Greek Orthodox Wedding in Cyprus
Planning a Greek Orthodox wedding
You need to plan the date for a Greek Orthodox wedding, as there are certain times of the year when you are not allowed to marry.
Forget the first 2 weeks of August (not difficult as you are likely to melt in the heat unless you choose a mountain church venue, and depending when Easter is in the year you plan to marry, the 40 day fasting period is out, as is the fasting period before Christmas. There are more days when it is not possible to marry in the orthodox tradition, but your wedding coordinator will make you aware if you choose a date which is 'out of bounds'.
If you are superstitious, a leap year is considered unlucky for weddings in the orthodox tradition.
If you go to church regularly, the church you attend would be the preferred venue as far as your priest is concerned, but if you are a Greek Cypriot coming to Cyprus for your wedding, we can arrange some meetings with the priest of the venue of your choice before the actual wedding date, as this is in keeping with tradition and the priest will be happier marrying a couple that he knows, if only for a short time. The couple will need to take holy communion in the church on a day prior to the wedding itself.
Flexibility of a Greek Orthodox wedding
An orthodox wedding is not as flexible as a registry office wedding, or
even an Anglican ceremony, as the ceremony itself is fixed. No you may not have Imagine by John Lennon as you come down the aisle and your best friend may not read out a poem she has written for the day, that will have to wait for the reception, where any way you want it is the order of the day.
The arrangement of the families in the church is similar to any other Christian wedding with the parents, friends and family of the bride on one side of the church with the same on the other side for the grooms contingent.
As with any other Christian wedding the bride is accompanied by her father or a close male relative who will 'give her away' whilst the groom arrives with his best man.
The bridesmaids play an important part in the wedding, and tradition has it that they pay for the actual ceremony itself.
The good news is that an orthodox wedding ceremony is considerably cheaper than an Anglican or Catholic wedding in Cyprus, unless the venue is a particularly posh one.
Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony
The ceremony itself is beautiful and has a lot more going on than just the recital of vows. The couple will first be betrothed, this is the part where the ring is placed on the finger of both bride and groom. They are then given a cup of wine and the 'crowns' (usually a thin band of gold or silver, rather akin to an Olympic laurel crown) are placed on their heads. They are then to kiss the bible and walk around the altar like table three times to signify their belief in the holy trinity and to incorporate the two families into one.
Greek Orthodox wedding reception
The reception is up to you. From a huge affair where everyone your parents have ever spoken to are invited, (the idea being that if everyone in the community contributes a few pounds to the couple, the large portion of the family home will be paid for. Many Cypriot weddings net between
C£30,000 - C£300,000 depending on the social pull the 2 families have. This may seem a very mercenary way of doing things, however the idea of a couple starting their life together without having a good start at least on the housing ladder has contributed in a big way to the Cypriot families economic strength. The guests wait in line to congratulate everyone in the wedding party, who stand in line and shake everyone's hand, sometimes up to six or seven thousand times in one day! ) to a good knees up in the village tradition, where everyone eats, drinks and becomes very merry with singing and dancing and so much food!
Whichever type of wedding fits your circumstances or your desire, whether Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Christian Registry office, Jewish, Muslim, Jain, Budhist, Hindu or none of these, we can help.