Today is a special day, I'm getting married to my girlfriend of 15 years. It's all a little odd with Corona measures in place, but we're definitely looking forward to it! We'll have a ceremony for the law but no party and only a handful of people will be there. I will bring her to my altar when we are back home after a lunch organized by my soon-to-be in-laws and we'll pour a libation for the blessing of the Gods. It's not exactly how things went in ancient Hellas, but my girl is not religious and I'll take what I can get!

Marriage in ancient Hellas, and ancient Athens specifically, was a family affair. The father of the groom--who was often in his thirties by the time he got married--opened negotiations with the family of a bride in her teens. The two families came to an agreement about dowry, a contract was signed by the father of the groom and the father of the bride in front of witnesses, and the groom met his new wife--often for the first time--at the marriage ceremony before taking her to bed.

Wedding rituals were diverse, and were directed towards a large number of deities. Zeus Teleios, Hera Teleia, Aphrodite and Artemis would have received sacrifice the night before the wedding. Artemis was offered the girl's toys and playthings, so as to signal the end of her childhood. Both bride and groom took a purificatory bath.

On the day of the wedding, the houses of both parties were decorated with olive and laurel branches. The father of the bride held a sacrifice and banquet. The bride was veiled and wreathed. A young boys whose parents were still alive went 'round with bread in a basket and a thorny wreath on his head, saying 'he had banished evil and found good' as a purification rite. The bride brought a pan, a young boy a sieve, and a mortar and pestle were hung by the door to the bedchamber. The couple received gifts.

A torchlight procession took the bride from the house of her father to the house of her new husband. Songs were sung to Hymen, God of marriage as the bride was transported by cart. The groom's parents would welcome her, feed her cake of sesame and honey, and show her around the house. then, she was introduced to the hearth, and she was showered with nuts and dried figs to signal she was now part of the oikos. Then, the pair retired for the night, for anything but sleep, presumably.

The next day, there was another banquet, and further sacrifice. The pair would also get more presents. Then, the two were officially husband and wife, and procreation could commence.
We will have a party to celebrate our marriage next year, once Corona measures have lessened even more, and hopefully honeymoon some. For now, we will enjoy the day and our small celebration. At the end of the day, the Gods bless love, no matter the ceremony.