The Greek Lavaliering Ceremony is a tradition that makes the recipient an honorary member of the fraternity
The ceremony is named after Duchesse Louise de la Vallière, a mistress of French King Louis XIV who wore the King's necklace, and therefore the necklace is named after her as well.
Lets be clear - this is a huge deal. If you are a girl and are lavaliered into a fraternity, its a tremendous honor and hardly ever happens. You become an honorary member and are held to a higher standard than other women around the fraternity.
It's also a huge deal because it doesn't happen that often anymore, as the idea of "dating" , being in a serious relationship has become less popular on campus. Millennials have an innate phobia of relationships and are just looking for a "hook-up".
So if you get lavaliered, take it very seriously!
The ceremonies are a beautiful thing and vary greatly in how they are conducted.
Here are some examples of what the ceremony may be like:
- The women might stand around in a circle and pass a lit candle from one member to the next, singing special songs associated with the lavalier to build suspense, until the woman who was laveliered (or has a special announcement), blows it out and makes the announcement
- The first pass is considered the "pinning". The second pas means "lavaliering" and if it makes it around three times it means "engagement".
- You can do the same ceremony but with a rose instead of a candle.
- One type of ceremony is where a pair of brothers and sisters that are close to the couple will give speeches, and then the couple would give a speech
- Another common ceremony includes the brothers all serenading the woman and giving her flowers
- Sometimes the couple will exchange small gifts or write poems or songs for each other
- Some lavaliering ceremonies are more simple, with the guy giving the girl a lavaliere gift and then the other guys pouring beer over his head!
- Other ceremonies end with the girl or guy being thrown in a lake or a river on campus!
Often the ceremony happens on a special day for the fraternity, like the founder's day dinner.
The ceremony is typically very emotional for everyone involved!
Most Greek lavalier recipients are either long-term girlfriends of fraternity brothers, or have been an avid supporter of the fraternity
Lavaliering is considered serious relationship or pre-engagement, and symbolizes a strong commitment and love.
The guy asks his brothers before he can lavalier someone. By requesting permission, he shows his devotion to his fraternity.
Couple should have been together for at least two years and have the potential for marriage.
Some fraternities have the requirement that the guy has to be an active member for a year or two before he can lavalier someone.
Most fraternities have rules that a brother can only give away his lavalier one time, so it has to be special.
Many girls who are lavaliered end up getting married to the brother that did it.
A lavaliered girl is allowed to wear the fraternities Greek block letters around campus
Bestowing on a girl the right to wear the fraternity's greek block letters is a huge deal because from the moment a brother becomes pledge he is taught to value his letters, to be vigilant in protecting what they stand for, and keeping their meaning sacred.
So don't take this honor lightly!
Further, if have been lavaliered, you now represent the fraternity on campus.
Generally a blurb would follow in the campus newspaper under the classifieds in the announcements or Greek section. Something like, "Congratulations to Becky from Alpha Beta Gamma for being lavaliered to Joey from Delta Epsilon Zeta."
The lavalier gift can take many forms
- Heart Shaped Pendant
- Pearl Ring
- Sterling silver pendant with the fraternities greek block letters on it (this is most common)
There is usually a party after the ceremony
Depending on where and when the ceremony is performed, there is usually a massive party of the fraternity and sorority (if the girl is a sorority girl) to celebrate the event.
It will probably feel like a wedding reception and its a good excuse to let loose!