Orthodox wedding in Santorini
Once you choose Santorini as your wedding destination, it is time to decide the type of your marriage. Orthodox wedding is the most popular wedding type in Greece. It is shown that 95% of Greeks are Orthodox Christians. There are numerous beautiful churches all over Greece and Santorini specifically. Churches built in amazing beaches and wonderful hills can become the background for your Santorini Orthodox wedding.
There are still some things you should know in order to hold the perfect ceremony. Let’s see.
• Parts of a Greek Orthodox Wedding.
There are two main parts, the engagement and the wedding. The wedding ceremony is performed by an Orthodox priest. The priest guides the couple during the ceremony. Besides the priest, koumparos (means best man is Greek) plays a very important role in an Orthodox wedding. Therefore, you would surely want to choose a most loved person to be your koumparos. The engagement includes the exchange of rings by the koumparos while the priest reads from the Bible. After that, the best man exchanges the stefana (means wedding crowns in Greek). Then the couple drinks wine from one common cup. At the end, the priest proclaims the couple as husband and wife. When the ceremony is complete, the guests throw rice to the newly married as they come out of the church. Thereafter, the guests are treated to sugared almonds called koufeta. It is important you keep in mind that Orthodox Wedding lasts longer than any other type of wedding.
• Orthodox Wedding symbolism.
Greek Orthodox Wedding is considered one of the holy mysteries. It is a holy process in which the couple is united in an eternal union. For that reason, every action during the marriage has a specific symbolism.
– The rings: The best man exchanges the rings three times. This exchange has a deeper meaning. It signifies that one’s weaknesses will be equalized by the other’s strengths.
– The crowns: Stefana are also exchanged by the best man three times. God crowns the husband and wife as king and queen of their home. After the ceremony the crowns are kept by the into a special crown case, called stefanothiki.
– The Bible readings: Throughout the Orthodox Wedding, the priest reads holy passages from the Bible. Most of these readings are referred to love and respect.
– Drinking from one cup: During the ceremony, the couple drinks wine from one common cup. This action is based on the incident in which Jesus turned water into wine in the wedding of Cana. Drinking of one cup means that the married couple will share sorrow and happiness, decadence and prosperity.
– Koufeta: Koufeta are sugared almonds that signify the bittersweet taste of life. After the wedding, bombonieres (the small packages filled with koufeta) are offered to the guests. The amount of koufeta must be of a prime number.
– Rice: After the ceremony, the guests throw rice to the couple. Rice symbolizes the prosperity and wealth of the wedding life.
• Available dates for Orthodox Weddings.
Greeks prefer summer weddings in order to have an outdoor wedding feast. However, there are specific dates that weddings are not allowed to take place by the Orthodox Church due to further religious reasons. These dates are:
40 days before Easter
Great Lent and Holy Week
The 50th day after Easter
Moreover, weddings cannot be performed the day in which the saint’s, after whom the church is named, memory is celebrated
• Needless to say:
It is compulsory that both bride and groom are baptized Orthodox Christians. The best man must be baptized, too.