HOUSTON GREEK WEDDING
at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
When James & Valerie booked me about a year and a half before their wedding, they explained that their wedding was going to be just like the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Not in the put-Windex-on-everything, can’t-pronounce-bundt-cake, your-aunt-thinks-making-lamb-is-compatible-with-a-vegetarian-diet kind of way. But like, there would be a ton of people there, all loud, buzzed, dancing, and having a good time. And let me just tell you. Holy cow, they were so right.
The day started out shooting details which had so much meaning to James & Valerie. James’ ring has a Greek meander decorative pattern, while Valerie’s diamond in her engagement ring was surrounded by sapphires since blue is a traditional greek color. They’re both obsessed with Disney, so Valerie’s garter had Mickey & Minnie Mouse charms on it, while her Mori Lee gown was the epitome of a Disney princess gown (just scroll to see a photo from their first dance to see the beautiful skirt twirl).
Pre-ceremony portraits were swift & seamless. Valerie chose to do a first look with her bridesmaids & her dad. Going through these photos when I was editing brought a tear to my eye. Sometimes logistics don’t allow for situations like this, but if this is something you’re interested in for your wedding, I would definitely mention it to your wedding planner & wedding photographer (the two wedding vendors who plan your wedding day timeline).
There’s no one who can talk about the ceremony better than the bride, so I’ve asked Valerie to talk about one of the Greek ceremony traditions that take place during the wedding.
James and I had a BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING. And, as most Greek weddings are, it was an Orthodox wedding. One of the most important parts of an Orthodox wedding is the Service of the Crowning, in which the bride and groom wear crowns called Stefana and are blessed. These Stefana are signs of glory and honor with which God crowns them during the sacrament of marriage. The crowns are joined by a ribbon which symbolizes the unity of the couple and the presence of Christ who blesses and joins the couple and establishes them as King and Queen of their home, which they are to rule with wisdom, justice, and integrity. Our crowns worn during our wedding were actually purchased by my husband's Nouna (godmother) in Greece and brought back and given to us as a gift! It is still one of the most precious and important pieces of our wedding that we will cherish forever.
After their beautiful, intricate traditional Greek ceremony, it was party time. And I mean it. It was seriously the most rockin’ reception I think I’ve ever photographed. If you want to see their full gallery of reception photos, just shoot me an email and I can send over the link for proof ;) For their last dance, James and Valerie had their family & friend’s surround them and blow bubbles to make for the coolest dance floor photos. It tied in perfectly with their bubble grand exit. This wedding really set the bar quite high as far as Greek weddings go.
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