The bride spent the morning with her bridesmaids getting ready at her Koumbara’s house (kind of like your godmother/religious sponsor and maid of honor all wrapped up in one). With the main wedding color being bright fuchsia pink, the bridesmaids’ bouquets were made up of hot pink gerbera daisies, while the bride’s was made up of a combination of white and pink, always classic, roses. Once ready, they arrived in style at the church in a Bentley Rolls Royce.
Four talented young musicians from Balmoral Traditional Learning Centre (where the groom’s brother teaches) provided the ceremony music, including selections from Pachebel’s Canon in D as the processional, Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (J.S. Bach) for the signing of the marriage license, and Trumpet Voluntary (J. Clarke) for the recessional. The girls were placed in the choir loft at the back of the church, and as one wedding guest exclaimed, it sounded like “angels from heaven” as they played.
The ceremony itself was beautiful and poignant, with most of the words in ancient Greek. It is a ceremony that has remained unchanged for centuries and is full of symbolism. It included the Service of Betrothal, where the priest blessed the rings followed by the Koumbaro (couple’s religious sponsor and best man) swaps the rings three times between the bride and groom’s fingers, representing the Holy Trinity. It was followed by the Crowning, where the bride and groom are crowned with flowered crowns, or stefana, which are joined by a white ribbon. The ribbon represents the couple's unity and the crowns signify the couple's new role of king and queen of their dynasty (their home and future children); which they should rule with wisdom, justice and integrity. Finally, the priest led the bride and groom on the Ceremonial Walk, where they circle the altar three times, taking their first steps together as man-and-wife.
At the end of the ceremony, the couple escaped the church only to be literally showered by uncooked rice tossed from the many guests who had attended, for good wishes of fertility and felicity.
The reception was also rich in tradition. Held at Calgary’s Glencoe Club, guests had their photos taken upon arrival and wrote messages that will be matched up with their pictures later. One special feature on the signing table was framed photographs of the bride and groom’s engagement photos, along with wedding photos of both of their parents. A simple, yet effective idea to include family heritage.
The delicious cake was made by a friend of the bride. Covered in white fondant, the fuchsia and black geometric designs and pink gerberas helped continue with the bride’s vision for the decor. Although cut prior to dinner, it was served along with the late night snack.
After an amazing dinner, the party really got started! Music is a huge part of any Greek wedding and there was dancing long into the night. A combination of traditional Greek dances and pop music was played throughout the evening to keep everyone entertained. And what Greek wedding would be complete without the breaking of plates for good luck! When guests finally left for the evening, they were able to take favors of olive oil or ouzo, direct from Greece, to which bonbonierres were attached (an odd number of almond candies coated in white chocolate that are wrapped in netting).
It was a wonderful day with an incredible ceremony followed by a fabulous evening of fun and laughter! Even the weather was beautiful with sunny skies, perfect for the wedding photos. What more could a couple ask for? On behalf of Creative Weddings and Occasions, we wish Pete and Penny all the best as they begin this new chapter of their lives together. Congratulations!
---------------------------------------------------Cathy MacRae is a certified wedding and event planner, and owner of Creative Weddings and Occasions and Del Sol Destination Weddings. Located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, she plans wedding for couples in and around the Calgary and Banff area. She is also a destination wedding and honeymoon travel specialist helping couples plan their weddings in paradise all around the world. For more information about planning your own wedding or for advice from Cathy, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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