Hymenaeus was the god of weddings or, more specifically, of the wedding hymn sung by the bride’s train as she was escorted to the house of the groom.

Residence: Mount Olympus
Symbols: Bridal torch
Parents: Apollo and a Muse
Roman equivalent: Hymen

Eros, Hebe, Heracles and Hymenaeus. Athenian red-figure pyxis, c. 5th BC, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology. (c) theoi.com

Hymenaeus was numbered amongst the Erotes, the youthful, winged gods of love. As a god of song he was usually described as a son of Apollo and one of the Muses. He was supposed to attend every wedding. If he did not, then the marriage would supposedly prove disastrous, so the Greeks would run about calling his name aloud. He presided over many of the weddings in Greek mythology, for all the deities and their children.

Cupid Rekindling the Torch of Hymen, a sculpture by George Rennie. (c) ketrin1407
A Napoleonic wedding medal of 1807, commemorating the marriage of Napoleon’s youngest brother Jérôme Bonaparte to Princess Catharina of Württemberg at Fontainebleau. Cupid and Hymenaeus are depicted.

Back to the Erotes