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Love Fiercely // Despina + Anthony

It was fantastic to hear how Despina and Anthony met, because it wasn’t the typical introduction through friends or a dating app… it was at Despina’s mother’s bank!  Her mother had been using that bank for two years and over that time, got to know Anthony a bit.  One day, Despina went along with her mother to the bank and she (and everyone!) is so glad she did!

Anthony couldn’t have chosen a more lovely place to propose to Despina.  Indeed, he popped the question over dinner at a restaurant overlooking the scenic mountains on the beautiful island of St. Lucia.  Despina didn’t see it coming and was overjoyed along with Anthony, and said ‘yes!’ of course!

Let’s fast forward now to their wonderful wedding day (postponed just once!).  Despina and Anthony each got ready in their family homes in northern New Jersey.  Anthony and his groomsmen were able to relax and take their time as they got ready for the big day, dressing into classic black tuxedos.  And Anthony’s father helped him with the final touches, making sure his bow tie was just perfect, before they all shared a toast!

Meanwhile, Despina’s mother helped her dress into her beautiful wedding gown.  She wore an off-the-shoulder, fit-and-flare Martina Liana wedding dress all covered in gorgeous lace.  It featured a dramatic, plunging v-neckline and ivory tulle side cutouts.  This amazing gown was simply made for her!  She wore a sparkling headband in her hair and a long, flowing veil for the ceremony.  What an absolutely beautiful bride.  But perhaps the most touching part of bridal preparations was the moment Despina’s father saw her for the first time.  There wasn’t a dry eye to be found.

Before they got ready to depart for the church, Despina and her bridal party gathered their lovely, full floral bouquets from Flowers by Peter.  The bridal party’s flowers were in ivory and blush, coordinating beautifully with their long violet gowns, and Despina’s special bouquet was all in ivory.

From the family homes in New Jersey, we all traveled to the Upper East Side of Manhattan for the couple’s ceremony at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.  The cutest flower girl signaled the arrival of the bride, and Despina’s father walked her down the aisle where Anthony saw her for the very first time that day.

Their traditional ceremony included the very beautiful, meaningful crowning ceremony.  Bestowing blessings and symbolizing unity and the sealing of the marriage, the crowns with ribbons are swapped three times by their Koumbaro, their sponsor, before being placed back onto their heads.  The couple also exchanged rings, participated in the ceremonial walk and at the end of the ceremony, were pronounced ‘husband and wife’.

Before setting off for the reception, the wedding party all enjoyed a trolley ride in the city, celebrating with champagne!  It was so much fun!  Their photo shoots with their wedding photographer were so enjoyable as well.  It was such a pleasure to work alongside the team from Milton Gil Photographers as they captured images of the day’s events.

Then, it was back to New Jersey for Despina and Anthony’s reception at The Park Savoy Estate!  This elegant venue with its sparkling chandeliers and classical architecture was made even more glamorous with lush, ivory floral table centerpieces and flickering candlelight throughout.  It was such a gorgeous and romantic setting… simply perfect.

Despina and Anthony’s entrance was announced to the delight of everyone, and they danced their first dance together.  Then, touching dances with their parents were held on the dance floor, always such a sweet moment.

Once everyone was seated, we were treated to beautiful toasts from Despina’s father, from her two maids of honor, from Anthony’s best man and from Despina’s brother.  You could truly feel the love and respect they all shared for the couple of honor.  Afterwards, Anthony and Despina closed the toasts with a sincere thank you to their guests, remarking that this wedding was a long time coming!

Then after dinner, the dance floor was opened to everyone.  DJ Taso was fantastic, keeping everyone on their feet all night!  And what an awesome party it really was!

This certainly was a very full, extremely fun and incredibly beautiful wedding day!  We can’t thank Despina and Anthony more for allowing us to share in celebrating with them on their special day and to capture the moments in film.  All our best wishes to the newlyweds!

Photographer: Milton Gil Photographers – Nutley, NJ 

Floral Design: Flowers by Peter – New York, NY  

Hair Stylist: JC Hair Design – Wayne, NJ  

Makeup Artist: Beauty on Location – Morristown, NJ 

Wedding Dress:  Martina Liana

Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Entertainment: DJ Taso – Fairfield, NJ  

Cake: A Little Cake Bakery – Park Ridge, NJ

Officiant: Rev. Fr. Nikolas Karloutsos – New York, NY  

Church: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral – New York, NY  

Venue: The Park Savoy Estate – Florham Park, NJ 


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