The Greek Orthodox Wedding
Anastasia B Photography has captured many Greek Orthodox Weddings since 2011. Anastasia B Photography is intimate with the entire Greek Orthodox Wedding Ceremony and will artistically capture every moment of your beloved day.
The Exchange of Rings
Anastasia B Photography will capture the blessing and the exchange of your rings. The rings are first blessed by the priest and then exchanged between bride & groom. The rings are blessed by the priest, who touches the foreheads of the Bride and Groom with them. The rings are put on the right hands, and the Koumbaro/a (sponsor) exchanges the rings three times. The exchange signifies that in married life the weakness of one partner will be compensated for by the strength of the other, the imperfections of one by the other. Each will be enriched by the union.
The Lighting of the Candles
Anastasia B Photography will capture the every moment of you wedding day. Wedding candles are an essential component of the Orthodox wedding. The bride and groom each hold a lighted candle during the service. The candles remind the couple of the light of Christ who is with them throughout the sacrament and their coming life together. (The candles can be tied together with a ribbon to symbolize the union of the couple - however this is an older tradition that is no longer used as much).
Anastasia B Photography will capture you and your koumbari as you are crowned in the Greek Orthodox Church. Stefana are used for The Crowning of the couple. The wedding crowns (Stéfana) are the signs of glory and honor with which God crowns the Bride and Groom during the sacrament. The Bride and Groom are crowned as king and queen of their home, which they will rule with wisdom, justice, and integrity. They represent the couple’s giving of one life totally to the other and through the other to Christ. At the end of the wedding service, the crowns are removed from the couple and the priest prays that God will receive these crowns into His Kingdom.
After the priest places the Stéfana on the heads of the Bride and Groom, the Koumbaro exchanges the crowns three times as witness to the sealing of the union. Anastasia B Photography will capture every angle of this beautiful ceremony.
The crown swapping begins with the koumbaro/a behind the bride and groom - and the koumbaro/a places the crowns three times on the head before the procession around the altar. The bride is at left, the groom at right.
The Readings from the Bible
The reading is done after the Crowning. The designated reading from the scriptures is from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians where Paul talks of love and respect. Anastasia B Photography is sensitive to the fact that some priests prefer to not have flash photography during this time and will capture this moment for you with great respect in a photojournalistic approach.
The Drinking of the Common Cup
The Orthodox Wedding tradition ceremony has a ritual of the drinking of the common cup. On the altar table is a wine decanter with wine and a common cup. After the priest reads Bible passages, the priest pours the wine into the single cup and the bride and groom take three sips of wine from the shared cup. As with all the details of your wedding, Anastasia B Photography will capture the traditional cup and the bride and groom as they each drink from the cup.
The ritual of the common cup is based on the wedding of Cana of Galilee, where Jesus turned water into wine. Just as wine was drunk at the wedding in Cana, the Bride and Groom share a common cup of unconsecrated wine, symbolizing the sharing of all that life will bring. The cup represents life and symbolizes they will share everything. Their sorrows will be divided in half and their joy will be doubled.
The Ceremonial Walk
The priest leads the couple, hands joined, in a circle around the holy table as they take their first steps as husband and wife. The circling around the table signifies the promise of the husband and wife to preserve their marriage bond until death parts them. The ceremony is concluded with the priest invoking God’s blessings and removing the crowns. Anastasia B Photography is aware that these are your first steps as husband and wife and will capture you and your koumbari from every angle.
· Lastly, the Proclamation of Husband & Wife.
At the end of the ceremony, the priest removes the crowns and charges the newlyweds to go forward in peace. Anastsia B Photography is there to capture as many priests have you the bride and groom, the koumbari and even the parents kiss the Stefana. This tradition may vary from church to church and Anastasia B Photography is familiar with the varying customs. The priest will separate the Bride and Grooms hands with the bible at this time symbolizing that no one but God can separate you. Anastasia B Photography will capture you and your family as you are announced husband and wife and share your first kiss together.
Anastasia B Photography is based in Greenwich CT and is a Portrait and Event Photographer specializing in Greek Orthodox Baptisms, Weddings, Bar and Bat Mitvah’s, and Sweet 16’s in lower Fairfield CT, Westchester NY, Northern NJ and Boca Raton FL. I hope to see you in front of my lens soon!!