One x One = One // Stamatina + Minas

When we received a call one afternoon from this sweet bride, checking our availability and letting us know that hers was going to be the quintessential ‘big Greek wedding’, we had no idea just how big and wonderful it would be!  Stamatina and Minas’ wedding truly was filled with so many special cultural traditions, the love of family and the joy of music, music, music!

Tina and Minas met at a Greek festival but didn’t actually start dating until about two years after they met.  The two fell in love and their relationship developed as their love continued to grow.  Two days before Christmas, Minas planned a special proposal and took Tina to New York to see Aladdin on stage.  In his planning, Minas arranged to propose to Tina afterwards on the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink.  Well, unfortunately, as the two arrived at the rink, another man beat Minas to the location and was proposing to his girlfriend!  Disheartened but not defeated, Minas took Tina over to the famous Christmas tree and asked her to marry him there.  It was just as special and beautiful and of course… Tina said ‘yes’!

The bride and groom’s preparation time was very relaxed and had a decidedly festive feel!  During groom prep at Minas’ parents’ home, emotions ran high as musicians arrived and the men sang traditional Greek songs about Minas and his family.  As they got ready, they all enjoyed the various savory food and fine drink as well!  The groomsmen all dressed into matching classic black tuxedos for this special day.  Meanwhile, Tina and her bridesmaids prepared for the day ar Roula’s Salon and Spa and at her family home and, in fitting with tradition, Minas’ brother brought her shoes to her with money placed inside.  Of course, Tina and Minas’ adorable one year old baby boy was all ready to celebrate this wonderful day too!

Tina dressed into her gorgeous strapless, trumpet silhouetted wedding gown and was truly such a dazzling bride!  The gown had such a lovely pattern of delicate beading throughout, giving it a delightful sparkle.  She wore her beautiful long hair down with several sparkling pins in the back.  She was so stunning!  Her father entered the room and was treated to his first look at his beautiful daughter as he put a bracelet on her wrist.  Now it was time to travel to the church for their marriage ceremony.

Tina and Minas did not have a first look before their ceremony began and instead, saw each other for the first time that day as Tina entered The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation in Baltimore.  Tina and Minas’ ceremony was filled with many beautiful Greek traditions.  This included having a koumbara and a koumbaro whose role was to be their Orthodox Christian sponsors.  Part of their sponsors’ responsibilities included placing the rings on the bride and groom’s right hand and exchanging the crowns for the traditional Crowning ceremony.  The Crowning ritual is performed with blessings bestowed and represents the beginning of a marriage with the husband and wife as the king and queen of their family.  It also signifies that the couple receives the grace of the Holy Spirit who blesses their marriage, as the crowns, or Stefana, are swapped three times.  In addition, the ribbons attached also symbolize Tina and Minas’ unity.  Afterwards, the couple participated in the beautiful tradition of Circling the Table.  In this rite, Tina and Minas were led around a table three times, representing the dance of Isaiah, sacrificial love and an expression of joy and gratitude for the blessings of God.  It also symbolized the couple’s first steps as a married couple and their oath to honor their marriage commitment.

Following the ceremony, there was a receiving line for family, then Tina and Minas departed the church for additional photos by AAA Photography at their reception venue.  So we all headed to the grand Valley Mansion by Martin’s in Cockeysville for the celebration!  This venue was absolutely exquisite, with stately Corinthian columns, massive, ornate chandeliers and glimmering gold accents throughout.  The ballroom was decorated so delightfully by Cedar Hill Florist with gorgeous tall floral centerpieces in white with red accents.  The food by Martin’s of course was out of this world, not to mention that scrumptious cake from Patisserie Poupoun!

Tina and Minas’ arrival was announced, and they walked in with their beautiful son in their arms.  Then, the couple danced a sentimental first dance together.  Lovely, welcoming toasts were given by the couple’s fathers, as well a speech that was both playful and poetic from their koumbaro.  (A special thank you to Tina, Minas and their koumbaro for translating the toasts for us!)  The evening was filled with wonderful Greek music provided by the amazing Apollonia Greek Band, and all evening long their guests danced traditional dances and celebrated the newlyweds!

Tina and Minas’ wedding was a fantastic gala that included so many cultural traditions and centered around the love and importance of family.  Of course, the love that Tina and Minas found in each other is the reason for this wonderful celebration!  They are such a delightful and generous couple and we had such a marvelous time working with them and with their family on their wedding day, a day filled with such joy.  Congratulations and ‘Na Zisete’ to Tina and Minas!

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Photographer:  AAA Photography  – Rosedale, MD

Floral Design:  Cedar Hill Florist – Baltimore, MD

Hair Stylist:  Roula’s Salon and Spa – Nottingham, MD

Makeup Artist:  Roula’s Salon and Spa – Nottingham, MD

Entertainment:  Apollonia Greek Band – Baltimore, MD

Cake:  Patisserie Poupoun – Baltimore, MD

Officiant:  The Very Reverend Constantine (Dean) Moralis – Baltimore, MD

Church:  The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation – Baltimore, MD

Venue:  Valley Mansion by Martin’s – Cockeysville, MD