Greek Wedding Guest Etiquette Basics

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Have you received an invitation for a Greek wedding? If so, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to be the best guest you possibly can. Orthodox Christian weddings are beautiful. During the ceremony, two people commit to sharing their lives together by engaging in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. As such, guest should act in a manner that is respectful.

Here are some guidelines for the proper Greek Wedding guest etiquette to follow:

Responding to the Invitation

The first thing to do is respond to the invitation. Most wedding invitations are sent about six weeks before the wedding. Your response is necessary so that the people who are planning all the details can know what to expect.

For example, the reception hall will need a head count so they can determine how much food to prepare. If there is an RSVP date, be sure to respond on or before this date. The date was set for a reason!

Following the Dress Code

If the wedding has a special dress code, the invitation will indicate what it is. For example, some will say “black tie” or “white tie”, which are formal occasions. If the invitation doesn’t say anything, business casual clothing will be the appropriate dress.

Greek Orthodox Churches have a dress code, as well. Business casual attire for men and modest skirts or dresses for the women is the standard mode of dress for a Greek church. If the reception is on the casual side, the appropriate thing to do is to dress for church and then change into your casual clothes for the reception. If the reception is on the formal side, wearing the same outfit in the church that you would wear for the reception is recommended.

Standard of Behavior at a Greek Church

Orthodox Christian Churches are on the formal side. Aside from following the dress code for the church, it is also important to behave properly while there. While it is okay to talk to the other wedding guests before and after the ceremony, people should refrain from talking while the ceremony is underway.

In most Greek Orthodox services, people don’t speak. However, singing any hymns and reciting any of the prayers and responses is encouraged. For more information on the hymns and responses that are in the ceremony, you may want to ask an Orthodox Christian priest.

Giving a Wedding Gift

If you’ve been invited to a Greek wedding, you need to give a gift, regardless if you are able to attend or not. There are several ways you can approach this. Here are some ideas.

  • Give money. One of the most common wedding gifts is money. You can also write a check. These are especially good options if you are unable to attend the wedding. You can enclose a check with a card and send it to the bride and groom.
  • Registry gift. On the invitation, it should say if the bride and groom registered anywhere. If they did and you would like to give a physical gift, choosing one from the registry is encouraged.
  • Be unique. If you know the bride and groom well, or you simply want to be adventurous, you can choose a unique gift that isn’t on the registry. If you don’t know them well, it is best to give money or stick with the registry, though.

When attending a Greek wedding, following these etiquette basics will help you not only have a great time, but you will also make a positive impression on everyone at the wedding.

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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