All photos by Christina Gameos Machuca, Mary Jamis, Cally Jamis Vennare, and Jana Siperstein-Szucs. More photos by John Columbo to follow!
John and Jessica were married September 3, 2017 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. The bride was beautiful and radiant, the groom was handsome and full of smiles! Guests came from New Jersey, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Washington, Ohio and of course Pennsylvania! Their wedding was a year in planning and it showed in every detail. From the Monopoly themed invitations to the sunflowers from McConnells’ Farm (Hopewell, PA), every segment of the wedding was lovingly thought out.
Calvin McConnell graciously agreed (one year in advance!) to grow the sunflowers for John and Jessica. They were absolutely stunning! Joanne and her daughter Michelene picked them fresh from the fields just a few days before the wedding! They were used for the bouquets and in the quart mason jars that adorned every table.
First, the ceremony! The Greek Orthodox wedding is steeped in centuries old tradition. Nouva Cally Jamis Vennare exchanged the wedding rings and crowns three times. Many prayers were said for John and Jessica, and the couple was ceremoniously led around the celebration table three times. The crowning is our favorite part. Here is a wonderful explanation of this part of the service.
The Service of Crowning
The Joining of Hands – The Service of Crowning begins with the invocation of the Holy Trinity. After petitions are offered on behalf of the bride, groom and wedding company, three prayers are read which ascribe to God the institution of marriage and the preservation of His people through the ages. During this prayer the priest joins the right hands of the bride and groom to symbolize the union of the couple through the lord. Since God is the true Celebrant of every sacrament, the priest always expresses himself in the third person. He is simply God’s instrument in the service.
When guests entered the hall they were greeted with drinks and charcuterie by Medure’s Catering. Tables were decorated in yellow and green, and adorned with games and mason jars of sunflowers. Eugene and the Nightcrawlers played blues music all evening. Joanne, owner of Katherine’s Daughter Events and mother of the groom, led a traditional Greek wedding dance in honor of the bride and groom.
A Pittsburgh wedding would not be complete without a cookie table! Relatives baked traditional Greek cookies such as finikia, baklava, kourambethes, koulourakia, and paximathia. Also on the table were peanut butter blossoms, Italian wedding cookies, pecan cookies, Hungarian nut rolls, lady locks, and buckeyes. John and Jessica also had an amazing chocolate cake from LaGourmandine.
There was never a dull moment! If the guests weren’t rocking to the music, they were playing rock ’em sock ’em robots! Children played and danced to the music. All in all, it was a wonderful wedding, full of love and happiness.
Congratulations John and Jessica!!
Wedding Coordination: Katherine’s Daughter Events
Sunflowers: McConnells’ Farm
Bride’s Dress: Luualla
Groom’s Suit: Men’s Wearhouse
Wedding Cake: La Gourmandine
Make up: Faces by Danina
Hair: Ashley Withers
Bouquets: Daleen Wilson
Invitations: Paper Truly