In the past, weddings on Kastellorizo were arranged by older relatives of the bride and groom (apokrousiarithes). They arranged the formal meeting between the two families. The groom with his family, the match makers and musicians (violinists) went to the nifi’s family house to ask the father for permission to marry his daughter. The groom would take flowers for the girl and sweets for her mother. If both families were happy, then they gave logos – a guarantee for the marriage between the groom and bride. After this time, both families met at the nifi’s family house to discuss the dowry (fountas) of both families.
The Wedding was celebrated on a Sunday, in the church of Agios Konstantinos and Eleni. However, many rituals took place before the Wedding ceremony. On the Wednesday before the wedding, they made the bride’s Kouloures – round bread with a hole in the centre. This bread was then distributed to the guests at the Savatovratho and neighbouring homes. Also on that day, the family opened the kassela and displayed the nifi’s prika (dowry). Guests were invited to admire the prika and join in the singing of traditional Kastellorizian songs.
In the early hours of Friday morning, children collected herbs (votania) from the mountains and placed them in a clean white sheet. The votania were then taken to the church to be blessed. Also on this day, single girls prepared the bridal bed with new sheets and pillow cases. Relatives and friends then threw gold coins and votania on the bridal bed. Also, a small baby was placed on the bed. This was for the “good luck” of the wedding. Early Saturday evening, the votania were used to wash the bride’s hair.
At the Savatovratho, traditional songs were sung for the bride and groom. During the evening festivities, the wedding outfits of both the bride and groom were smoked with incense from the votania. Then, everyone was served ‘tis nifis to pilafi’ (the rice dish prepared by the bride).
On the Wedding day, relatives helped to dress the bride. Then, the groom with his family went to the nifi’s house. Both families set on foot to the church, singing traditional Kastellorizian songs. After the Wedding ceremony, everyone went to the bride’s house for the celebrations. Relatives usually gave gold pieces of jewellery for wedding gifts.