When Maria Bisbikis Marros started planning her June 12, 2016, wedding to Konstantinos Marros in Charlotte, N.C., she knew exactly what she wanted. “My husband and I are both Greek, and we wanted the traditional church wedding and Big Fat Greek reception,” Maria said. “We chose to have the reception in our church’s reception venue because it was a blank slate that we could make into our own.” The couple went on to do exactly that.
When choosing her floral arrangements, Maria wanted a very romantic and royal look, so she worked with local florist Roula Economos to achieve the look she wanted. “I had large fluffy pink peonies in gold birdcages on some table arrangements,” Maria said. “There were also hydrangeas and ranunculus mixed in bouquets and arrangements. Every table as well as the bar area was filled with moss and greenery throughout.” Deep and bright shades of red and pink roses also were prevalent.
Speaking of the bar area, Maria was thrilled with how amazing the bar setup turned out. “I had a custom-made moss wall, compliments of my florist, with ornate gold mirrors and frames hanging on it,” she said. “My bar was a 20-foot-long farm table sitting on vintage wine barrels. I had an open structure built around the bar that had lanterns, chandeliers, greenery and crystal beads hanging down. I wanted guests to feel like they were walking into a chic, ‘outdoor’ bar. It was something that I had designed, and it was so exciting to execute it and see it come to life.”
The wedding cake was another highlight of the wedding reception. Crafted by Lisa Toohey of Cake Expressions by Lisa, the cake featured eight tiers of various flavors that included almond with Nutella filling, lemon cake with raspberry filling, chocolate cake with salted caramel filling, and red velvet with cream cheese filling. The exterior was equally varied with an ombre design. “The bottom tier was ivory with lace, and each tier got darker in color, changing from ivory to pink to bright red at the top,” Maria said. “The whole cake was adorned with very lavish gold accents, and the top layer was designed to look like a small birdcage. My wedding cake was so enchanting.”
However, the wedding cake was not the only enchanting feature at the wedding. Maria also created an enchanting look for herself. A fan of “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta,” she headed to Bridals by Lori in Atlanta with her mother and sisters, where they set out to find the perfect dress. Working with sales consultants Flori and Lawrencia, Maria wasted no time seeking out her dream dress: a Rivini dress named “Angelique.” She first spotted the dress in a magazine, then again online, and loved how it combined two 2015 trends: skirts with volume and illusion. “I wanted a dress that looked regal, romantic and enchanting,” Maria said.
As soon as Maria arrived for her appointment at Bridals by Lori, she asked if the dress was available. “It was the very first dress I tried on,” Maria said. “Instant tears! The intricate beading, the whimsical skirt and the gorgeous back design really had me smiling from ear to ear.” She immediately fell in love with the illusion at the neckline, the beading that appeared to float on her skin, and the tulip sleeves. “The dress was so easy to move around in, and I could visualize dancing in it all night,” Maria said.
Maria also loved that Rita Vinieris, the designer of Rivini and the daughter of Greek immigrants, shared a Greek background with Maria and Konstantinos. “I am a first generation Greek-American, and I loved the idea of walking down the aisle in my Orthodox cathedral wearing a designer who is also of Greek origin,” Maria said. “Everything about the dress just clicked. I truly felt like it was designed for me!”
Her husband certainly approved of Maria’s choice, and said his favorite wedding memory was when the cathedral doors opened to reveal Maria standing in her wedding dress just before she walked down the aisle. “The sun was beaming on her, and her dress was sparkling,” Konstantinos said. “In that moment, I forgot everyone was watching and just enjoyed listening to the music, watching my forever angel walk toward me.”
From start to finish, Maria and Konstantinos loved every minute of their Big Fat Greek wedding and reception, and couldn’t be more pleased with how the event turned out. “Our head table was in front of the entertainment stage looking out over 60 tables filled with friends and family that were there to share in the joy of our marriage,” Maria said. “There is something special about being in your wedding dress, sitting next to the love of your life, and taking in the sights around you. All the hard work and stress leading up to the actual day just disappeared. It was immediately apparent to me that everything I imagined and hoped my wedding would be like was staring me in the face. It was such an extraordinary feeling.”
In the Details
Dress: Rivini by Rita Vinieris
Crown: Maria Elena Headpieces
Veil: Custom 14-foot veil by Blossom Veils
Groom’s tuxedo: Vera Wang
Bridesmaids dresses: Alfred Sung
Florist: Roula Economos
Wedding Cake: Cake Expressions by Lisa
Photography: Critsey Rowe Photography
Location: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Charlotte, N.C.