Opa! A Greek Orthodox Wedding Where Tradition and Ultra-Glam Collide

Peggy Panopoulos & John Chipian

Holy Trinity Cathedral & Grand Hall at the Union Pacific Depot

The Couple


Peggy (a marketing consultant) and John (a wealth advisor) met at a Greek concert in Las Vegas when Peggy’s friend recognized John from a parody video she saw on YouTube.

Peggy’s friends partied that night with John’s friends, then, after four years of dating Peggy, John was ready for the next move. “Given that we had met at a Greek concert, I saw the perfect opportunity to fittingly propose at one,” John says. “Peggy and her girlfriends had planned a weekend getaway to Vancouver to see one of their favorite singers.

Unbeknownst to Peggy, I had notified the concert organizer of my plans to propose and was able to coordinate a moment with the musician to bring her on stage. Once she walked on, I came out with ring in hand and asked her to marry me in front of the entire audience. Amidst tears and cheers from the crowd, she said ‘yes.’”

The Wedding

Salt Lake City’s 100-year-old Holy Trinity Cathedral hosted Peggy and John’s traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony.

“The location was particularly meaningful to us because John’s parents and grandparents were also married there,” Peggy says. “The Greek Orthodox Sacrament of Marriage is unique in many ways, but primarily in that the ceremony has remained almost entirely unchanged since its origination centuries ago.”

Peggy created a personalized touch to the traditional ceremony by adding a sentimental inscription in John’s ring for him to discover during the ceremony.

The Mood

“We opted for an elegant, black-tie affair with a neutral color palate to underscore the historic beauty of the Grand Hall,” says the bride. “In typical Greek fashion, however, our wedding was themed around one word: party!” Food action stations, custom cocktails, musical performances and traditional Greek plate-breaking amped up the celebration.

The Menu

Live food stations included flaming Saganaki cheese appetizers and an ice-sculpted cocktail luge. A formal plated dinner began with spinach and arugula salad topped with tart cherries, sweet ricotta and hazelnuts tossed with a local honey vinaigrette and garnished with edible flowers. Next, caterers served chicken rotolo stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes, basil, Parmesan cheese and prosciutto or a beef tenderloin medallion with natural jus.

To top off the meal, loukoumades (Greek donut holes fried on sight and tossed in honey and powdered sugar), mini cannoli, and goat cheesecake bites with raspberry compote  and chocolate bouchon were served for dessert. Late-night offerings included mini Greek gyros and mini souvlaki skewers provided by Aristo’s Greek Restaurant, movie theater popcorn, milk chocolate sea salt popcorn and chocolate chip sea salt cookies courtesy of The Blended Table.


Photography: Elisha Braithwaite Photography, SLC

Wedding planner: Fuse Weddings and Events, SLC (a UBG Vendor!)

Catering: The Blended Table, SLC

Loukoumades: GR Kitchen, Midvale

Cake: Carrie’s Cakes, Sandy

Cocktail hour appetizers and late-night snacks: Aristo’s Greek Restaurant, SLC

Ceremony site: Holy Trinity Cathedral, SLC

Reception site: The Grand Hall at the Union Pacific Depot, SLC

Flowers: Blooms & Co, SLC

Hair: Tatum Wetzel Hair

Makeup: Jill Marie Makeup

Audio Rentals: Performance Audio, SLC

Photo Booth: Piato Marketing, SLC

Rings: Hancock Jewelers, Draper

Invitations: Le Paperie & Company, Los Alamitos, California

Gown: Berta Bridal, available locally at Alta Moda Bridal, SLC

Suits: Burberry

Ceremony violin: Flavia Cervino Wood, SLC

Ceremony guitar: Michael Lucarelli, Holladay

Reception music: Oneiro Greek Band, Warren, Michigan; Otis Day and the Knights, Burbank, California; DJ V Mike Varanakis, SLC

Videography: High Tower Films, SLC

Officiants: Father Elias Koucos and Father Mario Giannopoulos

Previous articleWedding Inspo: Salt Lake City Chic
Next article2018 Wedding Trend Report