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Kalofagas Article Re-Printed in Ethnikos Kyrix (National Chroncile)

Kalofagas Article Re-Printed in Ethnikos Kyrix (National Chroncile)

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Published by Peter Minaki
A few years ago I visited the island of Naxos and had the honour of attending a wedding that united two villages with guests numbering near 2000!

Ethnikos Kyrix, the Greek- language edition was founded by the merchant Petros Tatanis, on April 2, 1915.
A few years ago I visited the island of Naxos and had the honour of attending a wedding that united two villages with guests numbering near 2000!

Ethnikos Kyrix, the Greek- language edition was founded by the merchant Petros Tatanis, on April 2, 1915.

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Published by: Peter Minaki on Mar 01, 2012
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03/01/2012

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TheNationalHerald
a b
MARCH 3, 2012www.thenationalherald.com
 
GREEK-AMERICAN WEDDINGS
2
THE NATIONAL HERALD,
MARCH 3, 2012
The National Herald
 A weekly publication of theNATIONAL HERALD, INC.(ΕΘΝΙΚΟΣ ΚΗΡΥΞ),reporting the news and address-ing the issues of paramountinterest to the Greek Americancommunity of the United States of America.
Publisher-Editor
 Antonis H. Diamataris
 Assistant to Publisher, Advertising
 Veta H. DiamatarisPapadopoulos
Special Section Editor
 Angelike Contis
Production Manager
Chrysoula Karametros
37-10 30th Street,LIC, NY 11101-2614Tel: (718)784-5255,Fax: (718)472-0510,e-mail:
english.edition@thenationalherald.com
Democritou 1 and Academias Sts, Athens, 10671, GreeceTel: 011.30.210.3614.598, Fax:011.30.210.3643.776, e-mail:athens@ekirikas.com
Subscriptions by mail: 1 year $66.00,6 months $33.00, 3 months $22.00,1 month $11.00Home delivery NY, NJ, CT:1 year $88.00, 6 months $48.00,3 months $33.00, 1 month $14.00Home delivery New England States,Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland:1 year $109.00, 6 months $57.00,3 months $41.00, 1 month $18.00On line subscription: Subscribersto the print edition: 1 year $34.95,6 months $23.95, 3 months $14.95;Non subscribers: 1 year $45.95,6 months $29.95, 3 months $18.95
By Angelike Contis
 As a filmmaker, Greek-Amer-ican bride Evie Michael Mprasknew a thing or two about set-ting a perfect scene. When itcame to her own marriage toGreek-born economist Nikos Vasilarakis – on January 21st of this year in Athens – she wantedeverything to be perfect.The National Herald caughtup with the Greece-based new-lywed – via email from Greece -to hear more about how shepulled it all together. Mpras ex-plains: “Our theme was 'OldWorld Glamour.' We both loveRenaissance and Medieval peri-ods and channeled those eras when stylizing our weddingday.”The winter wedding cere-mony was held at Saint Dionys-ios Church in Kolonaki with anintimate (for Greece) receptionfor the couple’s 280 nearest anddearest at the city’s most historicand central luxury hotel, theGrande Bretagne in SyntagmaSquare.
TRADITION, THEIR WAY 
That this was a bride with a vision was clear to all. She had,for starters, a wedding book pre-pared months in advance, withinspirations and examples of  what she had in mind. Mpras re-calls: “My wedding coordinatorat the Grande Bretagne eyed my  very detailed and organized wed-ding book and asked what my profession was. I answered that I was a director. She said, ‘Oh, thatmakes sense!’ I took great care with every detail, always keepingin mind the overall effect. This issimilar to the work of a director who tries to construct a scene with a particular atmosphere,mood, and structure.”Mpras is currently workingon a documentary about the leg-endary experimental Greek- American filmmaker, Gregory Markopoulos.When it came to Greek tra-ditions, the bride and groom were wary of some things.Mpras notes: “When I was seven years old, I attended a weddingin a Greek village and swore tomyself that I would never havea traditional Greek village wed-ding. I did not like the loudchatter and shouting during thechurch ceremony and the over-all chaotic nature of the event.”The couple – who both coin-cidentally hail from the villageof Menetes on Karpathos island- wanted a religious ceremony,however. The bride notes: “Weboth love the Greek Orthodoxceremony, which is so rich inmeaning, symbolism, and deepfaith.”Though the religious service was a solemn highpoint, acquir-ing the license for it was frus-trating, even for two individuals with Greek citizenship. “Atevery turn…we were delayed,stalled, and encountered severalchanges to the initial require-ments,” Mpras relates. “Two weeks before the wedding, apriest actually told me I wouldhave to fly to Karpathos to get acertain paper signed. Once Istarted crying in disbelief andexhaustion, he changed his tuneand found another way to getmy paper signed in Athens.”The couple skipped the tra-dition where people toss money (or a baby boy) on the weddingbed. However, they said yes toGreek dancing, lots of it. “Afterour first dance at the reception, we danced the traditionalKarpathiko and Kalamatianodances for over an hour.”
 ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Mpras says there are moresimilarities than differences be-tween weddings in the U.S. and Athens. However, her eye for de-tail gave away her Americanside, or so many guests ob-served. Among personalizedtouches were invitations de-signed by the bride and groom.The bride lauds the creativehelp from Kolonaki’s DrizosFlorists. She says: “Our florist was fantastic. She helped to cre-ate a very romantic and lushlook at both the church and thereception.” Delicate orchidshanging from chandeliers wereamong the special touches.
THE BRIDE’S LOOK 
When it came to her own ap-pearance – for the starring role–Mpras prepped for the big day not by dieting, but by observinga healthier diet. The recentbride notes: “Adopting a healthy lifestyle is always important, whether a wedding is comingup or not. The wedding was agreat motivator for me to getdisciplined. I did not follow astrict diet. I ate more vegetablesand whole grains, and limited white bread, white pasta, and white rice.”The bridal gown, a Reem Acra ballgown, came from New York. Mpras chose a tulle of silk, which she points out is morecommon in Europe than the“nylon tulle veil with body” fa-
Old World Glamour in Heart of Athens
Continued on page 3
PHOTOS: STamOS abaTiS
Going way beyond the usual bridalchecklist, we speak to the pros – includingthree recent Greek-American brides (pp.2, 3 & 5)– to cover all aspects of tying theknot.Something Old… Flowers with ancientGreek symbolism (p. 13), Greek Orthodox wedding etiquette (p. 7), and early Greek-Jewish-American wedding photos (p. 8).Something New… The latest in fashion, jewelry, cakes/desserts, venues, music, videography and photography (pp. 6, 8,9, 11, 12).Something Borrowed…Tasty weddingrecipes from Crete and Naxos (pp. 4 & 8).Something Blue… The Mediterraneanof course, with tips on getting to Greecefor weddings and honeymoons (p. 13).
GreekAmericanWeddings
 
GREEK-AMERICAN WEDDINGS
THE NATIONAL HERALD,
MARCH 3, 2012
3
By Angelike Contis
Real estate attorney StephanieTsolis had met her future hus-band, Greek-born computer en-gineer Nick Makos, throughfriends years ago, she recalls. Andthey would sometimes meet inplaces like Astoria and say hello.Then finally, she recalls, “Onenight, we spoke a little more.”She thought to herself: “Wow,he’s interesting.”Flash forward to June 25thand the couple were wed at theSt. Nicholas Greek OrthodoxChurch in Flushing, a place notfar from where the bride grewup in Bayside, New York, whereshe had been baptized and at-tended GOYA. On that day, Tsolis, with her elongated features anddark tresses was every bit theGrecian beauty, but this was nocookie cutter bride – she wantedto do things a little differently.“I knew I’d be a very hands-on bride,” the attorney explains,noting that no detail was toosmall to avoid her attention. Forone, she explains: “I wanted tra-ditional, with a twist.” In search-ing for a term to describe her wedding, she decides on “neo-traditional.”Her unique touches began with the invitations, which shecrafted together with Anastasiaof Anastasia’s Giftshop. The bridetook a design and changed theribbons, adding a brooch (atheme that would follow on lam-bades candles, flower girls andeven the personalized WeddingCake by Jay).One memorable difference with 99% of weddings in the U.S. was that there were no brides-maids. She skipped having acrowd at the altar in lieu of mak-ing little stars of the children inthe family.
 A CLEAN LOOK 
Shopping for a bridal dress was no chore. “It was fun lookingfor a dress,” she recalls, thoughit took her a while to find some-thing that was both traditionaland modern. She went with a white Ines Di Santo gown withSwarovski crystals and sequins,a drop waist and just the rightamount of “poof.”When it came to her hair andmakeup, Tsolis notes: “I wanteda clean look.” It helped to achievea special glow by going to HelenChiasson, the Greek woman whohad cut her very thick hair sinceshe was 12 years old, for her hair(kept comfortably up) andmakeup. A colorful side head-piece with rhinestones replaceda traditional crownThe bride kept her jewelry simple, due to the sparkles onher dress – chosing dramaticdrop earrings and a bracelet.When it came to her feet, how-ever, the shoes were eye-catch-ing. “I have a shoe obsession,”the newlywed confesses. Sheskipped the usual white shoes fora pair of pewter-colored strappy Giuiseppe Zanotti sandles thatshe has enjoyed wearing severaltimes since the wedding.
THE VENUE
While doing her venue re-search, it was love at first site forthe bride when she walked intothe Garden City Hotel GrandBallroom. “I said, this is it,” shesays. The room’s chandeliers andits palette of gold, warm colors,cream and silver fit perfectly intothe wedding image in her head. Amidst the inevitable flurry of activity as the bride and groomcelebrated with 350 guests,everything went smoothly, andthe couple appreciated that at alltimes they each had a staffershadowing them to help out. Be-fore the big day, having a Greek planner at Garden City made itless stressful to plan an event with mostly Greek guests. (Ac-cepting help from family mem-bers proved vital too.)The tunes – supplied by pop-ular DJs Power Station/ChristosLambropoulos - were almost allGreek too. “There is more passionand power in Greek songs,” saysthe bride whose first dance pick  was Marinella’s dramatic “Για Σέ- νανε Μπορώ (For You, I Can).” After their big day the couplespent a few days with guests (al-though they wish there was moretime to have enjoyed them) be-fore flying to the French Polyne-sian islands of Tahiti and BoraBora. In retrospect, the bride isglad she followed one piece of advice on her big day. A friendurged the couple to make sure –in the chaos of the day -to con-sciously sit back, be still and en- joy for a full two minutes. Amidstthe noise, the talking and move-ment that inevitably fill a wed-ding, Stephanie and Nick will for-ever cherish those 120 seconds. vored in America. When it cameto “something old,” Mpras wasdelighted to use her grand-mother’s wedding purse fromthe 1950’s. “That was a specialsentimental touch in my acces-sories.”Her shoes were handcraftedin Greece, notes the bride: “Ibought my shoes from Kozatsacreations in Athens. They makeshoes by hand and are incredi-bly comfortable! The store wasfounded in 1936 and used tomake shoes for stars such asJayne Mansfield.”There was a practical side tothe choice. “Greek receptionhalls never have a time limit as American reception halls do. Wedance all night long into themorning, so my shoes really hadto be comfortable!”When it comes to her name,Mpras notes: “I will be followingthe trend in Greece and will notlegally change my last name.However, I will socially go by my husband's last name.”
HEY, MR. DJ
For a couple that is passion-ate about music, having controlover the sounds heard on theirbig day was a big deal. No Greek pop or requests were allowed.Kefi was abundant.“Nikos and I chose every sin-gle song on our playlist. Love of music is one of the things thatbrought us together, so it was aspecial part of the reception forus. We tried to make a playlistthat reflected our tastes, butthat also would be fun and en- joyable for our guests. It wasmostly old-school: 60s and 70srock, jazz, and pop. Our favoritesongs were (our first dancesong) Chet Baker's 'My Funny  Valentine', Al Green's 'I Can't GetNext to You,' Jethro Tull's 'TheWhistler,' Etta James 'If I Can'tHave You,' and Led Zeppelin's'Whole Lotta Love.'” Among the memorable audiotreats was the scratchy, vinylrecording the groom discoveredof first dance song, 'My Funny  Valentine'. Mpras recalls: “Eventhough we were in the middleof a crowded ballroom we feltlike we were having an intimatemoment.”Icelandic wonder Bjork’s"Like Someone in Love" was re-served for the end, with only ahandful of people left. The briderecalls: “I sang along and sere-naded to my husband who wasboth embarrassed and laughinguncontrollably.”The event was documented ondigital and film by photographerfriends led by Stamos Abatis. Greek filmmaker pro shot theevent on Super 8 black and whitefilm, lending an antique look.Having returned from a honey-moon that extended the OldWorld Glamour theme to Pragueand Vienna, the bride now hasthe pleasant task of editing themovie of her big day herself. As the Greek-American inGreece enjoys the afterglow of her successful celebration, she hasno regrets about things she couldhave done differently. Apart fromhaving had an extra taste of the wedding cake, the newlywed whoplanned out every last detailnotes: “I honestly can't think of anything in particular that I would have done differently.”
TIPS
• Though Greece’s crisis al-lows for some negotiatingpower, don’t expect all venuesto be open to bargaining.• It is becoming increasingly common for couples to registerat a bank in Greece.
Old World Glamour in Heart of Athens
Continued frompage 2
 A Neo-Traditional Greek Wedding

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