The Orthodox Wedding Ceremony in Greece has many religious symbolisms. In each part of Greece, there are many different customs that are connected with the wedding, during, before or after the ceremony. These customs are too many to be presented here.
The Greek Orthodox wedding, consists of two parts, the bonding and the crowns (greek wedding crowns). It is carried out by an orthodox priest. The groom, the bride and the best man are the three people involved. The best man exchanges the rings and the wedding crowns of the couple.
There are certain dates when religious weddings cannot be carried out in Greece:
- 18 – 25 of December
- the 40th day before the Easter
- the 50th day after the Easter
- 1 – 15 of August
- In addition, there cannot be a wedding during a saint’s day, if the temple is named after him.
If you wish to get married in a church, the bride, the groom and the best man have to be baptized as Orthodox Christians. In many cases, the wedding can be carried out even if they are Christians from other dogmas, with the condition that they are baptized.
The wedding rings are necessary. They symbolize the eternity of the wedding and the crowns, which represent the uniting of two people, the groom and the bride.
Some time before the end of the wedding ceremony, the guests throw rice at the couple. Rice symbolizes the riches in the couple’s life.
After the ceremony, it is customary to offer some “bobonieres” to the guests (almonds with sugar or other sweet cover) to thank them that they attended the wedding ceremony.
The necessary documents for the Orthodox wedding ceremony:
- Passport (copy of both parties)
- The baptism archives of both parties) (you ought to be baptized as Christians, in order to have an Orthodox wedding ceremony in Greece)
- Complete certificate of wedding of the bride and the groom (with both names of the each one’s parents)
- A letter from your church that certifies that you have not been previously married, formally certified by the bishop of the city of your stay. It has to include that you can have a wedding in Greece.
- A certificate of non-obstruction of the wedding by the municipality where you belong, the county office or the city hall.
- If one or both parties have had been married before, you have to consider a certificate of divorce or certified copy of the final decree of divorce by the civil and religious authorities.
- A formal document from the Court if you have changed your name.
- Certificate of adoption, poll certificate or death certificate (if there is one).
- Copy of the newspaper in which the wedding announcement was published, if it is required by the local churches and priests.
Note: All the documents (except for your travel documents) need to be proven for their originality by the “Apostille” stamp and be sent to us 6 weeks before the wedding.