Weddings are a unique and special experience for each couple who wants to celebrate their love with their closest family and friends. The great idea is to incorporate local Cypriot customs into the wedding ceremony creating an exceptional and memorable experience. Here are some suggestions for incorporating Cypriot customs into your luxury wedding ceremony.
Food and drinks are a must for every gathering, especially at a wedding. Consider serving “Resi” at your wedding, a traditional delicacy. It is a kind of pilaf, made with wheat and beef. Another delicious food is “Koupepia” or “Anthoi”. Koupepia is stuffed grape leaves and anthoi are stuffed zucchini flowers with meat and rice. In addition, serve “Halloumi“, a Cypriot traditional cheese, made from goat’s and sheep’s milk. Another tasty treat is “Afelia”, cubed pork meat marinated in coriander and red wine.
Moving on to desserts, some delightful sweets are “Loukoumades”, “Spoon sweets” and “Shioushioukos”. Loukoumades are deep-fried yeast dough doused in syrup. You can serve it with ice cream, chocolate, or honey. Spoon sweets are usually made from fruits cooked in sugar and preserved in syrup. Shioushioukos is made of threaded almonds, dipped into “Palouzes”, a mixture of grape must, rosewater, cinnamon, and mastic.
In Cyprus, before the wedding service that usually takes place in a church or a municipality, the bride and groom are graced by their family and friends’ blessings. This concept is called “Zomata” and takes place at the bride and groom’s parent’s house.
Friends and family are gathered at the groom’s house helping him to get ready along with the music of violin and lute. His clothes are placed in a basket, called “Tsesto” covered in a red scarf. The groom’s mother is blessing the clothes by smoking them out. Three women and three men are holding the basket, each at a different time, dancing in a circle, 3 times around the groom while music is playing. Then, friends and family cross around the chest of the groom, the red scarf, 3 times each. This is the parent’s farewell to the groom. It also symbolizes protection from evil, the purity of the couple and the transition from their single life to their married one.
The same proceedings take place at the bride’s house, with the exception that the bride writes on the sole of her shoes the names of her unmarried friends. Rarely, the bride is taken to the church by a donkey, instead of a car.
At the end of the wedding service, when the bride and groom enter their life as husband and wife, “Koufetta” is given to the guests. Koufetta is sugared almonds wrapped in a small bag. They embody fertility, endurance, and purity. The odd-numbered almonds mirror the unity of the couple.
At the wedding dinner, music is an undivided element of the party. Invite traditional, professional dancers to present a dance performance such as “Kartzilamas”, “Tatsia”, or “Sickle dance”.
A wedding day is dedicated to the groom and bride. You, together, are planning this day for you to enjoy. Whichever way you choose to go, we, at Luxury Weddings Abroad, are here to help you and make your day unforgettable. Make sure to call us and arrange an appointment.