We get our fair share of romance here at SMP. Aside from the obvious insider’s peek into every beautiful wedding that graces our pages, we get to hear a few love stories along the way. And this one takes the cake (it’s all spelled out by the stunning bride below). Voila Cinematic captured a love story worthy of the big screen, and we love, love, love it.
From the gorgeous bride… Four years ago and the first day of my new job, I met a very handsome colleague named Kosta, who happened to work for the same branch of government as me in New Jersey. I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight, but there was no denying the sparks between us when we first locked eyes. Neither of us was available at that time and even if we were, there was no breaking that golden rule of not dating people you work with. A few weeks later, my office moved and one year later he randomly showed up at my office to just to say hi. Same sparks, but this time we were both living single and were no longer working in the same office. To my surprise, I later received an email from him asking if I wanted to go out sometime. We played it safe making it an ‘unofficial’ work date, but it was obvious there was something brewing between us… fireworks!
One week later, Kosta asked me out on an ‘official’ dinner date. Prior to meeting, he sent me a text that said, “I booked us a vacation!” (What? Is he crazy!) Over our dinner date, Kosta would not disclose where this vacation was taking us, but that he had booked it four months ahead. So I said to him, “Well what happens if we are not still dating by then?” He simply said, “Well, it was a good deal for a date.”
Over the course of four months, we only went out on two more dates. We both decided that neither of us was really ready for a serious relationship and we remained friends. After not having talked to Kosta for some time, I randomly texted him asking if he would be my date to an upcoming wedding. Thankfully he accepted and we ended up having a blast! At the end of the night with no further obligation to ever see each other (at least I thought) he asked me if I was still interested in going with him on that trip he booked and that I had completely forgotten about! I accepted and found myself spending an amazing few days in sunny St. Pete Beach, Florida where I fell in love with the man and the place. The rest is history.
For anyone that knows Kosta and I, we live our lives outside of the box. Traveling is something we love to do and we do a lot of it. So when Kosta planned for us to vacation at a hotel in St. Thomas there was no other thought except that this was another great vacation and we were going to have the time of our lives. To my surprise, Kosta had a few tricks up his sleeve and we actually ended up in St. John at the most gorgeous mountain top villa I have ever seen. To further the surprises, Kosta rented us a private catamaran for the day to sail around the islands and then proposed to me at sunset.
We are one of few couples that can actually say we planned our wedding together. From wedding eve to wedding day, there was not one piece of this epic two night event, that did not come straight from both our hearts and souls. Our wedding reflected our personal taste and style, but was also heavily inspired by things that have deep personal meaning to us or that have a story behind them. For one, we decided to have a destination wedding in St. Pete Beach, because that’s where we fell in love. What you see in the photos and video highlight is a true reflection of us as a couple and our most special day!
Our wedding was a unique blend of the Old Greek Orthodox traditional church ceremony paired with a contemporary twist to an Old Hollywood Glamour reception. As my husband is Greek, it was his dream to get married in a traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony. So it was a major plus to find St. Nicholas Cathedral in Tarpon Springs, Florida which is one of Florida’s oldest Greek churches. The tempura painted icons in the arch and ceiling of the Church, along with its original marble floors and chandeliers makes this Church beautiful and breathtaking. The unique style of this Church can only be found in old monasteries in Greece. Our reception was held at the Loews Don Cesar Hotel, also known as the ‘Pink Palace’ in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Kosta and I were so inspired by the Don’s unique history dating back to 1928 and the lavish living of prohibition times, that we used that as our theme for planning our rehearsal dinner and reception.
Our reception theme was “A Night to Remember” Old Hollywood Glamour Style, and boy was it ever! An intimate candlelit room showcased a unique set up of one large table in the shape of an X so that all guests sat together. The table was laid with sumptuous black textured linens with a black and white damask runner, accented with silver candelabras, an abundance of soft classic white and off white flowers, including hydrangeas, garden roses and ruffled tulips. Finishing the table was an ivory three tier textured cake accented with a simple jeweled broche and feather, placed at the center of the X table giving a dramatic look. The colored up lighting illuminated the swag covered walls creating the illusion that the walls changed color. The dining room connected onto an open veranda outside where a black and white monogrammed dance floor stood underneath a swag covered pergola finished with a hanging chandelier with offset white lounge chairs for added seating. And to add a little more ‘wow’ guests looking over the veranda could see our monogram being illuminated in the grand pool given off by a custom gobo light.
The colors, aesthetics, presentation and orchestration of our events would not have been what they were without the help of a great team who saw our vision and helped us bring it to life. And the amazing cinematography and photography that captured it all allow for this greatest day of our lives to be relived every time. One of the best things we did in our planning was to hire Georgia Watson, professional wedding planner or as we like to call her a wedding engineer. She found us amazing vendors and orchestrated a flawless weekend filled with love, joy and beauty.
Concept and creation of both events: Georgia Watson | Videography: Voila Cinematic | Photography: Shannon Livingston | DJ: DJ Jeff Staples | Venue: The Don CeSar | Hair and makeup: Beauty Brought Out | Florist: Botanica International | Linens: Connie Duglin Linen | Drape, lounge furniture: Botanica International | Wedding Cake: Alessi Cakes | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale | Bride’s Dress: Augusta Jones