A Real Greek Wedding

Alykes Travel Blog

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Are You Sure You're Kilt Is On Right ? :D

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.

Ready To Go
Dimitris and Vicky had closed their bar the previous night, and tonight it was to be used just for a private party for both families to meet up before the ceremony. I ended up spending a lot of time with Dimitris' mother and brother, almost making myself coherent in Greek, but there were a load of Vicky's family and friends over from the UK so it turned into a great party in which they seemed determined to drink EVERYTHING that was left in the bar at the end of the season. Vicky ended up coming back with us that night, as we were staying in apartments owned by Dimitris cousin and she would be leaving from there to get married.

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.

Waiting At The Bar
Every one got showered and changed and we went down to the bar under the apartments as there was a coach laid on to take all the travelling guests up to the church which was in Dimitris own village further up in the hills.

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.

Bride Leaving
For us most of the impact was visual, as it was hard to follow in Greek, but my daughter got a big basket full of favours to give out to all the women in the church. They also gave out sugared almonds to everyone.

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.

Arriving At The Church
  

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.

Bride And Groom At The Altar
Then moved onto the whisky bottles and champagne bottles, and it takes some force to smash them properly ;). Great night with traditional dancing, and by then the dance floor was like a gravel pit with all the broken glass. During the dancing when everyone had their arms linked Dimitris uncle woul;d come along with a bottle of whisky or Metaxa and force it in your mouth to take a swig.

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.

Vicky Using Bouquet As A Shield
As the night wore on you got the Brits who were by now steaming drunk :O and not used to playing with guns, having a go as well.

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.

dieforu says:
hehe great job file mou!
Posted on: Mar 21, 2010
Dr_Seuss says:
Cheers Jutta, it was a great night, and a real experience :D
Posted on: Mar 20, 2010
aloneinthecrowd says:
Ian, what a nice blog :) Last year in Crete there was a wedding party going on at a taverna next to the hotel we stayed in. The shooting and music went until early morning. If I wasn't soooo exhausted from the flight I might have enjoyed it ;)
Posted on: Mar 20, 2010
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Are You Sure Youre Kilt Is On Rig…
Are You Sure You're Kilt Is On Ri…
Ready To Go
Ready To Go
Waiting At The Bar
Waiting At The Bar
Bride Leaving
Bride Leaving
Arriving At The Church
Arriving At The Church
Bride And Groom At The Altar
Bride And Groom At The Altar
Vicky Using Bouquet As A Shield
Vicky Using Bouquet As A Shield
Done It Now :O
Done It Now :O
Greeting The Guests
Greeting The Guests
Up At The Church
Up At The Church
Posing On The Steps
Posing On The Steps
Loads Of Photos Taken
Loads Of Photos Taken
First Dance
First Dance
Enjoying It
Enjoying It
At The Reception
At The Reception
Outside The Taverna
Outside The Taverna
Back In The Pub
Back In The Pub
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photo by: Dr_Seuss