Have you ever dreamed of having a beautiful, intimate wedding in a different country?
In this blog Thedi Papaioannou shares her tips on how to have the perfect micro wedding in Greece. She also shares some fascinating Greek wedding traditions.
What is a micro wedding?
Let’s start from the basics: a micro weeding is practically the same concept as a conventional wedding, though with a maximum of 20 guests. The trend is usually 12-15 guests.
It is not to be confused with an elopement, an ‘intimate’ wedding or a minimony. The main differences are that an elopement is usually done on a whim or secretly and only has 2 witnesses. An intimate wedding usually has 30-60 guests. A minimony on the other hand, is a moment of commitment with a maximum of 10 guests, with no ceremony included.
Having a lower number of guests at a micro wedding makes it a much more relaxed experience, yet some level of planning is required nonetheless.
A lot of people seem to think that a micro wedding abroad can considerably add to the cost. In reality, it can actually end up costing less than if it was done in the United Kingdom. The cost for a micro wedding for 12 guests in Greece could actually start at an impressive £2,500. That would include the ceremony, accommodation for that day and a small reception. Off course, this cost may increase depending on the destination, as well as the number of guests, personal preferences and additions.
10 reasons one should consider a micro wedding in Greece
1. The planning is so much easier for a micro wedding. Ideally one should plan 2-3 months ahead, but it is also doable within 2-3 weeks.
2. It is quite flexible. For example if there is a summer storm (though that doesn’t happen very often!), one can easily change the wedding venue.
3. As it only entails a maximum of 20 guests, the anxiety level a bride might feel is way less.
4. It is truly intimate, as the guests are your most favourite people in the world: your family, and your close friends.
5. Quality vs Quantity. Having fewer guests’ means you can offer better quality and high-end services to those closest to you.
6. No reason to panic on a wedding timetable. Even if something runs a little bit behind in schedule and there is an alteration in the timetable, this is easily communicated to all the guests.
7. A wedding day is something all couples want to remember, and capturing these moments is a must for every couple. By investing in photography shoots and videographers, the newly-weds will have plenty of time for multiple shoots that focus on them as the main theme, and not only on their guests.
8. The couple gets to choose the venue of their dreams. Whether it’s a neoclassical building in Athens below the Parthenon and the Acropolis, a historical estate on the quaintly traditional island of Evia, or a luxury villa in more widely popular destinations like Mykonos or Santorini, they will definitely have stories to tell about their wedding day.
9. A culinary experience. Having fewer guests means more opportunities. So maybe the wedding dinner could be created by a Michelin-star chef?
10. It’s simple mathematics: the fewer the guests the more financially manageable the wedding will be.
Greek Wedding traditions
Since you are considering a micro wedding in Greece, here are some local wedding traditions you may want to incorporate on your special day:
· Bridal Shoes: It is customary for the bride to write the names of her unmarried girl friends on the sole of her wedding shoes. Tradition has it that the name that is erased is the one who gets married next. Very similar to tossing the bouquet!
· The koumpari (Best Man and Maid of Honor) are actually the ones who pay for the church decorations. This includes flowers, ‘lampades’ (special candles for the wedding ceremony) as well as the ‘stefana’ (marital crowns).
· Throwing of rice. It is customary that when the wedding is finished, and the priest has pronounced the couple husband and wife, the guests throw (uncooked!) rice at them. This symbolizes good luck, fertility and adundance.
· Martyrika & bombonieres: gifts given by the couple and koumpari to end the festivities on a sweet note.
· Martyrika are small lapel pins that are given out by the koumpari to the guests to show they have witnessed the ceremony. Nowadays they can be personalized but traditionally it is a white, pink or blue ribbon holding a small cross and a blue eye together.
· Bombonieres are a small parcel/packaging of some sort, basically containing traditionally sugar-coated almonds. They are a symbol of health, wealth and love. The almonds represent any bitterness in life while the outer sugary coating is to keep the newlewds' life full of sweetness. The outer coating is also hard to indicate the lasting strength of the marriage, and is shaped like an egg to represent fertility.
· The making of the bed before the wedding: It is customary for the bride’s family and friends to visit the couple’s new home on the Thursday before they wed. The women attending this event make up the bed with new fresh white sheets. As soon as it is ready they throw rose petals, money and rice as symbols of good luck. They also sometimes lay a little child on the bed. This is believed to bring fertility to the new couple. The night after the wedding the groom has to strip the bed three times. They say this will make his dream come true.
All in all, having a micro wedding in Greece can grace you with an exciting and unique in nature wedding experience for you, your loved one and your esteemed guests. The combination of a very special and authentic wedding day with the whole travel experience will certainly provide you and them with many precious memories to be cherished for a lifetime ahead.
About the author:
Thedi has a wealth of experience of all things Greek. She runs a bespoke Travel Consultancy for Greek travel; and can offer any level of help you might require for your trip: from advice and insights into amazing locations and villas; to fully bespoke itineraries.
If you are considering a wedding in Greece Thedi can help you with all aspects of your trip including accommodation, and advising on the formalities of the wedding. She can also put you in touch with (and work closely with) local wedding planners if you would like help with the finer details such as dealing with suppliers etc.
For more details, Thedi's website is here
Thanks for reading!