Wedding ceremonies are apt to get away from us. A previously sensible young woman may find herself acting the princess, showing excessive interest in color palates and the wide array of drinking glasses.
It’s the tiny parts of the ceremony that we do without thinking are often the sweetest and most important. Across cultures, acts and artifacts symbolize the couple’s union—their formation of a new family and the commitment they make to each other. In Greek weddings, the bride and groom are joined under crowns linked with ribbon; they are tied to each other and the king and queen of their household. In Hindu weddings, the couple takes seven steps together, each step a vow of faith and sharing that will shape their future. No matter what the rituals, it’s the act of coming together in front of your shared communities that makes a married couple.
Wedding food can also be symbolic—most often of fertility—but also of wealth and purity. It’s not an Italian wedding without confetti—sugared almonds tied into a little purse—that symbolizes a sweet future. But sugared almonds are not just for Italians. Greeks do the same with koufeta as do Middle Eastern couples with mlabas. Whether tossed at the couple or handed to guests as gifts, the wishes are universal—health, fertility, longevity, happiness, wealth.