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The Orthodox ceremony is long and full of symbolism. It usually takes place in the afternoon or early evening, but not during seasons of fasting or certain holy days. The ceremony begins with a betrothal ritual in which the rings are blessed, exchanged three times to signify the Holy Trinity and then placed on the bride's and groom's right hands. At the close of the betrothal ritual, two crowns are placed on the heads of the bride and groom and exchanged three times. A Gospel is read. The couple then drinks from the same glass of wine three times. This signifies their everlasting love and commitment to share both the happy and sad times in marriage. The ceremony closes with the bride and groom, hands bound together being led around a ceremonial table three times while the congregations sings "God Grant Them Many Years."
When the Ceremonial Walk ends, the priest blesses the couple, the crowns are removed and he then separates their previously joined hands with the bible, reminding them that only God can break the union which they have just entered into. On the day of the ceremony, there are certain traditions that must be accomplished to have a traditional Greek orthodox ceremony. A bride will often have a lump of sugar hidden in her glove to symbolise the sweetness of marriage and ivy is often used in bouquets to symbolise eternal life.
One of the most iconic traditions in the guide to Greek orthodox wedding ceremonies is for the priest to crown you and then lead you in a circle three times. He will also swap your crowns and rings three times as well; this number, of course, represents the Holy Trinity but also symbolises eternity.
Another iconic moment in Greek orthodox weddings comes with the reception; the smashing of plates! This tradition symbolises good luck, happiness and a permanent marriage.