One of the traditions with a wedding in the Greek Orthodox Church is having guests taking home some koufeta or white sugar-coated almonds. The bride and bridesmaids wrap them in netting as favors for guests. The hard almond symbolizes the endurance of a marriage. The sugar coating means you will have a sweet life together. There is always an odd number so they aren’t divisible. This means the bride and groom will stay together. When I met Jon and Nina, I could tell that their love for each other was truly special. They are going to have such a strong and enduring marriage and nothing will come between them.
Nina and Jon met in medical school and started getting to know each other when they both ended up going to Sandusky, Ohio for clinical rotations. Jon is going into psychiatry and Nina radiology. Jon proposed on the Jackson Street Pier, in the area where they started dating. They enjoy walking this pier together, so it was the perfect spot for Jon to ask Nina to be his wife! They love playing golf and working out together. Nina and Jon enjoy finding cool items on Facebook marketplace for the house that they’re building. Nina knew from the very beginning that he was the one! She loves how their personalities balance each other, and Jon is always there for her when she needs him.
There are a lot of special traditions when it comes to a Greek wedding. Everything from having wedding sponsors to the lighting of the candles and the joining of hands is all important in some way. There is even the Dance of Isaiah where the priest leads the couple in a ceremonial walk. The Koumbaro or wedding sponsor shows his support for the couple by following them from behind. This traditional “dance” celebrates a couple’s first steps as husband and wife.
Nina and Jon wanted to celebrate their love for each other with close friends and family by having a Greek Orthodox ceremony in Ohio before traveling to Greece for another ceremony. One of the highlights of this type of ceremony is called “The Crowning”. Two crowns, called Stefana, are attached by a single ribbon. The priests places both crowns on the bride and groom and the couple is crowned by God as king and queen of their new home. I learned before shooting their wedding that there were a lot of important traditions. I made sure to include these things in the detail shots such as the almonds and the crowns. After Nina got ready, she did a first look with her dad. That last moment before dad truly gives the blessing of his daughter. ❤️
Their ceremony was beautiful! One wedding tradition that was also present during their day was the Common Cup. The couple sips blessed wine from the same goblet to remember the miracle at Cana. By doing this, Nina and Jon’s happiness will double and their sorrows will be only half as sad. After the priest pronounced them man and wife, Nina and Jon celebrated with a kiss before walking back down the aisle. We took some family and couples photos in the church before moving outside for more photos. Nina and Jon also took a stroll along the Maumee River for photos before dinner. Then family and friends met for dinner and Nina and Jon cut their cake at The Heights in Toledo. 🍰
It was such a fun wedding ceremony and dinner with Nina and Jon! Their next ceremony in Greece, I’m sure, was just beautiful! Congratulations Nina and Jon!
I would love to photography your Greek wedding! Please contact me so we can start discussing all the fun details of your day!
Wedding Dress: A Bride’s Designs
Ceremony Venue: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Reception Venue: The Heights, Toledo
Bridesmaid Dresses: Lulu’s
Groomsmen Attire: Tailor and Tuxedo in the Park
Florist: Sam’s Club