Peggy & John’s exquisite wedding

Greek wedding

Peggy and John met in May, 2011, at the Anna Vissi concert in Las Vegas. Peggy was there with her friends from California and John was there with his mates from Utah. Once the concert finished, they all began mingling after one of Peggy’s friends recognised John from a YouTube parody video he had made with his friends.

Greek wedding

Greek wedding

Greek wedding

Needless to say John was stunned at the recognition, and the two groups proceeded to spend the rest of the weekend together, and parted ways with a promise to meet again.

A month later, John visited Peggy in San Diego, and a few weeks after she surprised him with a spontaneous trip to Salt Lake City. For the next two years they dated long distance until John finished graduate school and moved to California.

Greek wedding

Greek wedding

Four fantastic years later, given that the couple had met at a Greek concert, John saw the perfect opportunity to fittingly propose at one.

Greek wedding

Peggy and her friends had planned a weekend getaway to Vancouver to see one of their favourite singers, Giorgos Tsalikis, but John had other ideas. He had notified the concert organiser of his plans to propose, and Tsalikis was amazed and enthusiastic about it, that he wanted to be in on the surprise.

Greek wedding

Greek wedding

Greek wedding

The concert day arrived, with everyone and everything in place. Tsalikis stopped the music mid-performance and called Peggy up on stage. Once she walked on, John came out with ring in hand and asked her to marry him in front of the entire crowd. Amidst tears and cheers from the crowd, Peggy said yes. Everyone celebrated until the early hours of the morning surrounded by family, friends, and their honorary Koumbaro Giorgos Tsalikis.

Greek wedding

Knowing their wedding would most likely be in America, Peggy and John wanted the opportunity to celebrate with their family and friends that would not be able to make the trip over from Greece, so they chose to have their engagement party in Athens. They picked the gorgeous St. George Lycabettus Hotel in Kolonaki as the venue for their engagement party because of its panoramic rooftop views of Athens and the Acropolis. Athens is Peggy’s favourite city in the world and she couldn’t imagine celebrating this special occasion anywhere else.

Greek wedding

Greek wedding

Greek wedding

Peggy and John’s magical day took place on the 12th November 2016, at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Utah, a beautiful Greek Orthodox cathedral that is over 100 years old. The location was particularly meaningful to both of them because John’s parents and grandparents were also married there.

“My Mom walked me down the aisle, and it was one of the most meaningful and special moments of the entire day” said Peggy.

Greek wedding

Greek wedding

Following wedding traditions, Peggy’s bracelet was old, her wedding dress was new, she borrowed diamond earrings from her cousin and her sister sewed a blue gemstone on her garter.

Greek wedding

The reception took place at The Grand Hall at the Union Pacific Depot, and in typical Greek fashion, their wedding was themed around one word: Party. With live food presentations, custom cocktails, ice-sculptured bars, a live food station with flaming “Saganaki” cheese, musical performances, selfie photo booths and traditional Greek plate-breaking, every element was synthesised to create an atmosphere of celebration and excitement.

As John recalls “aside from the obvious moment of seeing my stunning bride walk down the aisle, a moment that always stands out happened right at the beginning of our reception. I remember standing outside the hall with Peggy as our bridal party was being introduced.  After planning for over a year, we caught our first glimpse of the realisation of our vision as we took in the ballroom filled with all our loved ones. The Greek band played while the groomsmen walked in to a Zeibekiko and the bridesmaids to a tsifteteli, and Peggy and I made our grand entrance to the blast of confetti cannons. The combination of the day, the décor, the music, and the energy of the room was overwhelming.”

Oneiro Greek Band played a number of traditional Greek wedding songs for guests to dance to, and following the garter toss, John and his friends serenaded Peggy in a surprise performance with their infamous song from the Youtube video that brought them all together 5 years before.

And just incase guests were hungry, there was also late night snacks: mini Greek gyros and mini souvlakia skewers provided by Aristo’s Greek Restaurant; movie theatre popcorn, milk chocolate sea salt popcorn, and chocolate chip sea salt cookies by Blended table.

For bride Peggy, “the entire day was more beautiful than I could have hoped for, from standing at the altar with my groom and our closest friends to seeing our guests come together from all corners of the earth to celebrate with us. The absolute highlight for me, however, was seeing John’s reaction when I announced the surprise performance by Otis Day from Animal House. Animal House is one of John’s favourite movies and “Shout” is by far his favourite song to dance to at weddings. I had strategised with Otis’s manager for months in total secrecy, not even telling my wedding planner until two days before the wedding. I’ll never forget John’s reaction when Otis walked out and began to perform for us. The excitement and exhilaration of that moment will forever stand out to me as the culmination of our perfect wedding day.”

Photography by: Elisha Braithwaite Photography (Copyright)

Antonia Komarkowski

Antonia Komarkowski is a second year student at the University of Sydney majoring in Modern Greek & Media & Communications. She is also on the Hellenic Club Sydney Youth Board. From a young age she loved dancing, public speaking, presenting, performing, m'cing, reading & writing. Antonia also has a passion for her Greek culture, which started at a very young age. Her parents say, “She could Greek Dance before she could run.” She loves learning about Greece's rich history, traditions, music &language & teaches Greek dancing. Seeing kids smile every time they dance makes her ecstatic- as she knew that feeling. GCT is happy to have Antonia on board as a permanent writer.

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