I was very excited when I photographed my first Orthodox Greek wedding in London, which is full of traditions, religious rituals and symbols. As a second shooter I covered the groom’s preparation.
On the ceremony day I traveled to the groom’s house, where his family and friends gathered together to help him get ready. The groom was shaved and dressed by his best man accompanied by the violinist, who played Greek music. When the groom was ready his parents and family blessed him by crossing the red scarf and wrapped it around the groom three times. A further ritual of the holy smoke took place. The smoking olive leaves were placed in a small chalice and family members waved it over the groom three times as a symbol of blessing. Finally all together began their way to the church.
Marina and Georgie were married at Greek Orthodox Church of All Saints in London, United Kingdom. In the Greek tradition, the bride and groom are honored as queen and king for the day. During the ceremony they wore crowns that were connected with a ribbon to signify the union.
The best man (Koumbaros) led the ceremony along with the priest. He was the one who places the crown on the couple’s heads. He also exchanged the rings between the bride and groom 3 times to remind the couple that in married life, the weaknesses of one are compensated by the strengths of the other and vice versa.
When the ceremony was completed, the bride and groom walked around the altar three times to symbolize the trinity and their first walk as a married couple.
From church we went to wedding reception at London Marriott Grosvenor Square where traditional Greek food was served and guests danced to Greek music in the traditional style.
What I noticed that Greek weddings are large, joyous and full of people sharing their love to their traditions. I adore their strong family relationship and kindness they offer to everyone.