With thousands of years of tradition behind it, the Greek wedding is a very special occasion. It isn’t just an event where you sign some papers and say “I do.” Instead, it’s filled with customs that involve the whole community where friends and family are present to witness this union.
My favorite Boston Greek Wedding Traditions
- Good luck symbols for Boston Greek weddings – The tradition of a groom placing an object in the bride’s shoe or glove is a well-known wedding ritual with many variations. It is said that if the groom places sugar in her shoe, she will have a sweet life. The gold coin placed inside her glove ensures good financial fortune. Placing iron on their person will protect them from evil spirits throughout the day – so it’s time for the groom to add some to his pocket! Couples also take care when planning their guests and attendants list by inviting an odd number of people so as not to offend any potential droughts gods (for example, inviting 13 guests and 11 attendants).
- Blessing of the rings – The Koumbaro will have the couple come forward to exchange their rings three times before giving them a blessing.
- Candles & Common Cup – The couple holds candles throughout the ceremony to represent the light of Christ. The couple also shares what is known as a common cup, and take three sips of wine each from the cup representing a successful union. This symbolizes how all should be one in Jesus’ family.
- Readings – It is traditional for Greek Orthodox weddings to have two readings; the first is Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians, which emphasize love and unity between two people. The second reading, Gospel According to St. John, recalls when Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding and includes a common cup that symbolizes both partners drinking from it together.
- Crowns – When a couple gets married, they exchange floral crowns (or gold crowns), Stefana, to symbolize their union. These wedding crowns are created with either flowers or precious metals and they’re often intertwined together with a ribbon. The process of exchanging the Stefana could be seen as symbolic in itself – it takes three times for them to be switched between the bride and groom (koumbaro) before they can put them on. The couple wear these sacred symbols as they walk around the altar after the ceremony is complete, celebrating their new life together.
- Dancing! – The Tsamiko, Zeibekiko, and Sirtaki are traditional Greek wedding dances. The guests hold hands and dance in a circle while the newlyweds traditionally share their last dance of the night. Guests can also throw money at them or pin it to their clothes!
Best Greek Church in Massachusetts
- St Catherine Greek Church – 119 Common St, Braintree, MA 02184
- St. Mary Orthodox Church – St. Mary Orthodox Christian Church at 8 Inman St, Cambridge, MA 02139 is a parish of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America located in Central Square of Cambridge, MA.
- St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church is at 15 Union Park St, Boston, MA 02118
- St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church – 39 Belgrade Ave, Roslindale, MA 02131
Picking a date for your Boston Greek wedding
For your greek wedding, there are certain dates that should be avoided.
- The first and second week of August is devoted to the Mary, the virgin mother.
- During Lent, which is the 40 days before Easter
- August 29 is the date that Saint John the Baptist died
- September 14 is the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
- Nov 15-Dec 25, the 40 days before Christmas
June is a favorite month for many Greeks to get married in Boston because the Romans dedicated the sixth month of the year to Hero (Juno).
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