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Greek Wedding

There are few wedding services as beautiful and symbolic as that celebrated in the Greek Orthodox faith. The form of the ceremony has been unchanged for hundreds of years and is different from any other wedding service celebrated in Western Europe or North and South America. You may not know that in the Greek Orthodox ceremony, the bride and groom do not make vows to each other: instead, their vows are made to God.

The actual ritual itself has two sections: the Service of Betrothal, which is followed by the Ceremony of the Sacrament of Marriage. The first part centers around the exchanging of wedding rings. The priest will hold the rings in his right hand, and make the sign of the cross over the heads of the couple. The priest will then place the blessed rings on the third fingers of the right (not the left!) hands of the couple. The koumbaro (the couple’s religious sponsor within the Greek Orthodox church) moves the rings back and forth between the bride and groom’s fingers three times. The number three in Christianity symbolizes the Holy Trinity: God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Accordingly, there are many symbolic acts that occur three times, in remembrance.

The Ceremony of the Sacrament of Marriage has several elements to it. At the beginning, the priest will lead the congregation in a few prayers, and then will join the right hands of the bride and groom. Their hands will remain together until the end of the ceremony; the symbolic value of this is to show the couple’s new, unending union.

Next, the bride and groom have stefana, or thin crowns, placed on their heads. These two crowns are connected by a white ribbon and were blessed by the priest before the ceremony. The symbolism of the crowns is the glory that God is placing on them as a newly married couple within His church, and the white ribbon is a symbol of the couple’s newfound unity. As with the rings, the koumbaro will exchange the crowns back and forth between the couple’s heads three times.

After the crowning, the priest will then read the story of Jesus Christ’s first miracle: the wedding at Cana in Galilee. The first miracle that Jesus performed was the transformation of water into wine, which the guests at the wedding then drank. The couple then receives one goblet (called the Common Cup) of wine, and they each drink from this goblet three times.

Next, the priest will take the couple three times around the altar, as a symbol for their first walk together as a married couple. The koumbaro follows the couple, making sure that the stefana remain in place. It is common for the wedding guests to throw rice, or birdseed, or other celebratory items at the couple, at this time.

After the walk is over, the couple receives a blessing from the priest. The stefana are taken off, and the priest separates the couple’s right hands with a Bible, as a symbol that only God can now sever the union that the couple has just created.

If you are the Koumbaro/Koumbara you are required to bring the following items:

Stefana (Wedding Crowns)

 2 Large Lambades and 2 Small Lambades (Decorated Wedding Candles)

Tray (Decorated Silver Tray with Koufetta (and Rice if desired) for the Stefana)

Gratuities for the Priest or Canter

"Aglio e Olio" Grater & Dipping Plate
Product ID : ADA93032
"Anchors Away" Rope Tealight Holder (Set of 4)
Product ID : KA20171NA
"Angel Kisses" Cherub Snow Globe Favor
Product ID : ADA41005
"Best Man" Wedding Transfer
Product ID : WS8517
"Blessings" Elegant Porcelain Cross
Product ID : ADA94040
"Bridesmaid" Two Tone Tote
Product ID : WS8467
"bridesmaid" Wedding Transfer
Product ID : WS7121
"By the Sea" Lighthouse Tea Light Holder
Product ID : KA14037WT
"Celebrate! Martini Style" Cocktail Shaker Set
Product ID : ADA42010
"Cheers to a Great Combination" Wine Set
Product ID : KA11005NA
"Della Terra" Olive Oil Soap
Product ID : ADA75010
"Double Ring Romance" Brushed Photo Frame Favor
Product ID : ADA11001
"Express Your Love" Elegant Icon Favor Box SET OF 24
Product ID : KA28096S
"flower girl" Wedding Transfer
Product ID : WS7122
"Good Wishes" Pearlized Photo Coasters
Product ID : KA27015NA
"La Fromagerie" Cheese Board & Spreader
Product ID : ADA35000
"Let the Adventure Begin" Airplane Bottle Opener
Product ID : KA11254NA
"Love Dove" Salt Cellar
Product ID : ADA93023
"Love is Aflutter" Butterfly Place Card Holder
Product ID : EB1090
"Love" Bottle Opener
Product ID : KA11175NA
"maid Of honor" Wedding Transfer
Product ID : WS7120
"Matron Of Honor" Wedding Transfer
Product ID : WS8523
"Meant to Bee" Personalized Clover Honey SET OF 12
Product ID : KA19018NA
"Oliveto" Olive - Appetizer Plate
Product ID : ADA93030
"Our Adventure Begins" Bottle Stopper
Product ID : KA11145NA
"Ring Bearer" Wedding Transfer
Product ID : WS8518
"Shining Sails" Silver Place Card Holders SET OF 4
Product ID : KA11044NA
"Sweetheart" Porcelain Sugar Bowl
Product ID : ADA93015
"Swish" Cup and Biscotti Plate Favor (Bulk Set of 4)
Product ID : ADA92021
"Taste of the Orchard" Olive Oil Bottle in Gift Box
Product ID : ADA93025
"The Perfect Pair" Porcelain Spoon Rest
Product ID : ADA93022
"Victorian Tea" Porcelain Tea Caddy
Product ID : ADA93020
"Vineyard Estate" Wine Bottle Coaster
Product ID : ADA42012
"With This Ring" Engagement Ring Keychain
Product ID : KA11020
12pc Espresso Set w/hat Box Border Silver
Product ID : MC6MC180
12pc Espresso Set w/hat Box Deco Silver
Product ID : MD6MC008S
2 Cup 2 Saucer In Square Box Classic
Product ID : MD2SQ805
2 Cup 2 Saucer In Square Box Modern
Product ID : MD2SQ810
2 Cup 2 saucer PVC box contempo
Product ID : MD2D25
2 Cup 2 saucer PVC box deco
Product ID : MD2D55
2 Cup 2 saucer PVC box gold
Product ID : MD2D40