May 5, 2015

Underwater Wedding in Crete!

Recently, a couple held a traditional ceremony in Crete with music that included the lyra instrument and traditional rice (gamopilafo) that is widely used for wedding celebrations. There were however, two striking things that made this marriage a unique one. The groom, originally from South Africa and the bride, from Hungary, decided to exchange vows underwater.

The couple who had met a few years earlier while scuba diving, opted to exchange vows wearing their scuba diving suits. The ceremony took place at hotel “Kalypso Cretan Village,” specializing in scuba diving. Crete has always been a preferred destination, not only for weddings, but for people around the world who have “fallen in love” with the island. Since the modification of laws allowing foreigners to purchase property, Greece has enjoyed a steady influx of people; Crete in particular, has become a permanent resident for some, a place of work for others, and a leisurely getaway for those who have bought a vacation home on the island, wishing to relish more frequent and extended stays.

The British make up the majority of expats in Crete, but there are a variety of other nationalities, among them include German, French, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Italian, American and Australian and lets not forget the Chinese, who have been making headlines all year with the trend of group weddings — otherwise known as “Rose weddings.” In April 2014, sixteen Chinese couples from Shanghai were married in Koules Fort — among the most historical monuments in the city of Hania, located near the archaeological site of Aptera and overlooking the Souda Bay in Crete.

Last spring, tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni further welcomed another 16 Chinese couples on board “Elyros” passenger ship, who set sail to Chania for a Rose Wedding. Chinese couples being wed in a group ceremony in Greece have flourished through the Rose Wedding program. The first recorded group marriage took place in 2006 at the village of Oia, Santorini.