Crete is the largest island in Greece and one of the most beautiful and famous destinations for couples who are thinking of getting married. Thousands of travelers arrive every year on the island to discover the wonderful natural landscapes and the rich Cretan tradition.
Crete has about 1 million inhabitants and is located in the south of Greece. In the north of the island, you will find the most famous and big cities, such as Heraklion and Chania, while the southern part is famous for its beautiful landscapes and wonderful beaches. South of Crete is the paradise Gavdos, the southernmost island of Europe.
Additionally, Crete is full of world-famous archaeological sites such as the Palace of Knossos and impressive natural locations. What is more, archaeological sites and monuments connect inextricably with history, mythology, legends.
GETTING MARRIED IN CRETE – CRETE’S FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT
The island of Crete is famous for its excellent food. During their vacation couples will have the opportunity to try local Cretan recipes that are famous all over the world! In terms of entertainment, Crete is one of the liveliest destinations in Greece. In the villages and towns of the island, traditional Cretan feasts, parties, festivals, and other interesting cultural events often take place.
GETTING MARRIED IN CRETE TRADITIONS
If you considering getting married in Crete, you will soon find that your choices are literally countless. The excellent infrastructure of the island guarantees the final result, whatever you choose. The idyllic landscapes, the romantic churches, the picturesque chapels, the wonderful places that are waiting to host your wedding reception, but also the honeymoon, become the magical setting that will embrace some of the most beautiful moments of your life.
On the whole, this week we dedicate our blog post to some of the most popular traditions that are followed when a couple is getting married in Crete.
Gamokoulouro (Wedding Cake)
Women ornately made and decorate seven-leavened bread that they knead, especially for the wedding. Traditionally, the bride-to-be kneads it and gives it as a gift to the groomsmen. Today, it adorns the wedding table and has the role of appetizer!
Sariki is an integral part of Cretan traditional men’s clothing. Used to this day by many Cretans, mainly in black, tied to the head or thrown loosely on the shoulders. However, men on the wedding day wear the white sariki as a sign of joy!
Traditionally, gamopilafo is the main dish of every Cretan wedding. It is a simmered meat, in the broth of which the rice boils. Pilaf is by no means a random choice, as it symbolizes the bonding and fertility of the newlyweds.
On the Friday before the wedding, the bride’s friends gathered at the house and prepared her dowry. Today, after the dowry, a night out bachelorette follows!
Balothies are gunshots, often bulletproofs, in the air and is a custom widespread throughout Crete. Thus, Cretan men often fire their guns at weddings and other celebrations and festivals. Balothies are an integral part of the engagement, the wedding, the funeral, the celebration, the birth of a child, etc. Those who follow the custom, fully respect its rules: they do not lend their weapon to anyone and turn away from people when they throw bullets so as not to endanger anyone.
The Way to the Church
The ceremony begins with a procession from the groom’s house accompanied by mantinades (poems consisting of two verses) and rifles. Next, they visit the bride’s house where a mantinada sung by a woman tries to persuade the bride’s family to open the door that until then remains closed. After people exchange kisses and wishes, the ringing of the bell warns the bride and groom that they must go to church.
Last but not least is the informal, unwritten, but inviolable rule of Cretan marriage… the dance! The celebration starts with plenty of food, drinks, and Cretan delicacies and continues until morning.
All in all, weddings in Crete have a way of capturing you. Against the backdrop of this pure and generous island, every wedding looks more friendly and warmer.
The beauty of Crete derives from its sandy beaches, its archaeological sites, Cretans hospitality, and the delicious Mediterranean dishes… All these elements attract couples who consider getting married in Crete.
Furthermore, a wedding in Crete is an enjoyable celebration of love that will surely be unforgettable for every guest.
Are you considering getting married in Crete? Feel free to contact us! We love to assist couples who consider Greece as their destination wedding location!