Wedding in Crete
We were delighted to be invited to the wedding of Yiannis' and Niki's son George to Yamandula.  We didn't have smart 'wedding clothes' with us but managed to look reasonably smart for the occasion.

6th May - day of the wedding.  It was a beautiful, hot, sunny day. George had provided us with detailed instructions to find the church where the ceremony was to be held. This was just outside Chania - towards the west. The small church was in a picturesque setting on a headland, with the sparkling sea on three sides.  The surrounding area has lovely beaches and calm water for swimming. A popular place for locals with several tavernas and cafes and beach games such as volley ball.

The wedding was at 7 p.m..  When we arrived it was still really hot and there were lots of people still on the beaches and swimming. We felt rather overdressed as we walked from the car park up the hill to the church.

The area outside where the ceremony was to be held had beautiful views out over the sea and was surrounded by tamarisk trees. There were several arrangements of large white candles, decorated with ribbons and flowers. 


 


 

Guests gradually arrived, many looking extremely elegant. The bride arrived in a flower decorated sports car. She looked beautiful as she was escorted to the open air ceremony.


 

The wedding ceremony was quite short. Then we were given rose petals and coloured rice to shower the bride and groom as they circled around with the priest. The priest used the bible to shield himself from the shower of rice.


 


 

The bride, groom and family then stood in line to receive congratulations.  We were given small, white ribbon tied, gifts of almonds. Guest then gave gifts of money in small plain white envelopes.

The wedding photographs were taken as the sun set over the glistening sea.

We then returned to our cars and drove a short distance to the reception.  This was held in a large, modern taverna .  The two hundred plus guests were seated at long tables.  The tables were set with red and white wine, tscouthia (raki) and each guest had a gift of engagement/wedding pastries.

The meal we were served was fantastic. Heaps of starters: cheese platter, crepes, various salads, stuffed vegetables, spinach pies etc. This was followed by piles of lamb, dishes of rice and salad. Then another plate of pork and vegetables arrived. The carafes of wine were refilled before they were empty!


 

All the time we were eating we were entertained with live music and a male and female vocalist, who were excellent.  The sliding roof of the taverna was decorated with lights and was able to either be open to the night sky or closed. There was lots of Greek dancing and everyone had a great time.  The sweet course was set out on long tables and guest helped themselves to beautifully arranged fruit, gateaux and miniature Greek speciality cakes.


 

Throughout the reception the bride and groom and the groom's parents circulated around the tables chatting with guests.

The reception went on well into the early hours. We had a really great time. It was a lovely experience and we were really pleased that we had been invited.

We return to the U.K. on 10th May.  We just look forward to returning as soon as our affairs in England have been finalised.  Thanks for reading about our Cretan experiences.
 

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