Celebrations for Greeks are an integral part of life. Whether that is a birthday party, a name day celebration, a graduation, a baptism, a wedding or just Sunday lunch Greek celebrations are usually long, loud, joyful and epic. If you are of Greek origin or just lucky to have a lot of Greeks in your life, you must have noticed that each of these celebrations comes with specific wishes and special things to say on each occasion.
And what lies at the top of all these celebrations? Greek weddings of course! A life event so painfully important for Greeks that it’s good enough to become a top-selling film comedy worldwide. Summers usually bring weddings and weddings come with a lot of Greek wishes! Ready to learn the most basic wedding wishes in modern Greek?
Wishes for Greek weddings start early, days or even months before the actual wedding day. Η ώρα η καλή (i ora i kali). Don’t try to translate this directly, because you will more likely come up with something like “the time the good” or “the time is good” maybe. When Greek people say this to engaged couples they mean to wish them great things for their wedding day. It is like saying “I hope that day when you get married is full of luck and good things”.
Να ζήσετε (na zisete)! This is the main phrase to congratulate the married couple. It would be translated as “may you live” but what it actually means to imply is a wish for a long life together that will be full of health and prosperity.
Yes the married couple are the main protagonists in a Greek wedding, but not the only ones! The parents of the groom and bride are such important participants in their children’s joy on that day that Greeks feel the need to congratulate them as well. Να σας ζήσουν (na sas zisoun) is what people say to the couple’s parents. A wish similar to the previous one that means to wish to the parents of the couple a happy, healthy and long life for their children.
Βίον ανθόσπαρτον (vion anthosparton)! This is probably the most beautiful wish in the Greek language. It is a phrase that comes directly from ancient Greek, since the word vios-βίος, which means life, is not really used in modern Greek. People shout this to the married couple when they exit the church after the wedding ceremony has ended. When you say this, you are basically hoping for “a life full of flowers” for the newly married couple.
Άντε και στα δικά σας!