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Big Fat Greek Wedding

A Big Fat Greek Wedding Celebration

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.

Big Fat Greek Wedding 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.”

Big Fat Greek WeddingThe 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.”

Big Fat Greek WeddingHowever, 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!”

Big Fat Greek Wedding 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.

NY Bridal Market 2017 – Rivini Bridal

It’s that time of year again, New York Bridal Market! Check out these stunning #bridalgowns from designer Rivini Bridal .  Lori Allen and Monte Durham adore quite of few of these beauties. Your thoughts on Rivini Bridal’s showcase of gowns?

#newyorkbridalmarket #nybridalmarket #rivinibridal #bridalsbylori #sayyestothedressatlanta #syttd #rivni #bridalmarket2017


Environmentally Friendly Lighting for a Green Bride

The wedding day is a custom as old as civilization itself. Love is in the air as couples begin their lives together in the presence of family and friends.

Wedding planners throughout history have searched for special touches to make each event unique. Whether the blessed event is sumptuous or simple, the goal always is to make it memorable while launching the happy couple off to a great start.

In our 21st century, more and more couples are looking to be more environmentally aware and  “ ” looking to add green, sustainable values to their lives. Why not start with the wedding? Elegant lighting for the event is now both affordable and responsible. A wide range of solutions are with us today which barely sip from the power grid. Choose anything from rechargeable candles to a huge variety of LED bulbs. Let your imagination fly with solar powered fairy lights! Neither rain nor wind will knock these lights out. Guests will love them and the atmosphere they create.

Set your creativity to work. A beautiful, green wedding is within your reach.

–By Chris Angus


It’s exciting to see bridal styles transition over the years. Bridal couture is a reflection of popular culture or “the style of the time.” From Grace Kelly’s rose point lace to Judd Waddell’s innovation of the 1st strapless gown, the bridal world has its share of historic fashion moments. When introducing or following suit of a trend, no one designer has the same vision. Some follow the same formula in line with the adage of, “If it’s not broke, then don’t fix it” approach while others develop innovative and groundbreaking transformations each season. Nonetheless, it’s all in the name of fashion and we’ll always have a front row seat for that. Take a look at some of the trending styles we’ve noticed this season:



Florals add a feminine and romantic touch to any gown. It softens your bridal look with little to no effort.  Every designer is different in the way a trend is portrayed in the design. For instance, Lazaro has colored floral patterns throughout the bodice and trailing down the train of the dress. Underneath is blush tulle used to complement the floral pattern while really allowing the hints of color to pop……The other samples have floral appliques in the same tone as the dress. The Matthew Christopher gown (middle) is a deeper ivory color with florals throughout the skirt. The Rivini has floral accents throughout the entire gown while emphasizing another major trend of the sheer silhouette.  This is a fun and showstopping trend that’s sure to be around for a while. 


 Low backs!

This trend is very popular in bridal. Low backs range from a plunging V-shape to an illusion with floral accents. Whichever, this style is sure to be a sexy, yet elegant addition to any bridal gown. (Featured: Amsale and Kenneth Pool) 


The Minimalist Bride…. Simple chic and elegance! This style caters to the bride that wants  clean-cut fabrics with a touch of modernism for a sleek wedding look. The first gown is a Jesus Peiro high- V-neck, full skirt with added bow.  The middle Amsale gown features an overskirt, which is a touch of modernism for this spaghetti strap, silk sheath number. The last Amsale gown is a boat-neck, silk taffeta ball gown with pockets.  “Less is more!” 



Gold beading and embroidery is definitely making waves in bridal. This form of beading is so dominant and extravagant, that brides need very minimal accessories to complete the perfect wedding look. Gold can highlight the best features of a dress–changing the look completely!  Gold is indeed a hit for jewelry and headpieces as well. (Featured: Enaura Bridal  and Eve of Milady)


Pop of Color!

Color trends are for brides looking to show their unique style and personality. We’ve seen this trend transform over the years. Before wedding dresses mimicked the Victorian era and were solely white, brides would wear actual color in their weddings. Blue, red, green…you name it! We’re happy to see this come back into the bridal world. It’s a great alternative to what’s become the traditional white or ivory. We would definitely say that these designers got it right!  (Featured: Matthew Christopher and Romona Keveza)  


Plunging Necklines or Deep V-Necks!

This style is designed in many different forms. Whether it’s paired with an illusion neckline or off- the-shoulder sleeves, this is a sleek trend offering a touch of drama to any gown. From the image above, it’s evident that this neckline can be paired with a dramatic or understated gown.  (Featured: RiviniWatters, and Kenneth Pool )


Sheer Bodice!

Sheer bodices are bold, sexy and trendy! Only for the daring bride! Even in a modest ballgown, this trend highlights the bodice and makes it more appealing and bold. The floral appliques throughout the skirt soften the look of the dress, which still allows for the dainty, princess look. The gown to the right has fully incorporated beading with the sheer bodice, which makes the dress more glamorous. The mermaid style adds a sultry effect. (Eve of Milady) 

Like what you see? Come visit us! We have all of these styles in-store and would love to help you find the perfect dress!

Lori Burns Allen has a special message for the SYTTD: Atlanta Fans!!


Monte Durham Against Bullying

Hats off to Monte Durham for his advocacy on Bullying Prevention for TLC’s ‘Give a Little’ Campaign! He discussed his personal experiences with bullying and gave suggestions on what we can do to prevent it. As we know, Monte is dubbed the life of the party as a lively co-host of “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta,” alongside Lori Burns Allen. However, this interview exposes a  more vulnerable side to counteract the familiarity of the TV personality.  When asked why he chose  bullying as a  topic to raise awareness, he responded, “Bullying is a sore spot for me because I’ve been a victim. From my looks to my mannerisms, I know what it feels like to be judged unfairly. But now I have this platform and I’m able to use my popularity to speak up for those who can’t speak up for themselves. I’m able to go out and say ‘This is wrong and it’s unacceptable.’ “

  Thank you Monte for your voice!




  • Click the link for the full interview:

BBL: 2015 Wedding Recap!!

At Bridals by Lori, we play a huge role in preparing our clients for the “Big Day.” We not only help brides and grooms find their wedding dresses/ tux, but we assist the entire wedding party in looking and feeling great for the wedding. Often times, the wedding party will send us pictures to show their appreciation for our assistance. We take great pride in helping them through this process, so it is amazing to see their vision come to reality on this special day. Here is a recap of some of the weddings that have taken place this year. All of our brides and grooms look amazing and we are indeed proud. Enjoy!



Sterry and Jacob


To avoid blowing their budget, Sterry and Jacob opted to trade their dream location for a more natural alternative. “We didn’t have the budget to have it in a castle, so we decided to use the beauty of the Florida Emerald Coast,” she says. Therefore, they chose the Airforce Soundside club at Hurlburt Airforce Base, Fla., due in part to price and the size of the ballrooms. “It also offered an outside location overlooking the water so we didn’t have to deal with the sandy beach,” Sterry says.

Sterry had to think outside the box, so to speak, when it came to finding a wedding dress as well. “I struck out with local bridal shops in the panhandle of Florida, so I decided to Google bridal stores in the Atlanta area and stumbled across bridals by lori,” she says. With some assistance from Flo and Lori, Sterry left with a Lazaro dress that featured “a vintage style while still capturing a modern look.” “The veil really sealed the deal to give the dress a long veil ‘train’ look that I desired,” she says.

That “look” led to both Sterry and Jacob’s favorite wedding memory. For him, it was seeing Sterry when she first came out of the building and walked down the aisle to meet him. For her, it was the look on Jacob’s face when he first saw her in the wedding dress.

Having the wedding outside also contributed to some of the wedding’s other interesting moments. For instance, Sterry’s funniest wedding memory was when all of the groomsmen bent over and helped all of the bridesmaids by picking off the sandspurs at the bottom of their gowns, which resulted in a great photograph. The wedding couple also received quite a surprise at their reception when one of the groomsmen decided to strip off his tux and dove into the Soundside water in his undies for a quick swim. Talk about unexpected!

Through it all, Sterry and Jacob had a marvelous time, especially given that both sides of their family and all of their friends were together for the first time. It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime occasion!

  • SHOES Diane Lynn
  • JEWELRY Andriana Orsini
  • TUXEDOS Calvin Klein
  • PHOTOGRAPHY Birdsong Photography

Jennifer and Tim

Jennifer O'Donnell party

When Jennifer started planning her November 2010 wedding to Tim, she found two dresses at a store in Philadelphia (the couple wed in Pennsylvania) she loved, but a year before the wedding she learned that both choices had been discontinued. Not to be deterred, she sought out “the best bridal salon in Atlanta,” where she lived. “I found Bridals by Lori and made an appointment and the rest is history!” Jennifer says.

With Flori’s assistance, Jennifer chose five gowns she liked and made a second appointment to return with her mother and one of her maids of honor. “I wanted lots of beading and detail and a good style line for my body, plus a chapel-length train,” she says. She found it in a design by Amalia Carrara. “What sealed it was the total overall look with the matching veil, which was cathedral length with lots of embroidery and beading along the edges,” Jennifer says. “I love the line of the dress with the big skirt and the vintage detail of the mantilla-shaped veil. It was very dramatic but elegant – exactly what I wanted.”

Drama and elegance turned out to be the theme for Jennifer and Tim’s wedding. First, the elegance: The couple wed at Riverview Presbyterian Church in Drexel Hill, Penn., where her father is the minister (he performed the ceremony!). They moved on to The Radnor Hotel in Wayne for the reception. “We wanted a formal, sit-down reception with four-star service,” Jennifer says. “We wanted our guests to be pampered and a lot of options and extras along with an elegant environment. The Radnor Hotel offered everything we wanted.”

Next, the drama: Jennifer designed the tea-length bridesmaids’ dresses (plus patterned and sewed three of them!), which were inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s wedding dress in Funny Face. Each bridesmaid, including the junior bridesmaid, ordered a custom crinoline in the colors of their choice for under their dress. This splash of unexpected color was just the first of many fun, yet dramatic moments.

Another came when Jennifer walked down the aisle. “The whole day was amazingly perfect, but my favorite wedding memory was walking into the church getting ready to proceed down the aisle and seeing Tim waiting for me,” she says. “I was so overjoyed at marrying him that apparently I laughed with joy all the way down the aisle. It’s in the video and I don’t really remember laughing, but I know I was smiling so much that my face was tired later.” This is Tim’s favorite wedding memory as well. “He says he can’t describe why because it’s impossible to put into words,” Jennifer says.

Jennifer saved one more moment of drama for the reception. “The bouquet toss was hilarious because I did something completely different,” she says. “I didn’t toss the bouquet. Instead, I turned and ran to my maid of honor and handed it to her, but I almost landed on my face because I slid the last couple feet since the dance floor was slippery. It was caught on video, too, and was pretty funny. I hadn’t told anyone I was going to hand the bouquet to my maid of honor so everyone was pretty surprised.”

Now that the big day has come and gone, Jennifer says one thing remains: “How absolutely happy and joyful I was the whole day,” she says. “I couldn’t have asked for it to be any better.”

  • WEDDING GOWN Amalia Carrara
  • SHOES Marciano
  • BRACELET Regina B
  • TUXEDOS Calvin Klein
  • PHOTOGRAPHY Casual Candids