The love story of Chris and Yanna began in 2013, after they met through mutual friends at a birthday party in Sydney.
Sparks flew immediately and the connection between them was instant. There was no denying this gorgeous couple were meant to be together.
Eighteen months later, Chris took Yanna away to the Whitsundays and organised a dinner right on the water. Next thing she knew, “He got down on one knee and proposed. Of course I said yes!” Yanna tells us.
The big day, 27th February, 2016, will always be remembered and cherished by Yanna and Chris who became husband and wife at the The Resurrection of Christ, Our Lady of the Myrtles and St Elesa, Greek Orthodox Church in Kogarah, Sydney, Australia.
Kogarah parish is very special to Yanna. Not only is it her local church, it’s also where her parents were married and where she was baptised.
Getting ready with all her bridesmaids in the morning, Yanna recalls it was pleasantly and surprisingly relaxed and ever-so exciting. Coming from a very close-knit family, the most important thing for the bride was to have all her relatives come by the house before she left for church to become a Mrs.
Yanna reminisces “all the family, including my uncles, aunties, cousins and Godparents came over to watch me get ready as a bride. And of course my aunties and Mum cooked lots of Greek food for us to eat. My auntie Niki also made a “Kaniski,” a traditional Greek wedding bread from the region of Roumeli, where my parents are from and Diples, which are traditional Greek sweets served at weddings.”
At the groom’s house, Chris also had all of his family over and they followed the Cypriot pre- wedding traditions, including wearing the red sash, which symbolises fertility. Each immediate family member blessed him with the “Kapnistiri” (censer), which was a blessing for Chris and Yanna’s marriage and life together.
There was also lots of traditional Cypriot wedding music, singing and dancing at the groom’s house, which was also filled with relatives who had flown in from Cyprus for the joyous occasion.
The bride looked beautiful and radiant, choosing a classic white lace dress that fit her like a glove. She wore her hair in a sleek bun and chose soft natural tones for her make-up. Yanna also followed the traditional “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. I borrowed my aunt’s horse shoe, which she wore on her wedding day in 1977 and I had that around my hand the entire time, which was special,” she said.
At the alter, Chris remembers feeling “like the luckiest man alive. My nerves had subsided. My best friend was walking down the aisle and she looked stunning!”
Before they knew it, Yanna and Chris were announced husband and wife by Father Sophronios and the celebrations continued on.
The reception was held at Sylvania Waters Doltone House, as the couple wanted to keep it local. Yanna says “we just wanted a big party, everyone to be well fed, to dance all night and have a good time. We wanted to keep things simple, traditional and fun.”
The newlyweds took their first spin on the dance floor to the acoustic remix of Kings of Tomorrow “Finally”, as it was one of the couple’s favourite songs from when they were younger.
It was definitely a party and event to remember, as Yanna and Chris both danced the night away and celebrated their union, along with their family and friends who were entertained all night by Telly the bouzouki player, Chris Bongoliro on the bongo and Tom Hyper as DJ. There was plenty of Greek music and non-stop kefi (joy) as the dance floor was packed with guests and the bride and groom enjoying themselves.
For Yanna, her favourite moment of their magical day was “when my Dad put the veil over me and walked me down the aisle, where I saw Chris.”