Wedding dresses might have changed over the years, but some customs are still very alive in our region…
The bridal bed is usually laid two days before the wedding. After this is done, the couple should not see each other until the wedding day.
The tradition suggests that young, unmarried women lay the white sheets on the bridal bed. This procedure is repeated several times, because the groom occasionally enters the room to undo the bed, claiming that he is not pleased with the result! In this way the atmosphere gets marrier and more lively, since it is accompanied with jokes and teasings!
It is customary that guests throw money, sugarplums and rice, symbolising financial blooming,fertility and welfare for the couple.
A little boy or a little girl is then thrown on the bed, which symbolises that descendants will come soon. It is believed that if the child thrown on the bed is a boy, then the first baby of the couple will be a boy. If a girl is thrown, it will then be a girl!
The custom of dowry dates back many years ago,but it has almost become extinct nowadays. Decades ago, dowry was very important and sometimes young women with no dowry were left unmarried. Dowry means everything from household equipment ( sheets, blankets, utensils etc) to land, animals and whatever made a girl rich at that time.
Some of the linen of the dowry were made by the bride, for instance tablecloths, curtains etc, which she had been preparing and knitting from a very young age.
In this way women were trained from an early age to become good housewives and it was a way to prove their contribution to the household.
The visit of the grooms single friends called Vlamides takes place…..They bring the traditional kouloura, which is a kind of sweetbread bun, especially made and ornated for the occasion.
One vlamis and the bride are trying to break the bun into two pieces. The one who gets the biggest piece is the winner and the Head of the house!
It is a very popular custom up to the present. The grooms friends bring the bridal shoes to the bride. The bride tries them on, but she complains that they are a bit too big, and money notes have to be placed in the shoes in order to perfectly fit her ! The money that goes into the shoes is then given to the brides friends who helped in the wedding chores!
The grooms friends are allowed to steal various items from the brides house. They may steal glasses, sheets, etc in order to take-as it is believed-the brides good luck to the grooms house. Of course this is a fake stealing that everybody knows about, but the brides friends and relatives are on guard all the time, so as not to let anything out of the house, as the good luck has to stay in the house for the sisters of the bride.
While the groom is getting dressed, some comfits are placed into his pocket. After the wedding they will be given to the unmarried girls,relatives of the groom. On that night,the girls have to put the comfits under their pillow and they will dream of the man they are going to marry, according to the tradition.