Weddings have always been major event on the island.
The union of two young people, the creation of a new family and the children to come move and enchant the islanders.
When the couple set the day, the two families shake hands and, together they begin the preparations.
On the day, two musicians, a violin and a lute, go to the houses of the bride and groom to pick up the relatives and, all together meet the witnesses.
Still singing traditional wedding songs to the music, they all go and pick up the groom and then go to the house of the bride.
There they wait around for a long time, singing and dancing outside her house, until she is ready to make her appearance.
When the bride is ready, they all go to the church together. At the head of the procession walk the bride and her parents followed by the groom and his parents.
The ride is given away at the church door. The groom embraces his new parents and the young people enter the church for the service to begin.
At the end of the service the musicians and guests escort the newly weds to their new home. They then leave them alone and go to the reception where the couple will also arrive later, for the party to begin.
Another custom of the island is the Antigamos (Afterweds). The morning after the wedding the musicians come to the newlyweds’ house to wake them and continue the feasting with the wedding guests.
In recent years many couples decide to hold their nuptials on Koufonisi, either in the traditional or the modern way. They may choose between the Blessed Virgin’s chapel on Kato Koufonisi, where they will go in the suitably decorated excursion boat, and St George’s church on Pano Koufonisi.
On the island a couple can find everything they need for the wedding arrangements, traditional musicians, flower arrangement, traditional pastries, hair and makeup specialists, photography and video recording.
All they need to see to is their wedding clothes.
The same applies to christenings, as more and more people decide to have their babies christened on Koufonisia.