Cypriot Wedding

A Mixture of Traditions and Customs

Weddings are a heartwarming occasion that brings together a diversity of distinct and unique cultures and traditions. Weddings serve as a unification of two lovers, a bride, and groom, into holy matrimony as they start their lives anew. The celebrations take a toll on the planners, as it requires meticulous and careful planning and putting every little detail into consideration. Societal customs dictate every aspect of any wedding, and everything must conform to the laid-out expectations. The most vital things to consider in wedding planning include the religion, existing cultural practices, and customs that govern weddings within a particular region.

Although wedding practices vary from place to place around the world, the sole purpose of any wedding ceremony is uniting two people. The diversity of planning arrangements and the entire process of carrying out weddings makes them unique and distinct. Weddings have been around for time immemorial, being anchor onto which a family is established and starts. Weddings are, therefore, one of the most critical events in our lives, irrespective of our cultural differences, races, or religion.

A wedding ceremony gives you a chance to create memories that will live on, not only in your mind but also in the hearts of the people gracing that auspicious occasion. The different wedding customs and traditions around the world allow you to settle on one and make it a reality during your wedding day. One of the most glamorous wedding ceremonies that will catch your eye due to its complexities, grandeur, and uniqueness is a wedding the Cyprus way.

Legend has it that the Greek Goddess of love, Aphrodite, was born in this gorgeous country, giving Cyprus a center spot in the world of romance and love. Also known as the island of love, Cyprus receives thousands of visitors from around the world who come to officiate their marriages in the country. The country's populace also holds dear wedding traditions and customs as the processions strictly follow laid out guidelines, practiced for ages.

Cyprian Wedding Traditions

A majority of the Cypriots profess the Christian faith, and specifically Orthodoxy, with a significant number being Muslims. Christians weddings have a considerable similarity around the world, and it is not surprising that some practices in the Cyprian wedding are familiar to those you will find in the United States, albeit with some distinct differences.

Weddings in Cyprus have incorporated traditional and cultural practices into their wedding ceremonies, making them unique and special.  There are a lot of traditional customs that take place before, during, and after the wedding.

Some of the notable wedding rituals that take place just before the wedding include the following;

  • The shaving of the groom’s head- this custom takes place in the presence of friends and the groom's best man, with traditional music blaring in the background.
  • The dancing of the wedding clothes- a combination of the bride's and grooms’ outfits in a basket and blessing the costumes by a priest.
  • The dressing of the groom.
  • The zosimon ritual which involves tying and untying of a special pre-selected red handkerchief around the waists of the groom and bride.
  • The holy smoke ritual, locally known as kapnisman ritual to ward of the evil eye.
  • Preparation of a unique traditional dish known as Resi which is a combination of wheat and meat.

The wedding ceremony is set in the church or an outdoor spacing as preferred by the bride and groom to solemnize their union. In many cases, a priest or church official takes charge of the wedding vows exchanged between the bride and groom.

Dressing the Bride and Groom

The groom comes dressed, in most cases, by his best man, in a traditional shirt known as the Vraka with a customary belt and purse. The bride is dressed by her maid of honor, locally known as Koumera, adorning her with exquisite jewelry and putting a veil around her, covering her face.

The guest is also expected to wear traditional ceremony clothing for the wedding procession, with many turning out in colorful and outstanding outfits.

The Wedding Processions

Friends and family members will congregate and a pre-selected wedding venue in advance and wait for the bride and groom. The bride’s parents, before they enter the church, hand her over to the groom, and they proceed into the church to go before the priest.

During the ceremony, the preceding priest hands over to the bride and groom the ceremonial bread known locally as the prosfora to break and eat, as a show of unity, combined with wine. The bread and wine symbolize the wedding at Cana, which was presided over by Jesus Christ.

The bride then wears the traditional ceremonial headband that is decorated explicitly for the wedding occasion. The couple later on, in the presence of the priest, exchange their vows and out the ring on each other’s finger, symbolizing holy matrimony. The priest then gives their final blessings to the newlyweds, after which he pronounces them man and wife.

On their way out from the wedding venue, the guests spray the newlyweds with rice, signifying unity, good health, and happiness, a practice noticed in many wedding ceremonies around the world.

The Cypriot Wedding Reception

The wedding reception features the bride, groom, and invited friends and usually takes place in a pre-selected venue like a restaurant or hotel. The reception is a party where people mingle, have fun. Eat and drink to their fill. The foods served at the parties feature the traditional Cypriot foods, an exquisite cuisine that is only found in this part of the world. some of the meals you will get at the Cypriot wedding include;

  • Prosfora
  • Kouloruia
  • Glistarkes
  • Koufetta

People at the wedding reception enjoy local wedding music and dance, with the star of the night being the newlywed dance. During the dance, the guest pin money on the newlywed’s clothes to start them off on their journey as a married couple.

Cyprus presents a perfect exotic idea that you should check out and think of incorporating into your wedding idea.

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