Have you ever wondered what happen at a Greek wedding, when koumbari are involved?
When you hear koumbaros, it refers to the male sponsor, (in other term best man) and koumbara is the female sponsor, (in other term maid of honour). Choosing koumbari is a true honor, but comes with a lot of responsibility. Part of traditions is most often times the koumbaro and koumbara go on to be the godparents of the couple’s first child in the orthodox church as they have strong spiritual connections to the bride and groom as well as financial obligations.
There are different combination of koumbari, so it is up the couple to decide what they would like to do.
All koumbari will give money to the couples and provide all of the followings
- Stefana (Wedding Crowns)
- Two Lampades (candles)
- The Wedding Tray
- Gratitudes to the Priest, Canter and Sexton
- Bomboniere (favors) for the wedding guests
Exchanging of Rings
In a lot of marriage ceremony, exchanging rings is a very important step. Instead of the bride and groom putting the rings on each other, the koumbari and koumeres are the ones responsible to exchange the rings.
The Crowns (Stefana)
In the video below you will see more of how the crowns are exchanged. The crowns are usually joined with ribbons, which symbolizes that the bride and groom will be bound together. The priest usually take the crowns and say a prayer before placing the crowns on the head of the bride and groom. Afterwards the koumbaro or kumbara play an important role by exchanging the crowns and swapping them three times on the heads of the couple, then assist them to walk around the table during the ‘Dance of Isaiah’.
Deciding on koumbari has to be taking seriously, as they will be part of your life for a lifetime. So, before you decide on your koumbaros and kumbaras here are a few questions to ask yourself since the role is a lifetime commitment.
- Is your koumbaro a friend to both the bride and the groom?
- How many koumbari do you want in your bridal party? Just one koumbaro or a combination of koumbari?
- Is your koumbaro Greek Orthodox?
- If you have more than one koumbaro, where will each person stand?
- Do you want your koumbaro to christen your children in the Greek Orthodox Church?
- Is your koumbaro prepared/aware of the financial obligations associated with the role?
If you need help planning your Greek Wedding, We would love to have you part of the our family, so contact us for your complimentary consultation.