Greek Weddings a Wedding Photographer’s view
Greek weddings are always fun to photograph and as a London wedding photographer I love to photograph them. There is always so much happening and the dancing is just amazing. I find it a real privelege to experience so many different traditions at weddings, Italian, Jewish & Greek weddings in particular offer so much for a wedding photographer to explore and capture.
Last weekend’s wedding was no exception. Bride Maria looked absolutely stunning.Groom Robert proved he could cope admirably with all of the Greek dancing. The wedding ceremony was at the Twelve Apostles in Brookmans Park. The reception was held at Knebworth House.
Here are a few images from a Greek Orthodox wedding that I had the pleasure to photograph a few years back at the Twelve Apostles greek orthodox church in Brookmans Park.
As the couple dress for the ceremony, they may be serenaded with traditional songs. The red scarf that is tied around the groom before he sets off to the church symbolises his fertility. It is wrapped around the groom three times by his parents and close family and friends.
The sugar coated almonds which will later be offered to the guests are also symbolic. The white symbolises purity, the egg shape represents fertility and the new life which begins with marriage. The hardness of the almond represents the endurance of marriage and the sweetness of the sugar symbolises the sweetness of future life. The odd number of almonds is indivisible, just as a couple the bride and groom shall remain undivided. After the ceremony the almonds and ribbon are shared amongst the single women who apparently if the ribbon is placed under their pillow that night they will see in their dreams the man they will marry.
The ceremony in Greek Orthodox weddings in divided into two parts: the Betrothal and the Crowning. The Betrothal Service consists of blessing the rings over the heads of the bride and groom. Then they are exchanged three times by their Koumbaros or best man. The Crowning is the main part of the ceremony where the couple is crowned by garland wreaths, vines wrapped in silver or gold paper or even crowns made of semi-precious stones and metals. A white ribbon symbolizing unity joins the crowns. The crowns are packed in a special box after the ceremony. By ancient custom they are to stay with the couple for life – some couples are even buried in them.
There is a traditional money dance at the reception where people dance with either the bride or groom, pinning money to their clothes.This dance is performed half way through the night by the newly- weds to honour their guests. It is also a chance for their guests whilst the couple is dancing to pin money on them as a gift.
This final photograph has nothing to do with tradition but I include it as it was taken at this wedding during the dancing and it is a personal favourite of mine.