from October Newsletter...
Wedding Gown and Headpiece
Select a wedding gown or dress appropriate to the time and style
of the wedding. Consult an American etiquette book. But keep in mind
two Greek traditions during the ceremony: The koumbαros(a)
simultaneously switches the stιphana three times above the
heads of the bride and groom during the ceremony. The headdress
should not interfere with the exchanging. Also, you will have to go
around a table three times during the ceremony and may want to avoid
a large, bulky dress.
Greek Americans from Constantinople
write the names of unmarried female friends of the bride on the
lining of the train or back hem of the wedding dress to bring them
good luck in finding a husband. The names are in back of the bride,
so that the friends will follow her footsteps to the altar!
In some areas of Greece it is
traditional for the groom to buy the bride's entire wedding outfit.
In Athens, brides usually rent modern gowns, but in remove villages
elaborate native costumes are worn.
In Epirus the bride's bouquet includes
a tiny pair of scissors to cut the power of the evil eye from
Bonboniιres (favors of
koufιta), are given to guests after the wedding. The bride's
parents usually provide them, but in some regions they are the
responsibility of the koumbαros(a). Traditionally, the bride
and her bridesmaids make them together. Like the bonboniιres
for a baptism, they can be simple, with netting and an interesting
decoration or much more elaborate (see illustration). The almonds
are always white and uneven in number, usually five or seven. Each
family decides its own style and amount to spend. Traditionally each
guest receives a favor, but it has become common practice at
weddings to give one to female guests only. In Cyprus loukoϊmia
(little sugar-covered shortbreads with almonds and hazelnuts in
the center) are given for favors instead of bonboniιres.
There are numerous ways to
distributing the bonboniιres. In the United States the
newlyweds sometimes hand them out at the reception, or the
bridesmaids may do so. The bride and groom go from table to table
with a nicely decorated basket greeting their guests and
distributing bonboniιres. If the wedding is large and time
does not permit personal distribution, the bonboniιres may be
left at the table place settings. Sometimes each favor has a card
with the guest's name and table number on it. In this case, all the
favors are placed on a general table outside the hall, and guests
find their table assignments by picking up their favor.
to be continued...