Jessica and Andy’s Enchanting Greek Garden Wedding

Captured by Alex Gordias Photography
Submitted by Primavera Dreams


Jessica wed her Cornell University love, Andy, of Ukrainian origin.

Jessica is a self-made person who tragically lost her mother when she was still in high school. In a touching tribute, she wore her late mother’s wedding dress for the second part of the wedding and incorporated Greek traditions into the wedding ceremony.

Here is what Jessica wrote about this emotional experience:

“Navigating a life milestone after the loss of a parent is complex- regardless of how incredibly happy you may be, their absence is still felt. This became extremely evident to me when I stumbled upon my mother’s wedding dress while moving homes right before our wedding day. I have always felt a deep connection to my mom’s gown, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to honor and incorporate it.

Feeling my mom’s spirit along with the abundance of love from the incredible support system present at our wedding truly meant the world to me.”

Jessica and Andy’s story began over a drink at Dunbar’s, a popular bar in Ithaca, NY. Jessica bartended during the weekdays and Andy would pass by the bar each evening on his walk home from campus. One Wednesday evening, a chance encounter over a classic tub of Dunbar’s popcorn solidified their bond. Andy continued to frequent the bar to see when Jessica was working. As the weeks continued, Jessica grew fond of Andy’s visits and the conversations they shared while she closed the bar.

Over the course of the following month, Jessica and Andy became good friends, bonding over their love for traveling, animals, and D’Angelo’s cheese steaks. As summer approached, the two learned that they would both be in Boston for work. Andy, a New England native, spent the summer showing Jessica around Boston and the North Shore, where he grew up. Jessica knew Andy was special after he introduced her to his family after their second official date. After quickly growing close to both Andy and his family, she knew that the bond they shared was unique.

Andy and Jessica continued to develop their relationship, growing together throughout their time in Chicago for Jessica’s MBA. Three pets later (Santos, Geppetto, and Pita), Andy proposed, and the rest is history.

Their wedding was filled with laughter and love; it took place in Wellesley, MA, on a beautiful August day, in the Italianate Garden at Elm Banks. The atmosphere brimmed with blooming flowers and singing birds.

Jessica wore two dresses, the second of which was her late mother’s gown, altered ever so slightly to fit the celebratory vibe.

The picture-perfect ceremony took place in the beautiful Elm Bank Gardens. It incorporated Greek traditions: the couple included the Stefana ceremony, which is when Crowns are placed on the heads of the bride and groom, who are connected by a ribbon symbolizing the couple’s union. The crowns are thrice swapped between their heads. Then the couple walks around in a circle three times to represent their impending journey as husband and wife. With Stefana, the couple is crowned as king and queen of their common home.

Another tradition observed was the gift of Koufeta (sugar-coated almonds) given to guests. Small parcels containing five almonds were given to the guests to symbolize both the indivisible power and endurance of marriage. The five almonds represent health, happiness, fertility, wealth, and longevity. The combination of the sweet exterior coating and the salty almonds inside symbolizes that life has ups and downs, but it will hold more sweet moments than bitter ones.

The cocktail hour was held in the adjacent garden, a truly enchanting space. A joyful reception featuring many delicious hors-d’oeuvres followed, located in the Carriage House.

From sharing their love story on their wedding website to ensuring that each of their loved ones had a moment to speak at the wedding dinner, the couple put their hearts and souls into every aspect of the celebration. Warmth and jubilation emanated throughout the day, and everyone’s spirits were flying high!

All of these wonderful moments were captured by the talented photographer: Alex Gordias.

Now based in California for Andy’s work, Jessica and Andy have begun this new, exciting chapter of their lives!


Dress Designer: Bridal Galleria//Musicians: Arreaux Strings//Other: Natural Focus Films//Shoes:Jimmy Choo//Bridesmaid Dresses: Revelry//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Ted Baker//Invitation Designer: Paradise Invitations//Band: Cartier//Hair Stylist:Beauty Boston Artistry//Lighting: Design Light Co//Caterer: Peppers Artful Events//Floral Designer: Floristika Studio//Reception Venue: The Gardens at Elm Bank//Event Designer: Primavera Dreams//Photographer: Alex Gordias Photography//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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