Who's Who in the Wedding Party : Part Four of Five

Who knew planning a wedding would be akin to staging a major Broadway production? To help out with your co-directorial debut, I have prepared a cross-section of the wedding day cast of characters. (Keep in mind that most roles can be played by either gender, and by as many people as you want.)

This is actually a really long post in five parts. So enjoy . . .


Huppah Carriers
In Jewish weddings, individuals close to the bride and groom (usually family members or close friends) may hold up the huppah poles during the ceremony. They are often part of the shushavim (see below).


Shushavim
A Jewish term describing anyone close to the bride and groom who helps them plan and prepare for marriage. In many Jewish weddings, there is no traditional wedding party, but certain members of the shushavim (a mom, a sister, a best friend) might perform similar tasks.

Koumbaro/Koumbara  
The Koumbaro is the Eastern Orthodox groom's best man. (The Koumbara is the female version.) Traditionally, the koumbaros was the groom's godfather, but today any close male relative or friend can do the job. In traditional Greek weddings, the koumbaro's role is highly symbolic, and his duties are many. For example, during the crowning ceremony, he must place the crowns on the bride's and groom's heads, then switch the crowns back and forth three times, uniting and binding the two lovebirds.

Vratimi
Basically, they're Greek groomsmen. In traditional Eastern Orthodox weddings, the vratimi is a pack of the groom's male friends who help the koumbaro carry out his traditional role and perform various rituals.


Hattabin
A Muslim term for male family or friends who help prepare the groom for and participate in the wedding. Among Moroccan Muslims, it's common for the hattabin to propose to the bride on the groom's behalf.

CLICK HERE for Part Five

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