Greek Wedding Traditions
A Greek wedding is a special one. The wedding day consists of many rituals that have not changed throughout history – the sacrament of the Orthodox Greek wedding ceremony has survived throughout the centuries. Everything has its own meaning and symbolism. I am by no means a wedding expert, but let me tell you about the main things to be observed.
First of all, even the day matters – Greeks usually hold their wedding ceremonies in Saturday or Sunday evenings. If you can’t make it on those days, you should definitely avoid the periods when it’s forbidden to get married in the Greek Orthodox church: the fasting periods (40 days before Easter and 40 days before Christmas) and the first 15 days of August before Panayia (a celebration devoted to The Holy Virgin), August 29 (Beheading of St. John the Baptist), September 14 (Exaltation of the Holy Cross).
The ceremony itself is a very spiritual one and it has been following the same steps throughout the history of the Greek Orthodox Church. Some say that the ceremony is rather long, but there is definite symbolism behind every ritual performed. Afterwards, the two believers are joined into one in the eyes of God. The marriage ceremony consists of
- The Exchange of Rings
- The lighting of the Candles
- The Crowning
- The Readings from the Bible
- The Drinking of the Common Cup
- The Ceremonial Walk
- The Proclamation of Husband & Wife.
Moreover, it is customary to have a long celebration after the wedding (it might run for a couple of days). Of course, I doubt I could fully explain the traditions related to the ceremony in a short blog post, but if you need help with that you can walk into any church in Santorini and they will gladly explain everything in detail – the biggest and most beautiful is the magnificent Orthodox Cathedral located in the centre of Fira. What I know for sure is that Santorini is a very scenic place for holding wedding ceremonies, and I can truly recommend coming here for a special wedding! Make sure you devote some time to a wedding photo session between the wedding preparations and ceremonies.
Photos from Santorini portrait session in Firostefani with Lynsey and Andreas.