Cypriot Wedding Traditions You Will Want to Embrace

A bride writes names on the bottom of her shoe, surrounded by her white gown. the names are likely part of a wedding tradition.

Weddings in Cyprus are a beautiful celebration of a couple’s love! Whether you’re cypriot or not, you may want to include some of these Cypriot wedding traditions into your big day.

Red Scarf Blessing (Zosimo)

For this Cypriot wedding tradition, on the day of the wedding, before the Bride leaves for the Wedding ceremony, her parents, bridal party and close friends gather (usually in her or her parents home) and wrap a red scarf around her waist. The scarf is said to symbolise her virginity and transition to married life, as well as to protect against the ‘evil eye’, all whilst musicians play traditional cypriot wedding songs. Meanwhile, at the groom’s home, his Best Man (koumbaro) shaves him surrounded by his closest friends and family. Once shaved, the groom can continue to dress whilst musicians play too, and a red scarf is tied around his waist to declare his fertility. 

Names on the Bride’s shoes

Before the Bride makes her way to the church, she writes the names of her Bridal Party on the sole of her shoe’s and whoever’s name stays inscribed on the bottom the longest is the one who shall be next to get married.

Pinning of Money

As the Bride and Groom perform their first dance as husband and wife, the guest’s have the opportunity to pin money to the couple’s clothes (also known as the ‘Money Dance’) to help them pay for their wedding and to celebrate their newly formed marriage. 

Bouquet & Garter Toss

As with most traditions, at the end of the evening the single ladies gather on the dance floor for the Bride to toss her bouquet with the hopes that whoever catches the bouquet will be the next to be wed. 

Similarly, the Groom, underneath the Bride’s dress, removes her garter with his teeth for which all the single men gather on the dance floor to catch with the hopes that whoever catches the garter will also be the next to get married.

Kourabiedes & Karidato

A Kourabiedes (koo-ra-be-yeh-thes), typically called wedding cookies (and Christmas cookies) are a sweet and crumbly type of shortbread made of flour, sugar, butter, almonds and covered with powdered sugar. 

Karidato (karydato) are a similar sweet treat that are typically coconut flavoured macaron style biscuits often filled with ganache between two macaron layers. These again are a type of biscuit that are individually wrapped and offered as wedding favours for your guests to take away. 


Koufeta are traditional sugar coated almonds that are bagged in little organza bags in odd numbers. For this Cypriot Wedding Traditions, odd numbers are indivisible, and therefore symbolize that the newlyweds will share everything and remain undivided. The egg shape of the almonds represent the fertility and new life which begins with the wedding, and the hardness of the almond is said to represent the endurance of the marriage, whilst the sugar symbolizes the sweetness of their future life.

Greek Dancing

No Cypriot wedding reception is complete without some traditional greek dancing! Whether the Groom and his best men take to the dance floor for Zembikiko, or all of your friends and family dance like Zorba the greek, linking arms at the shoulders (Tsamiko) for a greek song or two, it can easily be incorporated into your wedding night and be some good fun for all those in attendance too.