May 29, 2015 | By Classic Wedding Invitations
Traditional Wedding Vows and A Day Filled with Joy, Remembrance and Love
Michael and Panagiota Andreadakis celebrated their special day with close family, friends and a cultural connection that was beautifully highlight in the day from the traditional wedding vows to the religious rituals and other wedding traditions that followed. This traditional Cretan wedding was nothing short of incredible with the rich cultural influence and lively atmosphere that was evident throughout the day!
With less than 9 months to organise an engagement and wedding, the couple did an astonishing job at putting together a traditional Cretan wedding! Their special day, September 6 2014, celebrated all aspects of their life, including their cultural background and traditional ceremonies. Their Cretan culture and traditions were a prominent theme through out the day from the lively music and dancing, to the the delectable cuisine . The night was full of joy and happiness, and we wish them many more in the future!
The proposal and the lead up to it was a very sweet and bitter story. Michael had proposed just soon after he had lost his dad. It was a moment of joy and happiness and a moment of sadness and emptiness to know that both your parents could not be there to share your experience and the beginning of your new life. The day of the proposal we were meant to just hang out and watch DVDs but Michael wanted to take me to dinner. I thought something strange was going on so I quickly did my hair and makeup to look half decent and my nails in the car – just in case. We had decided on Othellos Restaurant at South Bank. As we walked towards the restaurant it was raining but Michael continued to walk towards the river. I thought to myself with fustration – its raining, I have a cold, im completely freezing, and all I want to do is eat, so where is he going??). He took me to where I took him to sit on his birthday just before dinner when we first started dating. It then dawned on me and immediately yelled out with excitement ‘OMG you are going to do it aren’t you?” and surely enough he proposed to me with a Cretan Mandinada (Cretan poem).
LEAD UP TO THE WEDDING
The lead up to the wedding was very intense as we had only 9 months to organise an Engagement and Wedding.
INSPIRATION OF WEDDING THEME & TRADITIONS
The inspiration and theme of our wedding derived from our culture and traditions. Both been half Cretan/Cypriot we wanted to incorporate as much as we could. We had traditional wedding vows along with many cultural traditions, food, music etc…
Traditions leading up to the wedding included:
- The week before the wedding we did our Krevati which translates to ‘the dressing of the bed’. This was done by the single bridesmaids and cousins. Each girls sews a red ribbon cross at each corner of the bed, the sheets are layed, money and Newborns/young children are also thrown and rolled on the bed to symbolise wealth and fertility.
Traditions on the wedding day included:
- All of my bridesmaids, flower girl and single ladies wrote their name on the bottom of my shoe. The one that rubbed off by the end of the night was said to be wedded next.
- The boys wore Sarikia (traditional Cretan scarf) over their shoulders symbolising Michaels parents, my love for Cretan dancing and most importantly where we are both from – Crete.
- Red scarf – is wrapped around the bride and groom by relatives to symbolise luck and fertility
- As part of our wedding entrance we offered our guests shots of Commandaria and Raki, traditional drinks of Cyprus and Crete symbolising the welcoming to our event and the beginning of our festivities for the evening
- At the reception we also had traditional Cretan dancing from Panagiota’s dance group – Pancretan Association of Melbourne and a Cypriot wine floor show performed by one of our dear friend.
Some of our special wedding details included:
- I had made a photo pendant of Michaels parents which I had on my bouquet – in loving memory
- Our bonbonierre was a Briki (traditional greek coffee perculator) to complement this Michael godmother arranged traditional wedding biscuits from Cyprus. For us this symbolised the offering of a drink and sweet to our guests, as this would be the first two things you offer guests when they come to visit you at your house.
- Framed family photos from our parents, grandparents and greatgrandparents were placed in the foyer of the reception symbolising the generations.
- I had ordered personalised letter cut outs ‘Mr & Mrs Andreadakis’ for our bridal table
- I had ordered personalised hangers for the mum, girls and myself
- During the lead up to the wedding I had organised a pre wedding shoot with our photographer and reception as a surprise for Michael. I had arranged to dress in full traditional Cretan Costumes. Little to his knowledge I had organised to have this professionally framed and a plaque of Crete engraved with the Mantinada (Cretan poem) he had proposed to me with. I surprised him with this on the day of the wedding where he had proposed and later displayed at the reception
- In the morning we had musicians playing at both houses to kick off the celebrations and also at the church as panagiota arrived and walked into the church. At the brides home the traditional Cypriot band played and at the grooms home the traditional Cretan band.
- I had personalised ‘Mrs Andreadakis Est. 6.9.14’ stickers made and stuck to the inside of my shoes.
I spent endless hours creating things to personalise our wedding.
- I designed and created my own wedding cake, candy buffet and candy thank you boxes.
- As family is a big part of who we both are I had found old photos of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents and framed them to be displayed at the reception.
- I handmade our bridal party invites asking them to be part of our bridal party
- I had made and put together all our table numbers and wishing well suitcase
- I made my own garter
- We had put together bridal party and parent thank you gift boxes for the wedding day
Girls – mirrored jewellery box which included a perfume, earrings, bracelet, ring, personalised named hanger, silk robe and blingy flats (for throughout the day)
Boys – wooden box which included their bow tie, cologne, cigar, and Sariki (Cretan traditional scarf)
- A family friend had helped us put together our church candles and bonbonierres
- We had a personalised engraved lock to place on the lock bridge just where Michael had proposed along South Bank
Been a girl you always dream of what your dress would look like. I spent endless hours looking on social media, wedding dress shops and bridal magazines for ideas.
I tried on only 2 dresses which I decided to cut and paste different aspect of to make my dress.
- Michael and I had booked our church and reception before he proposed. The week before he proposed his cousin got engaged and booked their church. Turns out we both booked the same church on the same day just different times! As the saying goes, great minds think alike!
- Our bed was delivered at 5pm the night before our wedding and left on our floor in slats and bubble wrap…….. At the time this definitely was not funny, but now that we look back all we can do is laugh.
- My sister caught the bouquet and out of pure excitement opened her ‘winners champagne’ which showered most of our guests and completely drenched the MC – which is my boss’ husband!
- Dedicate at least one day a week ‘date nigtht’ where you do not talk about the wedding otherwise you will go crazy.
- Make your wedding about you as a couple and not of other peoples expectations. Do not allow others to get involved!
- Be prepared and always have a Plan A, B and C for when things don’t go to plan or fall through. Remember to breathe as what is meant to be will be.
- Evaluate what are the most important things to spend your money on
And last but not least
- Enjoy your day to the fullest as you will not have the opportunity to feel those emotions, or have those moments again.
CHURCH: St Eustathios Greek Orthodox Church
RECEPTION : Normanby House
PHOTOGRAPHER: Dana Tsokas
VIDEOGRAPHER: Cine Style Studio
BRIDAL ACCESSORIES: Imposters Bridal Jewellery
FLOWERS: Balwyn Events
HAIR: Emmanuel Ammo Hairdressing
CARS: Image Limousines