As a Greek Wedding Photographer London I had a chance to witness and photograph a number of cultural traditions that make Greek weddings stand apart from other wedding ceremonies. The traditions begin long before the ceremony, and involve a number of the wedding guests. The koumbaro is like a best man, and it is traditional for him to shave the groom on the morning of the wedding. The groom’s other friends are then invited to help him dress, allowing him to feel supported by love and friendship on this important day.
The koumbaro is also responsible for finding then the ceremony crowns. In Greek tradition, the bride and groom are each presented with a crown to wear during the ceremony. The crowns represent the honour and importance of the ceremony in the eyes of God. The crowns are joined by a ribbon symbolising the unity of the couple as they join together in marriage.
The traditions continue long after the ceremony too, in fact the entire wedding day is celebrated through small practices that hold cultural and historical importance. The money dance is one of my favourite Greek wedding traditions! Rather than bring presents to the wedding, it is traditional for guests to give money to the bride and groom. The money dance is a long standing tradition in which guests pay to dance with the bride and groom by pinning money to their clothes. As you can probably imagine, I always make sure to snap some great photos of this fun tradition.
The garter and flower throwing is another of my favourite Greek traditions. The throwing of the bouquet is pretty common over here, but the throwing of the garter is unique to Greek weddings. The bride’s garter is removed by the groom (usually with his teeth!) and then thrown into the crowd of guests. The male guest to catch the garter is said to be next to get married. It can be much more brutal than the catching of the bouquet and so presents some good photo opps!
Greek weddings are all about good company, great music and delicious food. Souvlakia, spanakopita and koufetta are just some of the mouth watering foods you’ll find on offer at a Greek wedding. The music will be lively, loud and fun. It’s traditional to use live musicians and many couples continue to do this today, the musicians are well respected by the wedding guests, and even sometimes receive a sort of money dance themselves as guests express their gratitude for the music.