An Armenian-Greek Wedding in Athens

A very dear friend got married last year on 13th October, 2018 and I had the pleasure of being there and enjoying all the rituals. Now, as this was a private affair, please excuse the lack of pictures as I obviously do not want to post pictures of my friend’s special day, publicly, without informing her! 🙂  An Armenian who grew up in Athens, her husband however is a Cretan Greek. The best kind in my humble and totally biased opinion! 🙂

The day in Athens started out bright and shiny but then things suddenly grew chilly by evening… I had planned to wear a jamdani sari and after landing at my friend’s place where I was instantly shown the way to the iron table, I got to work.  The bride’s father commented on me ironing on behalf of the entire family as the sari just floated all over the kitchen!!! My friend eventually put her wedding dress on and her girl friends all joined to help her as they sang songs and clapped for her. The shoes were another ritual as her guy friends handed her the shoes while she wrote the names of all her unmarried friends on the bottom of the shoes. It was a looooong list! :p

A parting selfie and we all tied ribbons to our cars while we drove in single file, honking along parts of the way so everyone knew exactly what was happening! 🙂 The venue was next to a large park area so the thick cover of trees leant to the moistness and the sudden drop in temperature as it went past 6pm. The bride entered to a roar of claps as her father lead her to her husband. The short oaths were exchanged and we all showered the newly married couple with rose petals and rice kernels.

We moved towards the mezze which was an array of cheese, bustrami or cold meats and traditional Cretan Raki. At this point the amazing cake table was set up and the newly weds cut the cake to our loud cheers!

By the time we were ready to start hopping around to keep ourselves warm, we finally went in and were seated at tables, to be served. We each sat infront of a plate with this lovely gift of Diples, or Greek crispy dough fries, soaked in honey with sesame sprinkled over it. One of my favourite desserts, I can gorge on these so much that my stomach will hurt. Needless to say I started nibbling on mine, even though they were CLEARLY as a take away for later! Next to the diples was a pine cone with the name of the married couple and a thank you note. Our friend wanted us all to decorate our Christmas trees with it. I will just stick it somewhere nice in my room for now…!

I will not do my own recipe on diples today but here is one that I prefer.

The food came in tantalising batches as we were first served the Greek salad with its huge dollop of feta on top! This was followed by argula with scraps of yellow cheese and balsamic cream. Next arrived the pasta salad with mayo to be followed by a rice with vegetables. Popatoes were next served which has been cooked in a beef broth or while the beef had been boiled. Then the beef stew dish made its grand entry, which looked just like one of our curries or even a mutton or beef rezala served at weddings in Dhaka! The dish had nutmeg but the best part was being able to eat it with the lavash bread, just scooping some stew up with the torn off bread piece!

At this point we started to feel totally full but then the bbq-ed chicken arrived, followed by roasted vegetables with balsamic cream. The last item served was a beef bbq, the bride’s father’s special recipe which still left the beef succulent and tasting a bit like it had been boiled. I promise to share the recipe as soon as I get my hands on it…!! 😀

In the end we had to go looking for the cake as the dancing had started and the servers found us on the floor so did not serve us. They didnt know we were simply waiting FOR the cake!  It was fruity and very berry-ish as some pits got stuck in my teeth, the perfect way to enjoy a cake that did not use processed ingredients!

I was supposed to gift my friend a pillow with a printed saying in Armenian that reads: May you grow old using the same pillow.