In most of the Greek city-states,
people were married after dark. The ceremony started with a veiled
bride traveling from her home to her future husband's home. She had to
stand in a slow moving chariot or cart or some wheeled vehicle
all the way. Her family and friends walked behind the chariot. Some
carried gifts. Some carried torches to light the way. Some played
music to scare away evil spirits.
When the wedding party arrived at the
groom's home, the bride ate a bite of an apple to show her basic needs
would now come from her husband. There was more to the ceremony, but
that was the main activity that needed to be done to seal the
When they were married, people feasted
and drank wine and looked at the gifts. Gifts were like wedding gifts
today, household goods and perfumes and vases and baskets.
Wedding were very different in Sparta.
In Sparta, after a short friendly physical fight between the bride and
the groom, the groom won, if the bride wished to be married. The groom
would toss his wife over his shoulder and carry her off. That
concluded the wedding ceremony. Then, like all the Greeks, they
feasted and toasted the new couple.