremony, the priest offers prays to grant the betrothed couple a life of peace, fertility and salvation.

The Exchanging of the rings

The wedding rings that the couple wears are blessed twice, once during the engagement and the second time during the wedding. After the rings are blessed by the priest during the engagement, the bride and groom will wear the rings on their left hands.

On the wedding day, when the priest blesses the rings again, they wear the wedding rings on their right hands. This is done to show how the strength of one can supersede the weakness of the other and how one's imperfections can be overcome with the perfections of the other.

Ceremonial Walk

The bride and groom, with their wedding crowns, will circumambulate the Church Altar thrice, symbolizing their first step in life as a married couple.

Wedding Dance

The Greek wedding dance is of two types – the Isaiah and the Kaslamantiano. The first one is exclusively performed by the bride and groom, during which the guests would come and pin money onto the couple as a form of wedding gift, and also to buy a dance from the groom or bride.

The latter is a dance reserved for the reception, where the bride, groom and the guests form a circle and perform a dance. It's a highly celebratory and joyous occasion for everyone present, so if you are getting ready to take part in a Greek wedding, then be ready with your dancing shoes on.