In the following section, we will get to know all the old customs concerning Cypriot weddings. The old wedding customs no longer exist.
Matchmaking took place through a matchmaker or a member of the family, who talked to the parents of the bride and tried to convince them. They always considered whether the young man came from a good family, if he had some money and if he was hard working. When he came from another village, then it was the parents’ duty to visit that village and ask people there if he was good or not. Most of the times, the bride’s to be opinion was not considered.
At logiasma, only close relatives were invited, such as godparents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, siblings and the priest, who would conduct a prenuptial agreement. This agreement was regarded legal and this is where the dowry was agreed. After this procedure, followed a feast.
Not everyone was invited to the engagement party. The father of the bride was responsible to provide the house, in which the couple was supposed to live.
Preparations for the wedding
The invitation for the wedding took place a month before the wedding day. The in-laws took on the invitation by offering “tsoureki”, a kind of traditional bread.
On Saturday, before the wedding, the sawing of the couple’s mattress took place. This festive custom included music played by a violin and a lute. People would eat, sing and dance. The mattress was filled with pure wool and 5 or 7 young unmarried women or women that were only married once would sew it together, while all friends and family would sing appropriate songs accompanied by music. All family they placed money on the bed, a custom known as “ploumisma”.
After that, the best men and the maids of honour would dance honouring the sheets. Then the best men would lift the mattress and dance while holding it in their hands. They also placed babies on the mattress; in fact, they rolled baby boys if the couple wanted to have a boy first or a girl if the couple wanted to have a girl.
Preparation of the bride
On Sunday afternoon, just before the couple went to church, the bride got ready for the wedding with the help of her family and friends, her maids of honour (“koumeres”) at her place and accompanied by music (violin and lute). Her parents would give their blessing by crossing a red cloth around her waist.
Preparation of the groom
The groom prepared for the wedding at his house, just like the bride. The barber gave him a shave whilst music was playing and his best man helped him get dressed, namely put his short and jacket on. The best man always sang along with relatives and friends.
After the wedding ceremony, all neighbours were on the streets so as to welcome the newlyweds in their new home, by throwing flowers and offering them rosewater. The wedding reception took place at the couple’s home, and all their family and friends had a wonderful time.
The only custom from the above mentioned customs that still exists, is the preparation of the bride and the groom and the feasts that takes place at the wedding reception.