|The Nymphios decked in glory|
|An Eastern Wedding Crown. This one (with|
its icon of the Theotokos) is for the bride.
The bridegroom's crown has an icon of Christ.
This is the reality of marriage. This is how bridegroom and bride are to love each other. A wedding is a liturgy of the Church where a man and a woman sacrifice themselves completely to God for the sake of each other, and having received them, God joins them together. They give themselves to completely to each other through God. Because of their self-sacrifice for each other, God crowns them each with glory. Victory and honor is achieved only through sacrifice. In the Eastern Churches, the bridegroom and bride each receive crowns. Wreaths (ancient symbols of victory and fertility) may be used in place of crowns. Because the have sacrificed themselves completely to God for the sake of each other, God crowns them with glory. They are, as the rite says, crowned for each other. In the West, the Latin tradition is different. We use rings in place of crowns, with the two being bound into one. Now, in North America, rings are symbols of victory and honor and are given to sports teams when they win a championship and to students when they complete a degree, so rings actually do fit into this theology of being crowned with glory by God because of the complete sacrifice of yourself for the sake of your beloved.