Evil Eyes, Olive Branches, And Other Greek Influences Added a Special Touch At This Wedding

The bride's Greek heritage was the focus at this Meridian House wedding.

Photography by Sarah Bradshaw Photography

Tessa and Tyler describe their celebration as “evocative of the bride’s Greek heritage.” Special details throughout their big day that honored Tessa’s family included plenty of olive branches and Greek “evil eyes” at each table setting. The best part about these sentimental details? They came directly from Greece thanks to the bride’s relatives. Tessa explained that her aunt stashed the olive branches in her suitcase during the trip over. Love it!

Prior to the reception, guests were invited to a Greek Orthodox ceremony service at the stately Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in DC. Once vows were exchanged, Tyler, who’s a Navy pilot, had his groomsmen command an Arch of Sabers, which allowed for some regal photo-ops. Guests then hurried over to the Meridian House for an al fresco cocktail hour before celebrating the night away inside the historic venue’s library and drawing room. Check out the rest of their wedding below!

Get more Washingtonian Weddings inspo:

Newsletter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

Tyler & Tessa Wedding-11 (1)
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-17
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-13
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-7

Tyler & Tessa Wedding-49
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-51

Tyler & Tessa Wedding-58
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-63
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-68

The First Look

Since their ceremony was going to lean more on the traditional side, Tessa and Tyler opted to have a first look above The Line Hotel before heading to the altar. There, they read their personalized vows to one another. “It was the most special moment, and I still replay it over and over in my head,” says Tessa. “I was so overwhelmed with emotion, and having that time alone together before the ceremony made walking down the aisle even more special.”

Tyler & Tessa Wedding-95
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-101

Tyler & Tessa Wedding-88
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-89

Tyler & Tessa Wedding-126
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-132

Tyler & Tessa Wedding-152
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-153

The Groom’s Favorite Moment

Tyler says that his favorite memory of the big day was the couple’s first dance. Leading up to the wedding, Tyler was very nervous about having to dance in front of all of their guests. So, they decided to have their first dance during cocktail hour under the twinkling lights in the garden of the Meridian House. Tyler says what made the dance so special was that they also had his brother and Tessa brother sing a duet of “Lay It On Me” by Vance Joy. “Having our brothers play our favorite song, as I tried my hardest not to trip over my feet or drop Tessa on the ground, was an incredible moment for us as a family,” explains Tyler.

Tyler & Tessa Wedding-147
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-156
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-149

Tyler & Tessa Wedding-145
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-179

The Wedding Day Menu

During their cocktail hour guests enjoyed a variety of passed hors d’oeuvres. “We wanted it to be all of our favorite things and the most random but fun mixture of choices,” says Tessa. Adding, “we didn’t need for it to make sense!” They served baby gyros for another Greek twist, beef wellington, mini chicken-and-waffles, crab cakes, and more. As for dinner they decided to have a more traditional spread of a choice of short rib and polenta, or halibut and truffle mashed potatoes. “When you’re from a Greek family, vegetarian options aren’t very prominent, but we were sure to have a veggie plate too,” says Tessa. 

Tyler & Tessa Wedding-183
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-186
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-178

Tyler & Tessa Wedding-224
Tyler & Tessa Wedding-212


The Details:

Photographer: Sarah Bradshaw Photography Venue: The Meridian house | Planning & Design: Etc. Coordinators | Florist: Darling & Daughters | Invitations: Jessica Silverman Invitations | Catering: Main Events Caterers | Cake: Baked & Wired | Hair Stylist: Styled by Anna Fazio | Makeup Artist: Makeup by Ana B | Bride’s Attire: Vera Wang from Carine’s Bridal Atelier | Groom’s Attire: Dinner Dress Blues, Navy uniform | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Jenny Yoo, BHLDN | Groomsmen’s Attire: Navy Uniforms & The Black Tux  | Music/Entertainment: DJ Dan Goldman (reception); Mixing Maryland DJ (after party) | Transportation: Sunny’s Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation

Assistant Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Jacqueline comes to Washingtonian with close to five years of digital content experience and SEO best practices. She previously was a senior editorial associate at WeddingWire, specializing in wedding fashion, and before that, an assistant at Vow Bride. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, she now lives in Columbia Heights.