The church wedding ceremony is a step cementing a loving couple together for the whole life. For most of them the sacrament of such a wedding is much more important than a civil one. And that’s right because in that case your family is being created in the sight of God. How does the wedding ceremony in Greece and Santorini take place and what traditions does it have?
There are plenty of amazing Orthodox churches in Greece and in Santorini among which you can choose the most appropriate for you. According to the traditions, the groom comes to the church first. He is waiting for his love near the entrance. Meanwhile, guests are coming, greeting each other and taking pictures as a keepsake. And finally, the long-desired moment is happening. The bride is coming up to the church with her father or other male relative.
Why is it so important that the bride is given away by her family member?
This is due to the ancient relations to girls in Greece. Before the marriage the bride’s father is the most important man in her life. And this day he gives her away the groom.
The groom is standing to the right of the altar, and the bride to the left of it. The priest is in the middle and is starting the ceremony. According to the Greek tradition, the bride has nothing to say. She has already shown her consent by coming to the ceremony. During the wedding a choirman is singing at the time of the priest’s speech. That creates unusual atmosphere. At this moment the groom takes the bride’s right hand and they are going on to hold their hands. Rings are the symbols of eternity of their unity. The priest blesses the groom and bride’s touching their foreheads with these rings. Then he puts the rings on their fingers, but only until the middle. And the witness takes the rings off and puts them on the bride and groom’s fingers crossing his hands three times. But the first two times he puts them on only until the middle and the third time completely.
In Santorini the important feature at the wedding is stefana. This is two bands tied with a ribbon. During the ceremony the priest blesses the stefana and the groom and bride’s foreheads three times after which the couple kisses the bands. When the bands are put by the priest on the heads it symbolizes that they become a single whole. This is also shown on the ribbon, as if it joins them into one. The witness crosses his hands again three times standing behind and change the stefana on the couple’s heads three times.
There is a very unusual ritual, but with a hidden meaning. The groom takes the bride’s hand, goes around the table, and at this moment guests throw rice to them. This is because the word “rýzi” in Greek language means “rice” and “farewell”. Thus, the guests wish farewell to their family life, “taking root” of the marriage and having good progeny. At this time, the priest reads the Scripture, the witness walks behind the bride and groom crossing his arms and holding stefana over the couple’s heads.
The ceremony in church ends with congratulations of guests, joy and smiles!
To hold a church wedding ceremony without unforeseen circumstances, the organizer will help you to prepare all the necessary documents, organize a transfer, get ready and book the date. The best option is to arrive on the island three days before the ceremony so that you have time to meet the Pater (priest in Greek). In Greece and Santorini a church marriage is amounted to civil marriage, and the day after the ceremony in church you will receive a marriage certificate.
The wedding in Santorini gives you a chance to have a photo session in charming places. And you can also celebrate this important life event, choosing the most suitable place. For example, on a ship or in a banquet hall of a variety of restaurants, the cuisine of which will surely please you.
You also have the opportunity to stay for vacations in Santorini. That’s a good chance to spend a lovely time with the man or woman you love and enjoy this trip. If you wish, you can travel around the Greek islands, which will interest you. You can just feel all the beauty around looking at the Santorini sunset with your loved one… Holding hands and enjoying the taste of delicious local wine, or relaxing in the pool or jacuzzi, with a view of the sea and mountains. Wedding in Greece is the best solution for the most important event in your life!
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