A Real Greek Wedding
Alykes Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
After arriving in Alykes in the middle of the afternoon, we sorted ourselves and decided to head out early and let the lack of sleep from travelling catch up later. Went round the village,popped in and let Dimitris and Vicky know we'd arrived, and then went and met a few folk we know and went to get something to eat. Headed to The Jungle Bar and spent the night in there, catching up again with Vicky's mum and dad and her brother, whom we had met before. Earlyish night, but not as early as intended.
Friday we spent down on the beach, and although it wasn't roasting it was actually quite pleasant. Showered after the beach and grabbed a couple of hours siesta before going out for a meal.
Saturday we just went about things as normal as the wedding wasn't until 5pm. Down on the beach we eventually had to say to the kids at half past two that it was time to go up and get ready.
Car arrived and Vicky, escorted by her dad, set off while the rest of us piled onto the bus. Bus stopped at the gates of the church, and as we walked in there was constant gun fire as seemingly everyone there who owned a firearm had brought it along and they were firing them off into the air, apparently to ward off evil spirits. By the time we had all filed into the church the ceremony had already started.
Not as formal as weddings here, as folk went up to talk to each other,took photographs or went out for a cigarette in the middle of the ceremony.
As a conclusion to the wedding the bride and groom and priest all join hands and walk round the altar three times. The sugared almonds are meant to be thrown gently for luck, but this is not always the case, and Dimitris had previous at other peoples weddings and the almonds were fired like missiles at them. Really funny as Dimitris was in the middle holding hand with both the priest and Vicky and was unprotected, but to watch as the priest used his bible and Vicky using her bouquet to avoid being pelted in the face by them :D. Wish it would catch on here, would add a bit more fun to weddings.
Across the island, so as not to cause offence to anyone in their own villages, wedding receptions are usually held in a neighbouring village, so we all got on the bus at the church and it took us to the resort of Tsilivi and to a taverna there. It was all set up and there were bottles of wine and champagne on all the tables. A slight quirk of whose guest we were, bride or groom, saw us stuck at a table at the side of the top table on the Greek side, while all the othe guests from the UK were on the other side of the taverna :D. A lovely meal and the night started and there was much drink flowing. The greeks then started to smashing their drink glasses on the tiled dance floor, with the Brits quickly picking up on it.
A lot of the guns from the church had dound their way down to Tsilivi, and obviously weren't meant to be as you would see the shot guns being stashed in at the back of flower pots. Every so often though they would grab them and go out onto the street outside and fire them over the roofs of the apartments across the road. This was a busy tourist resort, and at one point when I was outside they stood and waited for a woman pushing a baby in a buggy to go past the front of the restaurant before shoting them off.
Still it was great fun, and although now they are meant to use napkins to throw,instead of smashing plates, Dimitris kept going into the kitchen and bring out stacks of plates and just smashing the lot of them on the dance floor. The night was going brilliantly, when all of a sudden just after midnight the lights in the taverna went on and it was explained that the owner of the place had decided enough damage had been done. There were a few quick speaches as people polished off the drinks they had left, and then we had to try and find a way back as the bus wasn't due back for another couple of hours. Most folk were happy to go to a few bars in Tsilivi, but with the kids with us we decided to get a taxi back to Alykes, though we did stop off at one of the bars there ;) .
A whole different cultuaral experience, and I'm so glad I went, and even more grateful that my kids got to join in on it as well, as it's probably something they will remember for the rest of their lives.