Economic crisis forces Greeks to skimp on weddings and funerals

By Reuters Staff
February 21, 2013

(Traditional money dance at a Greek wedding, 2 March 2011/Jay Rowden)

Fewer Greeks are walking down the aisle as their country’s deep economic crisis takes a toll on their famously lavish weddings, an age-old ritual that has become an unbearable cost for those struggling to make ends meet.

Religious wedding ceremonies in bell tower chapels overflowing with flowers, meter-high candles and candy wrapped in tulle, are a deeply ingrained tradition in Greece, where the powerful Orthodox Church plays an influential role in society.

But as recession slides into its sixth year, unemployment rises and poverty spreads, a church wedding is a luxury many couples can no longer afford.

For 28-year-old bride Nafsika Koutrokoi, who works at a butcher shop, fulfilling her dream of marrying her fiancé, a cable technician, in church was a difficult decision that required huge sacrifices.

“Things are quite tough right now,” she said after the wedding. “We cut down on many things, from invitations to the reception, on everything.”

Read the full story by Deborah Kyvrikosaios here.
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