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For this reason the ceremony of the wedding is referred to as the Crowning.

The priest leads the couple into the center of the church where they come to stand on a piece of new, rose colored fabric, symbolizing their entry into a new life.

The bride and groom each publicly professes that they are marrying of their own free will and that they have not promised themselves to another.

Then after an ektenia and several longer prayers the priest places crowns on the heads of the bride and the groom.

While the betrothal used to be blessed at the beginning of the engagement, it is now commonly done at the same ceremony as the wedding itself.

The bride and groom stand inside the entrance of the church and the priest blesses them and gives them lighted candles which they will hold throughout the ceremony.

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The more shards of glass they create, the greater the number of years of happiness they will spend together.A traditional Russian wedding lasts for at least two days and some weddings last as long as a week.Throughout the celebration there is dancing, singing, long toasts, and a lot of food and drinks.The priest then says a prayer blessing the couple's betrothal which mentions instances in the Bible where rings are used and relates those instances to the betrothal.In the Eastern Orthodox Church Holy Matrimony is considered a Sacred Mystery (sacrament), and the sign of the marriage is not the exchange of rings (that takes place at the betrothal) but rather the placing of crowns on the heads of the bride and groom.At ZAGS the couple is greeted by family members with bread and salt.The ceremony ranges from 15 to 30 minutes and during this time the rings are exchanged and the couple is pronounced husband and wife.Following the civil ceremony, the newlyweds and their witnesses, travel around the city in a limousine and view many historical sites. This presents the primary opportunity for the majority of the wedding photographs that are taken at varying historical places around the town or city.After touring the city for several hours, the couple meets the guests for the reception.The best man and maid of honor are called witnesses, svideteli in Russian.The ceremony and the ring exchange takes place on the first day of the wedding.

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