Cyclades in Greece is a place where a traditional wedding is of great significance to both guests and locals as well. In the Cyclades islands a wedding is not just about the couple but a chance for family, friends and neighbors to contribute and participate in incredibly joyous moments.
To the local people of the Cycladic islands, a wedding means nothing but joy as it marks the beginning of life together. .Preparations for the wedding start at least a month before the actual ceremony to ensure that all people have received their invitations..
On the Thursday before the big day, the bride and her close friends busy themselves with decorating the house as well as the matrimonial bed. Dowry items are placed on the bed for visitors to come and admire and toss coins on it as a symbol of good luck.
Traditional weddings in Cyclades take place mostly on Sundays and the activities usually start with a procession from the groom’s house led by musicians playing an assortment of traditional instruments and followed by friends and relatives. As the procession weaves through the village streets people are invited to attend the festivities and bring along sweets as well as other gifts.
The final stop is the bride’s home, the groom takes her and together they head for the church. Along the way people shower them with rose petals from their windows. The church ceremony is characterized by rituals such as an exchange of wreaths, the couple sip wine and are blessed for an everlasting life together. After the church ceremony guests are entertained with music, dance and sweets. The couple must start off the dancing and custom demands that the bride dances with her in-laws, parents, friends and other relatives.
Traditional wedding ceremonies can last up to three days and regardless of the couple’s stature in society there will be hundreds of guests to celebrate the event . The communal nature of weddings in the Cycladic Islands justifies why people go there from far and wide to seal their love. To the locals it is certainly worth celebrating a couple starting their new life together in their village in a quest for happiness and prosperity .