Introduced through mutual friends on Facebook, Greek American couple Marianna and George, who are now husband and wife, saw each other's profile page and began chatting.
After two weeks of speaking on the phone, George, originally from Chicago decided to fly out to California to meet Marianna in person. When they saw each other for the first time they instantly connected. The couple had a long distance relationship for about a year, before Marianna decided to move to Chicago.
Four years later, George proposed to Marianna
She recalls he “proposed at the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago on a private terrace overlooking the city skyline and water on his birthday. I thought the grand suite was for his own birthday celebration, but he had other things in mind!”
The bride and groom always wanted to get married in Greece and Marianna explains, “I especially wanted to get married in Skyros because that is where my father is from and where I have spent every summer since I was born.”
Marianna’s family owns a villa on the island and she describes “being able to be at our family villa and experiencing our most precious moments there everyday was everything because that is my home."
Planning a wedding in Greece, which she also calls her home was made easier as Marianna knew the vendors. “I arrived in Greece about one and a half months before the wedding to finalise and make adjustments. Although it was stressful I found it to be very easy because of the connections through my parents and of course my sister played a big role. My younger sister Melina lives in Athens and she helped me beforehand with lots of the details.”
A wedding tradition on the island, which Marianna and George followed was the passing of “tiganites" (Greek sweet). It's given to people on the village as a way of inviting them to come and celebrate the wedding.
The dream day for the beautiful couple came true as they became husband and wife at the church of Panagia Melikarou, on the island’s capital, Skyros (or Chorio as it is called by the locals).
“The day started with each of us getting ready separately and the photographer splitting his time taking pictures of us individually,” including shots of Marianna and George preparing for their big day. George got ready at a nearby hotel, Nefeli, and Marianna was dressed in her family villa.
Once the stunning bride was set to go, her father held her hand and lead the way to the church with her family following behind. Marianna happily reminisces that “George was waiting outside the church with at least 150 people, while traditional Skyrian musicians and the bouzouki led me to the church in true island fashion.”
The traditional Greek Orthodox wedding service Marianna says was her most cherished part. “My favourite moment had to have been when the priest led George and I hand in hand and made us circle the table with our wedding rings, and bible. It signified that we were taking our first steps together as a married couple.”
At the end of the ceremony, rice was thrown onto the newly married couple before George and Marianna were led by musicians to the car, a Mercedes SLK convertible, which was at the main square, Plateia.
The amazing wedding reception was at Aigaioris, was set in a stunning and elegant location next to the Aegean Sea. While the guests were at the reception, the newly weds and their families met at the family villa to freshen up and take photos. After one and a half hours, they arrived at the reception, food was being served and the DJ and traditional musicians were playing. “We danced and drank till 6am,” Marianna remembers.
The bride's dress was created by fashion designer Tarik Ediz, whose designs she states are timeless. “As soon as I put that dress on, I knew it was the one because of the fit and most importantly the intricate detailing. It was elegant, trendy and yet sultry all at the same time. I didn't want to be typical and ordinary, my dream was always a fitted dress with a dramatic cathedral veil and still be fresh and modern."
"My favourite part of my dress was the French Lace and my cathedral veil. My veil was custom made with elaborate French lace to match the train of my dress which was also custom made.”