If you’ve ever been looking at clothes to wear to a wedding and wondered if it’s just a bit too much, or that you’re in danger of upstaging the bride then you’re definitely not Greek. The dress code for a Greek wedding is somewhere along the lines of Liberace meets Barbie. I really thought that I’d gussied myself up good and proper but compared to the rest of the guests I looked like I may have just popped out to the shops for a loaf of bread.
The bridal pair had elected for the short version of the Orthodox ceremony which was a relief for me given that I understood not a word of it and because I should know that I’m too old to stand up for 30 minutes in high-heeled shoes. Everyone meets outside the church and the groom waits at the steps of the church for his bride who hauled herself up about thirty steps wearing shoes that defied gravity. There was a lot of chanting and kissing of the bible and then two crowns tied together with ribbon were passed over their heads by the best man and then the priest and the best man led the couple around the altar three times – it was a bit like a religious version of the hokey-cokey. Then everyone clapped, threw their little bags of rice at the couple and we all left the church to the moonrise over the bay of Nafplion. If you want to have a religious wedding then that’s the place to do it.
After this three hundred guests got into their cars and tooted their horns from the church to the reception five kilometers away. It was held in a place that makes Las Vegas look like Scunthorpe. The only thing that didn’t sparkle was the wedding cake which was five tiers high but decorated very simply with olive leaves scattered around it. The ladies at my table thought that it was a bit plain.
There are no speeches or receiving lines but there’s enough food to mean that no one really needs to eat again until December. And there’s dancing. Actually, there’s a dance but it was still going strong when we left in the middle of the night. It starts with the bride and groom and their parents in a line and then more and more people join in and people leave and more people join and it goes on and on. They may still be dancing now for all I know.