Eolia, Waterford/Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church

July 30-31, 2016

Photography ©MelaniLustPhotography 

The goal for the giddy pair’s July 2016 wedding, which included a welcome dinner at The Granite House in Waterford; a garden ceremony and glowing reception at Eolia, the mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford on July 30; and a second ceremony at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in New London on July 31, was to make everything as “personal” as possible. “We are both very sentimental,” says Lauren, “and wanted to incorporate as many family heirlooms and meaningful details as we could in order to share the love and appreciation we have for our families.” After all, “everyone at our wedding played a part in our relationship and who we are.”  

And so stamps from Lauren’s grandparents’ vintage collection were used to mail invitations as well as on escort cards that featured a painting of Eolia done by Nick’s yiayia (grandmother) who traveled from Greece for the occasion. Lauren’s beloved Grandma Marion’s vintage hankies were at the ready to handle “happy tears” at the ceremony, where programs were displayed in a vintage suitcase that had belonged to her great-aunt. The cuff links and pocket watch Nick wore had been his grandfather’s. The flower girls, including one very special brown-eyed beauty named Tesla Rose, whom Lauren and Nick call the “light of our lives” and are in the process of adopting, wore ballet shoes to honor Lauren’s role as a dance teacher. Lauren even collected vintage china (included cherished pieces that had belonged to her grandma) to set banquet-style tables lush with florals for the reception. Her grandma’s vintage wedding dress from 1947 and Nick’s mom’s dress from 1986 were on display at Eolia, while Lauren wore her mom’s wedding dress for the Greek Orthodox ceremony at which she and Nick used the stefana (wedding crowns) from Nick’s grandparents’ wedding more than 50 years ago. Lauren’s sister Margo, as the koumbara (marriage sponsor), held the crowns over their heads as, according to tradition, they were switched back and forth three times. 

“You don’t say vows in a Greek Orthodox ceremony,” explains Lauren. “It’s all about rituals … rituals that made us feel connected to our ancestors. The ceremony was our way to honor God and our families — and we got to see the joy it brought to everyone’s faces. Those kind of moments and the meaning we knew was behind them are the ones we’ll always remember.”

Dress designer: Allure Bridals

Dress boutique: The Wedding Embassy, Oakville

Tuxedos: Formals by Antonio, Rocky Hill 

Videographer: Fairytale Studio, New York, N.Y.

DJ: Top Floor Light and Sound, New York, N.Y.

Emcee: Premiere Emcee, Hartford 

Florist: K.L.W. Design Co., Waterford

Cake: Creative Cakes by Donna, Haddam

Makeup: Simply Gorgeous by Erin, Southington

Hair: Upstyle Hair + Makeup, Collinsville

Invitations: Karri Lee Designs, Collinsville

Transportation: Dattco, New Britain (trolley) & First Student, Waterford (buses)

Planner: Lauren O Events, Middletown