No 466: Real Wedding: Greek Orthodox Celebration

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I was so delighted when I spotted this wedding on Style Me Pretty earlier this week; rarely does one find a Greek Orthodox wedding in the universe of blogs, and since I'm quite particular about what weddings I feature, it had to be a knock-out. This one, designed by Kristin Banta and captured by Elizabeth Messina, could win the gold for Greek Orthodox celebrations.

The first thing you should know about a traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony, be it a wedding, Easter Mass or a regular old Sunday, is that it is long. We Greeks take the whole holy trinity thing very seriously, and as a result, we do everything three times. It makes it stick better. You probably noticed the crowns tied together, called stefana; the crowns symbolize the glory and honor bestowed on them by God, and the the ribbon signifies the couple's unity. After they are crowning, the priest leads them around the altar (three times, of course) to enjoy their first steps as a married couple. Greek Orthodox ceremonies are steeped in ancient ritual, and are absolutely breath-taking. If you ever have the opportunity to attend a traditional service, I urge you to go.

Now for the details of this gorgeous affair-the couple was married at the Santa Barbara Greek Orthodox Church and celebrated at the Bacara Resort. There was a cocktail hour featuring Greek hors d'oeuvres and a second cocktail hour at the Bacara, followed by an 8 hour reception-all tolled, this wedding was probably a 12 or 13 hour event! Olive and fig trees helped to transform the hotel's ballroom into a Greek courtyard, and all those incredible flowers were designed by R.Jack Balthazar. This marathon party was topped off with In-n-Out burgers and shakes at 3 am, and followed by an elegant outdoor brunch the next day.

Christos Anesti!
(meaning "Christ has Risen", this the traditional Greek Easter greeting)


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