The Orthodox wedding ceremony in Greece, has many religious symbolisms. In every part of Greece, there are many different customs connected to the wedding, during, before or after the ceremony. The customs are too many to be presented here. But what happens during the ceremony?
The Greek Orthodox wedding consists in two parts, the engagement and the stefana (Greek wedding crowns). It is performed by an Orthodox priest. The groom, the bride and the koumparos (Greek best man) are the three people involved. The koumparos exchanges* the rings in the beginning of the sacrament and further on crowns the couple.
Weddings in Greece are usually performed during summer, when weather allows a wedding reception outdoors and the bride to wear a ‘light’ wedding gown. People’s mood is better during summer, too.
Nevertheless, there are some dates during which religious weddings cannot be performed in Greece:
- 18th – 25th of December
- 40 days before Easter
- The 50th day after Easter
- 1st – 15th of August
In addition, weddings cannot be performed on the celebration of the saint after whom the temple is named.
If you are interested in having an Orthodox wedding in Greece, you should know that:
- If you wish to get married in a church, the groom, the bride and the best man have to be baptized as Christian Orthodox. In many cases, the wedding can be performed even if they are Christians of another doctrine, as long as they’re baptized.
- Wedding rings are necessary. They symbolize the eternity of marriage and crowns, which stand for the union of two people, the groom and the bride.
- Right before the end of the wedding ceremony, the guests throw rice to the couple. It symbolizes the wealth in their lives.
- After the ceremony, bombonieres (wedding sugared almonds) are offered to the guests to thank them for attending the wedding ceremony.
According to the above, the Orthodox wedding demands more documents than the civil and the ceremony runs longer.
For more information about the necessary documentation and all required legal part click here.
* The rings are put on the right hands, and the Koumbaros/a exchanges the rings three times. The exchange signifies that in married life the weakness of one partner will be compensated for by the strength of the other, the imperfections of one by the other.
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