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Non-religious Greek wedding - ideas

Hi all!
My fiance is Greek Orthodox, and I'm not (I'm Protestant). We decided we wouldn't go all out with the traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony on our wedding day (he's not very religious), but we'll be doing a smaller more intimate ceremony in the church beforehand to honor the tradition. For the big day, it will be less formal, though I'd love to still incorporate a nod to the religious ceremony and Greek tradition somehow, possibly by wearing a stefana crown as part of my veil. 

Has anyone seen anything like this? Any suggestions on where to find something? I haven't found much yet online. I normally wouldn't like any kind of headpiece as wedding attire, but would love something simple to honor on the day of.

Any other ideas on ways to have a connection between the religious tradition we're doing beforehand and the simple ceremony the day of?

Thanks!

Re: Non-religious Greek wedding - ideas

  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited June 2017
    Knottie23f8bab498cde8be said:





    Hi all!
    My fiance is Greek Orthodox, and I'm not (I'm Protestant). We decided we wouldn't go all out with the traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony on our wedding day (he's not very religious), but we'll be doing a smaller more intimate ceremony in the church beforehand to honor the tradition. For the big day, it will be less formal, though I'd love to still incorporate a nod to the religious ceremony and Greek tradition somehow, possibly by wearing a stefana crown as part of my veil. 

    Has anyone seen anything like this? Any suggestions on where to find something? I haven't found much yet online. I normally wouldn't like any kind of headpiece as wedding attire, but would love something simple to honor on the day of.

    Any other ideas on ways to have a connection between the religious tradition we're doing beforehand and the simple ceremony the day of?

    Thanks!






    You get one wedding day.  That is the day you will be legally married.  You aren't clear which day this will be.

    In the Greek Orthodox Church, marriage is a Holy Sacrament.  This will be very important to your FI's family if they are religious because it is a LOT more than a "tradition".  Is this your legal wedding?  Has the priest consented?

    Marriage is not one of the three recognized Sacraments in the Protestant Christian faith.  It is a blessing of a civil contract (marriage).  This is why there are so few rules about marriage ceremonies in the protestant churches.  If the Greek Orthodox ceremony is your legal wedding, then I do not understand why you need to do a second ceremony.  Greek Orthodox ceremonies are valid in both the Protestant and Catholic churches.

    Please get back to us with more information.  I am confused, and I think your guests will be, too.  Are you asking us to help you with your wedding dress, or a reception dress?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    InLoveInQueensSP29ei34
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited June 2017
    My daughter married a man with Chinese heritage.  She did not dress up like a traditional Chinese bride.  I think it might have offended his family if she had.

    Greek Orthodox weddings are a very important sacrament to the believers.  The stefana crown has religious symbolism.  It is not just a costume.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    southernbelle0915InLoveInQueensSP29ei34
  • My groom's family is Macedonian Orthodox - pretty much akin to Greek Orthodox - and we are holding some traditions, but not all.  For other reasons, we also had to have a small ceremony beforehand.  Do what's right for you to honor what you need to.  Neither of us is particularly religious but we are doing a "bread dance" and that is thick with religious tradition and symbolism for the bride and groom and deals a lot with fertility.  Everyone knows we don't want kids, but we are doing it to honor the tradition of his heritage.  Wearing a stefana crown would be so, so beautiful.  Check with his family and see what they thing - what traditions would they like to see held over?  There are some we still honor, but some that have fallen by the wayside.  You'll be beautiful and love your day, regardless : )
  • "Having a small ceremony beforehand" smells an awful lot like, "Our legally binding ceremony was in the church". 
    InLoveInQueensei34
  • Sorry, I have to chime in as an agnostic Greek. I am having a non-denominational wedding and I am incorporating stefana into my ceremony. The reason I feel comfortable with this is because stefana did NOT originate in the Greek Orthodox religion - they are a tradition that is derived from ancient Greece and were originally used with olive branches, lemon leaves, and even asparagus in some parts of Ancient Greece. The origins do not lie within the Greek Orthodox church, the GO church continues the tradition despite being a different religion.

    This is not 'cultural appropriation' seeing as her FI is Greek. For me, it is a way to honour my Greek roots in my own ceremony that is not religious. I am making something new with something that has been in my culture for thousands of years.  

    In terms of having two ceremonies - do what you want! If that makes you feel happy and comfortable, then do it! 
    korinda76knottie6ed6df8a56a12672
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Sorry, I have to chime in as an agnostic Greek. I am having a non-denominational wedding and I am incorporating stefana into my ceremony. The reason I feel comfortable with this is because stefana did NOT originate in the Greek Orthodox religion - they are a tradition that is derived from ancient Greece and were originally used with olive branches, lemon leaves, and even asparagus in some parts of Ancient Greece. The origins do not lie within the Greek Orthodox church, the GO church continues the tradition despite being a different religion.

    This is not 'cultural appropriation' seeing as her FI is Greek. For me, it is a way to honour my Greek roots in my own ceremony that is not religious. I am making something new with something that has been in my culture for thousands of years.  

    In terms of having two ceremonies - do what you want! If that makes you feel happy and comfortable, then do it! 
    But what about your guests' happiness and comfort?  If you don't want to worry about that, then elope.  As soon as guests are involved, it's not just about you.  It's rude and unkind to deceive guests into thinking they're watching you get married when you're already husband and wife.  There can't be two ceremonies, you can only get married once (not counting people that divorce or are widowed).

    And I think the stefana is different for you because you're actually Greek.  OP isn't.  She could wear something from her own culture, or her FI could wear something in the Greek tradition.
    ahoywedding

  • But what about your guests' happiness and comfort?  If you don't want to worry about that, then elope.  As soon as guests are involved, it's not just about you.  It's rude and unkind to deceive guests into thinking they're watching you get married when you're already husband and wife.  There can't be two ceremonies, you can only get married once (not counting people that divorce or are widowed).

    And I think the stefana is different for you because you're actually Greek.  OP isn't.  She could wear something from her own culture, or her FI could wear something in the Greek tradition.
    Okay so the way I imagine it, is the GO ceremony would happen at another time prior with close family. If that is what family wants and is comfortable with it, than that is their right and their choice. If that confuses you, that's fine, but you're not a guest at their wedding. chances are, this will not confuse most people or make them uncomfortable because people have better things to concern themselves with. 

    In addition, several GO people do the GO ceremony after their civil or non-denominational one. From my understanding, it is not uncommon to do this in many cultures either - especially if circumstance permits this. What is the difference if you do it before (if the church permits) as a symbol as opposed to after? I have a cousin who had a civil ceremony in Greece to get her husband's immigration process started prior to her flying back to Canada. When he was granted permanent status, they had their religious ceremony and reception with her family and friends here. I can tell you nobody was confused or uncomfortable at the wedding - it was very clear that their circumstances warranted this. In this case, OP and FI (who IS Greek) are finding a way to honour both cultures and traditions within the purview of strict GO rules. There is no collaboration with other religions or churches in the GO church.

  • I should also add that I am a huge believer that weddings aren't 100% about the bride and groom, however it IS mostly about what the bride and groom want and how they would like to celebrate their love. At a certain point, it is unproductive to worry about how your guests are going to perceive various things because people have different opinions. This does NOT mean you should elope because it is IMPOSSIBLE to make everyone comfortable and happy at a wedding. That logic is completely flawed. 
  • I should also add that I am a huge believer that weddings aren't 100% about the bride and groom, however it IS mostly about what the bride and groom want and how they would like to celebrate their love. At a certain point, it is unproductive to worry about how your guests are going to perceive various things because people have different opinions. This does NOT mean you should elope because it is IMPOSSIBLE to make everyone comfortable and happy at a wedding. That logic is completely flawed. 
    Would you host a party and say "screw what would make our guests comfortable, it's OUR party and we'll host how WE want!"? Once guests are invited to ANY event, their comfort has to be considered. Their every whim does not have to be catered to, but their overall comfort should take priority.

    If OP isn't religious, then her wearing a Greek Orthodox crown is a little appropriate-y, especially when she says she doesn't plan to convert. I have a friend who married a Jewish man, but she did convert (I think after the wedding, not sure of how that works) so her participating in symbolic parts of the ceremony was fine. Also, having the religious ceremony on a different day than the ceremony seems like the couple is poo-poo'ing the religious aspect of marriage. I'm not religious in the slightest so I take no offence, but religious friends or family definitely would.
    ei34InLoveInQueens
  • Would you host a party and say "screw what would make our guests comfortable, it's OUR party and we'll host how WE want!"? Once guests are invited to ANY event, their comfort has to be considered. Their every whim does not have to be catered to, but their overall comfort should take priority.

    If OP isn't religious, then her wearing a Greek Orthodox crown is a little appropriate-y, especially when she says she doesn't plan to convert. I have a friend who married a Jewish man, but she did convert (I think after the wedding, not sure of how that works) so her participating in symbolic parts of the ceremony was fine. Also, having the religious ceremony on a different day than the ceremony seems like the couple is poo-poo'ing the religious aspect of marriage. I'm not religious in the slightest so I take no offence, but religious friends or family definitely would.
    First and foremost, a crown for the GO ceremony can be made out of anything, a florist can make a floral crown, for example. Does that mean that everyone who wears a flower crown to their wedding is appropriating? OP can have a floral crown made if she pleases. Secondly, it is up to the family to determine whether this is a nice gesture and whether this is appropriating their culture. In all honesty, wearing a crown out of context and saying it is to honour the crowning ceremony is not really honouring the tradition since it is vastly different. They are like apples and oranges. 

    Secondly, I never said "screw what would make our guests comfortable, it's OUR party and we'll host how WE want!" The comfort of our guests is incredibly important to us, we won't deny that. We have taken multiple measures to ensure they enjoy our day as our guests. However our marriage ceremony is ours, and our loved ones come together to witness our union and share in our love. Our vows to each other are the most important part of the day. Therefore, we are saying the same thing: "Their every whim does not have to be catered to, but their overall comfort should take priority." That is exactly what I am saying. How a couple chooses to exchange their vows in front of their friends and family in a way that is authentic to them is their choice. If the people at their wedding love and care about them, then they will respect whatever ceremony they choose. comfort and happiness that we take into account for our guests is if they are fed, entertained, comfortable physically, and having FUN! Our ceremony is sacred to us and we are delighted to be exchanging vows in front of those we care about most!
  • You keep using the word confused.  I'm not confused. It's silly and AWish to have an actual wedding ceremony and a pretend one.  Your cousin's scenario isn't uncommon, plenty of people get married for citizenship purposes.  But if they married legally and reaped the legal benefits of marriage for citizenship, everyone (especially the couple) would've had to acknowledge that they were married.  It's silly to go and watch them get "married" in a church, since they weren't getting married.  I'm Catholic, and I know of a few people who've had convalidation ceremonies (making the marriage official in the eyes of the church), but it wasn't a big walking down the aisle, bridesmaids, first dance "wedding".  I'm fine with a religious ceremony/practice if your religion is important to you after the fact (or if some dire circumstance prevented you from the religious aspect originally), but don't make it a big pretend wedding.
    Nope - the true wedding was the one they held here in Canada. Not only in the couple's eyes, but in the guests eyes, To them, the religious ceremony was most important and because their guests love them, they honoured this and it was a ton of fun!

    People who get married in other countries often have a legal ceremony in Canada a month before their wedding and they see the second wedding as the real deal. That is their prerogative, just as it is yours to disagree with them. It's not black-and-white, having two 'weddings' is more common than you think. 
    [Deleted User]
  • eileenrob said:

    But what about your guests' happiness and comfort?  If you don't want to worry about that, then elope.  As soon as guests are involved, it's not just about you.  It's rude and unkind to deceive guests into thinking they're watching you get married when you're already husband and wife.  There can't be two ceremonies, you can only get married once (not counting people that divorce or are widowed).

    And I think the stefana is different for you because you're actually Greek.  OP isn't.  She could wear something from her own culture, or her FI could wear something in the Greek tradition.
    Okay so the way I imagine it, is the GO ceremony would happen at another time prior with close family. If that is what family wants and is comfortable with it, than that is their right and their choice. If that confuses you, that's fine, but you're not a guest at their wedding. chances are, this will not confuse most people or make them uncomfortable because people have better things to concern themselves with. 

    In addition, several GO people do the GO ceremony after their civil or non-denominational one. From my understanding, it is not uncommon to do this in many cultures either - especially if circumstance permits this. What is the difference if you do it before (if the church permits) as a symbol as opposed to after? I have a cousin who had a civil ceremony in Greece to get her husband's immigration process started prior to her flying back to Canada. When he was granted permanent status, they had their religious ceremony and reception with her family and friends here. I can tell you nobody was confused or uncomfortable at the wedding - it was very clear that their circumstances warranted this. In this case, OP and FI (who IS Greek) are finding a way to honour both cultures and traditions within the purview of strict GO rules. There is no collaboration with other religions or churches in the GO church.

    You keep using the word confused.  I'm not confused. It's silly and AWish to have an actual wedding ceremony and a pretend one.  Your cousin's scenario isn't uncommon, plenty of people get married for citizenship purposes.  But if they married legally and reaped the legal benefits of marriage for citizenship, everyone (especially the couple) would've had to acknowledge that they were married.  It's silly to go and watch them get "married" in a church, since they weren't getting married.  I'm Catholic, and I know of a few people who've had convalidation ceremonies (making the marriage official in the eyes of the church), but it wasn't a big walking down the aisle, bridesmaids, first dance "wedding".  I'm fine with a religious ceremony/practice if your religion is important to you after the fact (or if some dire circumstance prevented you from the religious aspect originally), but don't make it a big pretend wedding.
    What does AWish mean? Lol I keep seeing it everywhere but I'm not sure what it means!! 
  • @Knottie1473798315 AWish means Attention Whore-ish  It's just a common acronym on this site to describe behavior meant to garner attention (for the sake of attention) on the part of the bride or groom.
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    image
  • @Knottie1473798315 AWish means Attention Whore-ish  It's just a common acronym on this site to describe behavior meant to garner attention (for the sake of attention) on the part of the bride or groom.
    HAHA. Love it. 
  • Would you host a party and say "screw what would make our guests comfortable, it's OUR party and we'll host how WE want!"? Once guests are invited to ANY event, their comfort has to be considered. Their every whim does not have to be catered to, but their overall comfort should take priority.

    If OP isn't religious, then her wearing a Greek Orthodox crown is a little appropriate-y, especially when she says she doesn't plan to convert. I have a friend who married a Jewish man, but she did convert (I think after the wedding, not sure of how that works) so her participating in symbolic parts of the ceremony was fine. Also, having the religious ceremony on a different day than the ceremony seems like the couple is poo-poo'ing the religious aspect of marriage. I'm not religious in the slightest so I take no offence, but religious friends or family definitely would.
    First and foremost, a crown for the GO ceremony can be made out of anything, a florist can make a floral crown, for example. Does that mean that everyone who wears a flower crown to their wedding is appropriating? OP can have a floral crown made if she pleases. Secondly, it is up to the family to determine whether this is a nice gesture and whether this is appropriating their culture. In all honesty, wearing a crown out of context and saying it is to honour the crowning ceremony is not really honouring the tradition since it is vastly different. They are like apples and oranges. 

    Secondly, I never said "screw what would make our guests comfortable, it's OUR party and we'll host how WE want!" The comfort of our guests is incredibly important to us, we won't deny that. We have taken multiple measures to ensure they enjoy our day as our guests. However our marriage ceremony is ours, and our loved ones come together to witness our union and share in our love. Our vows to each other are the most important part of the day. Therefore, we are saying the same thing: "Their every whim does not have to be catered to, but their overall comfort should take priority." That is exactly what I am saying. How a couple chooses to exchange their vows in front of their friends and family in a way that is authentic to them is their choice. If the people at their wedding love and care about them, then they will respect whatever ceremony they choose. comfort and happiness that we take into account for our guests is if they are fed, entertained, comfortable physically, and having FUN! Our ceremony is sacred to us and we are delighted to be exchanging vows in front of those we care about most!
    To the bolded: that's pretty much the definition of appropriation. And no family  member is going to tell you that to your face. Wearing a flower crown just because you think it's cute and it matches your dress is a whole different story (and I do usually think those are cute!), but once you say it's to honor X part of something, that's a nope.

    Having an immediate-family-only ceremony with a reception immediately following with everyone else is totally allowed. People often have this type of setup when they want a more intimate ceremony, and it's within etiquette. You could do this small ceremony in your church or any other location you choose. If you only invite immediate family (parents, siblings, and any of their SO's), no one can complain. Some people also are fine with inviting grandparents as well. Me personally, I would say it could extend to aunts/uncles/cousins, but that might be pushing it.

    Why can you not have both of these things on the same day? 
    ei34
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