Can You Have an Outdoor Greek Orthodox Wedding?

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You’re a Greek Orthodox Christian and you are about to start planning your wedding. You really want to have an outdoor wedding but in your research, you discover that outdoor marriage ceremonies rarely happen in the Orthodox faith. Is it even possible?

Outdoor Greek Wedding

If you would like an outdoor wedding, you will need to talk it over with your priest to review your options. Here are the basics of what to expect.

Sanctified Orthodox Church or Chapel

In the Orthodox Christian Church, the ceremony for the Sacrament of Marriage can’t take place outside of a sanctified Orthodox Church or chapel. This presents a challenge for those who wish to have an outdoor wedding. In fact, this rule is in place for all the sacraments, not just marriage. Sacraments must occur in a sanctified place.

Outdoor Churches or Chapels

One possible way to have an Orthodox marriage ceremony outdoors is to do so in an outdoor Orthodox Christian church or chapel. These outdoor chapels are sanctified and meet the requirements. So, if you really want an Orthodox Christian wedding outside, you will need to find an outdoor church or chapel that has been sanctified.

Sanctified Altar Outside of an Orthodox Church

Another scenario where you could have a wedding outside is if it takes place outside of an Orthodox Christian Church at a sanctified altar or outdoor chapel. Some churches have such an altar. If you truly want an outdoor wedding it, may take some research to find a sanctified outdoor altar at an Orthodox Church, but they do exist.

This is a good option because you can have a built in backup plan if there is poor weather. You can simply take the wedding indoors.

Ceremony Indoors, Reception Outdoors

If you want to get married in the Orthodox Christian Church, it is possible that you may be forced to have your ceremony indoors because you may not be able to find a sanctified outdoor church, chapel, or altar. If this is the case, you will need to give up your dream of getting married outdoors if you want a Greek wedding.

At this point, you can still have a wedding that is partially outdoors by holding the reception in an outdoor setting. Once the Sacrament of Marriage is complete, where you choose to celebrate is completely up to you.

In today’s society, the idea of having an outdoor wedding is one that is placed in front of us by the media. It seems relatively simple to get married on a mountaintop or at the beach in a beautiful destination. However, it isn’t as simple as it appears in the Orthodox Christian Church because the ceremony needs to take place in a sanctified church or chapel. Check with your priest to review your options.

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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