At their late summer garden-inspired wedding, Marina Aiken and Kosta Dionisopoulos strove to bring the beauty of outdoor gardens and the Greek countryside indoors with a lush, flower-strewn reception. Check out the results below, captured by Sarah Bradshaw Photography.
Marina Aiken and Kosta Dionisopoulos first met when Kosta was on one of his rounds delivering fresh produce to Marina’s uncle’s restaurant, The Greek Spot. While dropping off a last-minute order, a young woman running around the kitchen with a box of tomatoes accidentally bumped into him.
“Once we recognized each other, we laughed and promised to get together sometime,” says Marina. “A week later he came to visit me while I was working a shift, and the rest is history.”
Marina and Kosta got engaged on a romantic trip to Greece a year later. Kosta had been planning on waiting until the end of their trip to propose, but found he couldn’t wait. Their first evening in Santorini, as they watched the sun set from a cafe on a cliffside overlooking the Mediterranean, Kosta asked for her hand in marriage.
For their wedding and ceremony, Marina and Kosta looked to their Greek heritage for inspiration. They wed at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, afterwards posing for photos in Franciscan monastery gardens. The ceremony was followed by an alfresco cocktail hour that featured a farm table overflowing with produce—a nod to Marina and Kosta’s respective jobs and their first encounter at The Greek Spot.
The gardens also served as inspiration for the reception at St. Francis Hall, where the couple created an “indoor garden” effect by procuring spiral and ball topiary trees to scatter throughout the ballroom, boxwood hedges to line the stage, and Juliet garden roses, dahlias, and white and pink rose flower pieces to adorn the tables. They also placed a hand-bottled vial of olive oil imported from Kosta’s family’s village in Sparta on each of the tables, a gesture giving guests a little taste of the Greek countryside in summertime.
In another homage to Greece, Marina designed the weddings favors as modern takes on the traditional Greek “boubouniera.” She sent sketches to a boutique wedding store in Athens to be custom made. The resulting favors were made to look like olive branches, with Jordan almonds as the olives and stems made of cinnamon sticks. After their wedding the couple jetted off to Miami beach for their honeymoon.
Photographer: Sarah Bradshaw Photography | Wedding Venue: St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral | Reception Venue: St. Francis Hall | Event Coordinator: HJ Planners | Florist: Petal’s Edge | Hair & Makeup: Carola Myers Makeup & Hair Artists | Bride’s Gown: Hayley Paige from Lovely Bride DC | Groom’s Tuxedo: M. Stein & Company Tuxedos | Cake: Classic Bakery | Transportation: Limousines Inc. | Videographer: Video Express Productions | Entertainment: The Golden Flame | DJ: Midnight Sounds DJ | Invitations: You’re Invited… Invitations by Ange | Tableware & Linen Rentals: Party Rental, Ltd. | Tree & Hedge Rentals: Plants Alive! | Furniture Rentals: Vintage Affairs | Lighting: Bialek’s Music