A Destination Wedding in Lefkas – Alexia & Tom’s Wedding Story


ALG_4061Alexia & Tom were married on the Greek Island of Lefkas. Claire from Lefkas Weddings organised all the arrangements and is sponsoring this blog post to hopefully connect with other Australian couples who are looking to plan a destination wedding in Greece. 

A search for the Greek island of Lefkas returns dozens of images of a beach of outstanding natural beauty. White cliffs curve and surround the cove which cradles a stretch of white sand. Endless turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea stretch before you invitingly as soft foam of the waves beckons you for a relaxing swim. This is the beach of Porto Katsiki and the setting for our wedding story. Continue reading

Anna & Bill’s Wedding Story

Anna & Bill were married on 25 July 2015 at St John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Victoria, Australia. 

How did you and Bill meet each other?

Our story begins over coffee with friends. A mutual smile across the table won our hearts. Secretly asking questions about each other fate had it that we would randomly bump into each other over a period of months. After bumping into each other so often through Bill’s small talk and research had led him become a regular at a restaurant I worked at part time, he worked out my shifts and was always the last customer to leave. He finally worked up the courage to ask me out to dinner. From that dinner it was endless conversation over family, life, politics (some could say debate), music and travel. Continue reading

Top 5 Stefana Designers of 2015

TOP 5 Stefana Designers - Greek Wedding ShopLast year was a record sales year at the Greek Wedding Shop. I am very proud of the success and growth that I have achieved with my online business. I couldn’t have done it without you, so thank you for your support. Many of our customers are referred to my by word of mouth and that is truly the best compliment for my business. Thank you for recommending your friends and for sharing the products that you love.

Click here to go to the Greek Wedding Shop and see our Collection:


Continue reading

10 Greek Traditions and Superstitions For New Babies

10 Greek Traditions and Superstitions For New Babies

Here are 10 Greek Traditions and Superstitions For New Babies:

Note: This is not a list of instructions. I do not suggest that you follow these “rules” with your own baby. However you might hear these statement from people in your family when you have a baby of your own. Or maybe old Greek ladies (who you have never met before) will walk up to you at Church to offer their advice. Ha!

There are many Greek superstitions for every occasion – weddings, christenings, birthdays… everything!

Here are some that I have been told recently since having my own baby:  Continue reading

Should You Make Kollyva For A Cremation?

Should You Make Kollyva For A Cremation?Today Is A Bitter Sweet Day

Today is my birthday. It is also the one year anniversary of my papou’s passing. 

My papou was a good man. He didn’t want anybody to worry about him or fuss after him, especially once he was gone. I think that’s why he wanted to be cremated.  Continue reading

How To Make The Sign Of The Cross

How To Make The Sign Of The CrossThe Feast Day of The Holy Cross is celebrated on 14th September every year. It is called  Elevation of the Holy Cross – Ὕψωσις τοῦ Τιμίου καὶ Ζωοποιοῦ Σταυρο. It is also the name day for Stavroula and Stavros which are names that come from Stavros, the Greek word for Cross.

Stavros is the word that is used to describe the action that we take to make the sign of the cross. The Orthodox sign of the cross is unique and different to the sign of the cross that other religions do.Elevation Of The Holy Cross

The Catholic Way To Make The Sign Of The Cross

I remember learning about this when I was just 5 years old. I went to a Catholic primary school and attended Mass as a part of the school curriculum. One day, I was at Church on a Sunday with my family and I did the sign of the cross using all of my hand and all my fingers moving from my head to my chest and then from my left shoulder to my right. That is what we learnt at school, so that is what I thought I was supposed to do.

My aunty saw me do this and she got upset. She quickly corrected my fingers and showed me how to do it “the proper way”. 

The Orthodox Way To Make The Sign Of The Cross

The Orthodox way to make the sign of the cross is to use the first 3 fingers of your right hand. That is your thumb, your index finger and your middle finger. The thumb stays on the bottom and the other two fingers are on top. Bend your ring finger and the little finger in to the palm of your hand. You then move your hand from your head, to your heart, then from your right shoulder to your left.

You say:

“In the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen”. 

Repeat 3 times and bow your head while you do it.

Symbolic Meanings Of Your Stavro

The action is very symbolic of the theology and practice of the Orthodox religion. Here is why:

  • We use three fingers to symbolise the unity of the Holy Trinity – The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit.
  • The two fingers (index finger + middle finger) are bent in to the palm of the hand to signify that Christ had two natures: a human nature and a divine nature
  • The ring finger and the little finger are bent into the palm of the hand to signify that Christ had two natures: a human nature and a divine nature
  • The Orthodox Church always prefers to begin with the right side that is why you move from right to left and not the opposite way around.
  • You repeat the sign of the Cross three times to symbolise the Holy Trinity.

Fr Dimitri Tsakas explains when to make the sign of the cross in another article here: When To Make The Sign Of The Cross

Do you know any other symbolic meanings that are related to the Holy Cross? Please share in the comments. 

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Sia Aristidou is fascinated by the rituals and traditions celebrated in Greek culture. She writes about love, marriage, family and tradition and sells beautiful handmade wedding gifts at the Greek Wedding Shop.
Connect with Sia on Facebook or say hello on Twitter. You may also like to subscribe to the Greek Weddings & Traditions blog or join the Greek Cooking Challenge.

Paulina & Costa – A Greek Chilean Wedding

Paulina & Costa's Wedding

Paulina & Costa were married on 25 October 2014 at St Stylianos Greek Orthodox Church and at St Finbar’s Catholic Church.

Paulina and I have been online friends for a while now. We started chatting about wedding plans back in 2012 when she was newly engaged. Paulina is Chilean and her partner Costas is Greek and they celebrated traditions from both cultures on their wedding day. Continue reading

Angela & John’s Greek Wedding Story

Angela & John's Wedding 2015Angela and John were married on 25 July 2015 at Agios Charalombos, Exo Gonia in Santorini Greece.

Angela and John were on their honeymoon in Greece when we first started talking. They captured the first ever “mid-wedding” selfie that I have ever seen and sent it to me because they knew I would LOVE it.

Angela & John's Wedding Selfie

A mid-wedding selfie photo!

I asked Angela if I could share the selfie pic with my readers and also do a feature about their wedding story. The newlywed couple haven’t received their professional photos back yet so the only photos that we have access to have been taken from everybody’s phone. I’ll be sure to share some of the professional photos once they get developed.

Angela & John had a destination wedding on the Island of Santorini in Greece. Here is more about their wedding story: Continue reading

When to Make the Sign of the Cross

Fr Dimitri suggests appropriate times when we should make the sign of the cross. This article is one of a series of etiquette posts which will respectfully offer a guide to those who wish to learn more about the Greek Orthodox Church.

Greek Orthodox Church St George Brisbane

Photography by Andrew Porfyri

When to Make the Sign of the Cross:

  • Whenever you feel the need
  • Before and after any prayers
  • When you enter and leave the Narthex and Nave
  • Before you kiss an Icon, Cross, or the Gospel Book
  • When you pass the Altar
  • When you hear any of the following phrases; 
    • Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
    • Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, Have Mercy on Us
    • The words Christ, Theotokos, Panayia or Virgin Mary
    • The Name of a Saint
  • After the reading of the Epistle or Gospel
  • Near the end of the Creed at the phrase In One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church
  • Before and after the Consecration during the Divine Liturgy (when the Priest says ‘Your Own of Your Own we offer You, In every way and for every Thing’. This is the point when the Priest prays with the people for God to make the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.
  • At the end of the Lord’s Prayer while the Priest says ‘For Yours is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.’
  • Before and after receiving Holy Communion
  • Before receiving Antidoron (The blessed bread at the end of the service).

Do you have any questions about appropriate Church Ettiquite? 

Please share them the comments below.

The content of this post was originally published by Fr. Dimitri Tsakas on the Orthodox Research Institute.

The Reverend Father Dimitri Tsakas is the Archepiscopal Vicar for Queensland, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and the Dean of the Greek Orthodox Church of St George, Brisbane in Australia. You can connect with Fr. Dimitri on FacebookTwitter and Linked In.

What Should God Parents Buy For A Christening?

What Should God Parents Buy For A Christening?

My husband will be christening a baby boy this weekend and we will officially become his God Parents. I have been busy making the lambatha and the martyrika (which are available to purchase at the Greek Wedding Shop) but I still have a few things still to organise.

I have created a list of all the things that God Parents need to buy for a Greek Orthodox Baptism. Please let me know if I am missing anything by leaving a note in the comments.

What Should God Parents Buy For A Christening?

  • Baptismal Cross & Chain / Stavro
  • White Christening Outfit With Hat or Cap
  • White Shoes / Booties
  • Cloth Nappy – because a cloth nappy can be washed but a disposable nappy needs to be trashed
  • White Singlets (3)
  • Outfits for the baby (3 in total) – the christening outfit + pjs for the baby to wear after the christening + something for the baby to wear after bathing him/her on day 3
  • White Face Washer / Ladopana – used to wipe oil from the baby’s head after the ceremony
  • White Hand Towel – for the Priest to wipe his hands
  • Large White Towel – used with sheet to wrap the baby
  • White Cot Sheet – used with the towel to wrap the baby and protect the God parents
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – in a nice bottle
  • Bar of Soap
  • Hair Brush
  • Witness Pins / Marityrika – for the guests
  • Favours / Bombonerie – for the guests
  • Decorated Candle / Lambatha
  • Decorated Box – to put everything in so that it is easy to take to Church

Please share a comment if you have anything else to add to this list!

I’d also like to hear your ideas for christening themes and decorations for the lambatha, the bombonerie and the box. 

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Sia Aristidou is fascinated by the rituals and traditions celebrated in Greek culture. She writes about love, marriage, family and tradition and she sells beautiful handmade wedding gifts at the Greek Wedding Shop.
Connect with Sia on Facebook or say hello on Twitter. You may also like to subscribe to the Greek Weddings & Traditions blog or join the Greek Cooking Challenge.