Hi! I would like to invite you to my wedding planning process of my
Star Wars meets Disney Princess Themed Greek Wedding…
Getting engaged is such an exciting time! We made the decision not to tell anyone for months because my now-husband Demetrios and I wanted to enjoy being engaged without the million and one question game. It also helped prevent us from becoming overwhelmed with questions and having answers when people started asking. We did tell our parents because without their support we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Getting engaged can also be stressful! There are so many decisions to be made and so many moving parts. Below I have in detail explained the process that I went through planning my own wedding and a process that I help all my brides go through.
Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section or reach out to me!
A few months after getting engaged, but before our theme was picked I went dress shopping with my parents and maid of honour. We visited two salons, Bridal Reflections in Westbury and Kleinfeld’s in Manhattan. My only request for a dress was that it have a deep v neckline. The first appointment went well but the dress I loved had a lot of illusion to it so I was worried that it may not be Greek-Church appropriate. It was also very fitted and I don’t like to worry about my weight so I was worried it may not fit appropriately before the wedding.
When we went to Kleinfeld’s I tried on a few beautiful dresses! Nearing the end of my appointment I was trying to decide if the dress I had on was one, I glanced around the salon and saw a dress hanging sideways with a bunch of other dresses. I left the pedestal and walked over about 20 ft away to where it hung. My consultant told me that I had time to try it on but she wanted to check the price first. Luckily it was feasible. After putting it on and coming out of the change room to show everyone, I felt like a bride. There really is that moment in your gut when you know. I had had it with the other dress, but this dress just felt right. Tears were shed. It took me a few minutes to commit because I really wanted to be sure but in the end, I did commit. I ended up with a Pnina Tornei! You can read all about the choose of the dress here.You can read all You can read all about choosing a dress her
“Pinterest and the Internet are great sources of inspiration. At the end of the day, it was about creating something that fit our personalities and my vision.”
How Our Theme Was Born
On April 21st, 2016, my boyfriend of 6 years finally proposed to me during a road trip to Asheville, North Carolina by waving a white flag of surrender and with many thoughtful words. It was the perfect proposal considering we met through an online first-person shooter game and he isn’t one to “surrender”.
Later that summer, while sitting around the kitchen table with my parents, he asked me what the theme of the wedding would be. I had given it no thought, because although I tended to always throw themed parties, I figured a wedding was about choosing colours and making that work to our personalities. Essentially, that Demetrios and I were the theme.
I told him I had no idea, that was thinking about colours and he insisted that we needed a theme. Thinking out loud he suggested, “What about Star Wars?” I nodded, thinking that’s a definitely maybe as we are both Star Wars fans, him more so than me though. Then he continued, “Well… Star Wars is owned by Disney now so…” and I quickly interrupted excitedly, “HOW ABOUT STAR WARS MEETS DISNEY PRINCESS?”. He agreed immediately and our theme was born.
Now came the challenge how to bring it to life.
Demetrios’ biggest worry was that the theme could come across as a children’s party if done incorrectly. I agreed with him and accepted this challenge.
Location, Location, Location
I am from Western Canada, between Edmonton, Calgary, and Golden. My mother is from Austria and my father from Alberta.
Demetrios is from New York, his mother from Cyprus, and his father was Greece.
Our wedding brought family from all over the US, Western Canada, and Austria. This really motivated me to make the wedding even more special, because our guests were travelling so far to celebrate with us.
My fiancé is Greek, my family is very close, and we have a lot of friends so I expected it to be a big wedding. I invited over 200 people, with around 170 people attending. We chose Calgary, Alberta as our wedding destination because that’s where my parents live, where most my friends are and where, other than New York with Demetrios, I call home.
My dream wedding was originally in the Rocky Mountains, on top of a mountain or just somewhere in the middle. There is, however, no Greek Orthodox Church in the Rockies near Calgary so that scratched that idea. To compromise we decided to rent a 55-person bus and take our out of town guests for a bus trip into the mountains the day after the wedding to get our wedding portraits done and let our guests experience what the Rocky Mountains have to offer. They were not disappointed.
Finding a Venue
Finding a venue for over 200 people in Calgary limits where you can choose. I decided to go with the Carriage House Inn for a number of a reasons. It’s a hotel so it’s convenient for my guests and I. They have incredible food, great staff and are easy to work with. The large ballroom worked perfectly with my vision for bringing our theme to life.
Because I wanted both themes to be dominant, I felt the only way to really do this was to create a space for each of them. The main ballroom at the Carriage House Inn is separated in half by the dance floor with the head table in the middle.
Bringing the Theme to Life
I designed 28 different tables. 26 of which we used. For the Disney Princess side, I decided to use the obvious choice, princesses. I also included a real Austrian Princess, Sissi, to give a shout out to my Austrian heritage and a childhood love for Sissi. I also included the Evil Queens, because who the princesses be without their evil counterpart?
For the Star Wars side, I decided to use planets. I had thought about using different characters to match my idea for the princess side but decided that planets would be easier and then I could give it an “outer space” feel and each table would be like you are on that planet.
The best way, and as I’ve seen in many examples online is to have different centrepieces on each table that complement the overarching theme. I wanted to take this a step further and make each table its own independent universe that complemented the overarching theme. I was initially worried that it might clash having every table a different colour but Shannon from Chair Flair, from whom I rent all the linen and chair rentals assured me it would not. Shannon has incredible selection of linen, chair and table settings to choose from and that what she didn’t have, she ordered in. She also has incredible techniques for chair ties so that each table looked different through that small detail.
Designing the centrepieces was a whole different story. I made a list of each table and on that list, I included what ‘accessories’ defined that table. Monica from Dahlia Floral Design and I came up with centrepiece designs that matched each table’s theme and accessories. Monica is one of the most talented people I know. The floral designs she created were breathtaking.
Creating the atmosphere in the room went beyond just tables. Lighting and backdrops were so important. I hired a production company, Orange Frog, to help with this. I wanted Star Wards decals I had hung on the Star Wars wall on top of a star backdrop and for the princess side to create the feeling like you were inside a castle looking out on a sunset. I also designed a floor gobo that went with the theme that they were able to create. This really personalized and set the tone for the whole room. Orange Frog was incredible to work with.
I also wanted to bring the theme into cocktail hour. I hired some princesses and the 501stBadlands Garrison provided Stormtroopers, Tie Fighter Pilots and even a Tusken Raider to mingle with guests! For décor, I build the Disney Lego Castle, designed our seating chart to match the theme and our invites, a floral Cinderella carriage arrangement, and princesses and storm troopers scattered all over the room. To personalize the room, I also printed off large photos of us that were taped over existing hotel pictures.
It was such an intricate set up that I hired an incredible Day of Coordinator to make sure that my vision came to life and that I could enjoy my day without stressing over it. Alexandra from Boutiq Wedding and Events was a dream come true. She made sure everything was set up correctly and everything ran smoothly.
I have included pictures from Gingersnap Photography, WeImages, my vendors, and guests, all of whom have given me permission to use their photos.
My Husband is Greek so we decided to be married in a Greek Orthodox Church and follow Greek Wedding Traditions because it really is very meaningful and beautiful. There were several traditions we included:
The Krevati (Greek Marital Bed) – The bed is decorated with flower petals and then money, rice and a baby are added. The symbolism is as follows:
Money comes first and symbolizes prosperity, is added to the bed first. Money is essential to help enhance the quality of their lives.
Rice is then thrown on the bed which is symbolic of putting down roots. These roots are a good backdrop for a healthy marriage.
Finally, a baby is placed on the mattress. If a girl is desired as the first born, a girl will be placed on the mattress. If a boy is desired, then a boy will be placed.
The Greek Church Traditions.
The bombonieres as favours – 5 candy coated almonds: The white symbolizes purity. The egg shape represents fertility and the new life which begins with marriage. The hardness of the almond represents the endurance of marriage and the sweetness of the sugar symbolizes the sweetness of future life. The odd number of almond is indivisible, just as The Bride and The Groom shall remain undivided.
The Kalamatiano – The Bride’s Dance – This is a first dance where the bride leads the wedding part. Sometimes, as in our case, the families throw money at the newleyweds. I learned the dance in the summer, but had forgotten it by the time our day came. Luckily my niece was there to help guide me!
Greek dessert table at the wedding!
We choreographed our first dance song to 3 different songs: The Blue Danube, Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac and Get Back by Ludacris.
Guests were asked to sing a line from a Disney song to get the bride and groom to kiss.
Groom has empire buttons and cufflinks while the Father of the Bride had Rebel buttons and cufflinks.
The Bridesmaids outfits, hair and makeup are inspired by Princess Jasmine.
The look of Groomsmen are inspired by Stormtroopers.
The Flower girl dress was made by the bride and inspired by Princess Aurora.
The Ring bearer is Prince Charming.
The parents of the bride also went into character after the Church. The mother of the bride made the brides childhood dream come true by dressing up like Ursula the Sea-witch (her name is also Ursula) and the father of the bride did two costume changes. He was the old and new beast from Beauty and the Beast.
All the save the dates, invites, programs, seating chart, table numbers, and thank you cards were designed and made by the bride. The invites took 6 hours between 5 people to cut up and stuff!
All the terrariums were made by the bride.
- Planning & Design: Northern Lights Events
- Decor: Northern Lights Events , Chair Flair , Orange Frog Production
- Day of Coordination: Boutiq Weddings & Events
- Florist: Dahlia Floral Design
- Photographer: Gingersnaps Photography & Guests
- Videographer: WeImages
Ceremony Venue: St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
Reception Venue: Carriage House Inn
DJ: Backstreet Productions: (403)815-1965
Princess: Forever Princess Paties
Star Wars characters: 501stbadlands
Makeup: Sabeen Pervez (587)899-2700
Hair: Head Games by Kacey
Transportation: A-1 Sedan and Limo