Wedding Ceremony in a Greek Church
What makes wedding in Greece so special? Many would say it is the atmosphere of romance and magic as well as the breathtaking scenery. The happily-ever-after starts with the exchange of the corresponding oaths in front of the altar of a church—a declaration of mutual devotion and acceptance, a way to thank the heavens for being able to find each other in this world. The ceremony binds hearts in a way nothing else can, filling people with such happiness they feel connected to their loved ones on an entirely new plane. As if their very hearts start beating in tune with each other.
The wedding ceremony in a church is an obligatory part of the Greek wedding process as a whole. There are not so many couples who prefer civil ceremony to the one taking part in a church, since traditions run deep in the society.
On the eve of the event the church is decorated with flowers and candles that fill the space with their sweet fragrance. A table is placed in front of the altar where the wedding rings, two glasses of wine, the Bible and stefanos are put. By the way, a stefano is a headband consisting of two rims connected with a ribbon. The church portals are whimsically decorated with flowers and garlands. The guests bring rice which they use at the end of the ceremony. The newlyweds are showered with it in attempts to make their marriage “root”. They say, it protects a couple from a possible divorce as well as ensures pregnancy. It is common practice to finish the ceremony with the wishes of luck, health, wealth and all the other things a newly-formed couple may have need of in the future. The quests congratulate the parents of the bride and the bridegroom as well, each one receiving a bonbonniere (a box of candies) in return. After that the newlyweds, their relatives and guests head to a restaurant for a celebratory dinner.