When Greek-American girls dream of their wedding day, they often include fantasies of getting married in Greece. Is it the beautiful backdrop of the country, the dancing and food, or the lavish Greek Orthodox churches that inspires Greek-American girls to want to marry in Greece? It is all of the above and more.
There is definitely an dramatic element to getting married in Greece. In fact, even young women who are not Greek have their dream destination weddings in Greece. The raw beauty of the county is a huge factor in chosing Greece as your dream destination for your wedding.
Greek Reporter recently spoke with boutique wedding planner Olympia Giannopoulou, owner of Marry Me in Greece, who explained that the wedding planning business for destination weddings in Greece has seen a steady increase over the past few years. Playing a major role is the increase in tourism throughout Greece due to the geopolitical situations of surrounding countries. Many tourists come to Greece, fall in love with the beauty of the country and most of all, feel safe while visiting. They then choose it as their dream destination to get married.
“Greece has beautiful and amazing spots where you can have a wedding. This unique environment cannot be found anywhere else,” Olympia explained.
Of course, Greek girls are already aware of the beauty of Greece, as many have been visiting the county during the summer months or for other family celebrations their entire life. All of the trips to Greece and stories of their homeland and their family only instill even more the dream of one day having their very own magical Greek wedding in Greece.
Another reason why Greek girls dream of having a wedding in Greece has to do with culture, religion, and the church. As Greek girls are growing up, they will witness that many of their relatives in Greece might not even acknowledge the authenticity of weddings performed outside of the country.
You see, many Greeks, especially those who are older or who live in villages, often believe that the only way that a marriage can be truly blessed by God is to have the wedding performed in a Greek Orthodox church — and only a church in Greece can be trusted as authentic. Many believe that Greek Orthodox churches in other countries are not completely legitimate, in part because they lack in some cultural aspects such as language (as many Greek-Americans do not speak Greek, so church services are often in English as well as Greek). And, if your marriage is not blessed by God, you are living in sin — a topic that all Greek girls want to avoid dealing with at family gatherings, so they always assume that they will have a traditional religious wedding in Greece when they grow up.
Speaking of villages and culture brings about another reason why it is important for them to get married in Greece — pride. There is nothing that makes your family more proud then when you can return to your homeland to celebrate life-altering events, such as your wedding, or a baptism of a child — it just seems more ‘real’ or authentic.
Also, getting married in your family’s village church, or a church named after a saint that is important to your family in the region your family comes from, is a very important part of the equation when planning a wedding in Greece for many Greek girls.
As an example of a Greek-American girl having her fantasy wedding in Greece come true, just last week, Greek-American celebrity, Maria Menounos had her wedding in Greece in the village of where her father was born in the Peloponnese’s Arcadia region. This was actually her second wedding to Keven Undergaro, since the famous TV presenter already married her long-time partner on live TV in New York’s Times Square on the 1st of January this year.
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Truly a magical fairytale. Huge Thanks to @catering.dipnosofistirion @dimitrisskarmoutsos for the most amazing food and for making every dream come true. Everything I had hoped for you took to a level I couldn’t even imagine. Thank you to both Dimitris! #mariaandkevensbigfatgreekwedding
Her wedding in Greece, however, was a traditional religious, Orthodox wedding. Menounos took to Instagram to explain why having a wedding in Greece was so important to her:
“I always wanted to return to Greece and do our wedding here, Greece means so much to us, and our village and our roots,” she explained in the selfie video she posted. “My friends said we don’t need wedding planners, we have friends and we all love you and we want to help you.”
Watch the entire touching post to get even more insight in to why having a wedding in Greece is so important to Greek-American girls: