Greek Orthodox Wedding at Endicott College in Massachusetts

Pamela and Gregory

Photographed by: A Perfect ImageLocation: Beverly, Massachusetts, United States

After a two-and-a-half-year courtship sparked by a successful blind date, Pam Scangas and Greg Desses knew it was the right time to make their partnership official. "The romance was so comfortable and exciting, it was as if this was meant to happen," Pam says. "In our hearts and minds, we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together."

With a shared Greek heritage and love of celebration, Pam and Greg decided to hold their wedding at the Greek Orthodox Church in the quaint, coastal town of Ipswich. In keeping with their Greek Orthodox faith, Pam and Greg's wedding ceremony was preceded by a "betrothal," during which the priest chanted petitions on their behalf and then lead an exchange of rings that had been blessed. The couple then continued on to the marriage ceremony, which included symbolic candles, the joining of right hands, and a special "crowning" that symbolized the union of bride and groom. "My favorite moment was having the stefana placed upon our heads joining us as one," Pam fondly recalls of the traditional Greek wedding crowns.

Since Pam maintains a strong affiliation with her undergrad Endicott College, she wanted the institution to serve as a backdrop for her special day. "I wanted Endicott to share in our happiness and in our memories, as it's a place that is close to our hearts," she asserts. Although Endicott is situated on beautiful grounds along the coastline of the north shore of Massachusetts, its most exquisite feature is the historic Tupper Manor designed by renowned architect Guy Lowell. "The mansion where the reception was held was restored to its prior appearance," enthuses Pam, "and looked absolutely amazing."

While Pam and Greg captured their first photos as a married couple beside the spectacular manor fountain, guests began filing into the elegant cocktail hour. The fine architectural details of the mansion's impressive marble foyer caught the eyes of attendees as they selected from an array of refreshments assembled beneath a towering ice sculpture. As guests mingled and enjoyed their hors d'oeuvres, they also admired the dark, wood-paneled library and opulently furnished sitting-room areas on the main floor of the manor. Floral designer Brant O'Brien complemented the rich decor with a striking display of native New England hydrangea, Vendella roses, and English ivy that sat on the mantle of the mansion's ornate fireplace. Cocktail tables displayed bunches of baby calla lilies gathered with tropical leaves, while the reception tables were draped in creamy, white-on-white linens and topped with airy arrangements of blue and green hydrangea accented with nigella, Veronica, and geraniums.

Floor-to-ceiling picture windows afforded views of the ocean and wooded grounds as guests sat down to enjoy a medley of roasted tenderloin with Cabernet Sauvignon demi-glaze and pan-seared tilapia with herb-butter glaze. Dinner ended on a sweet note with slices of the couple's towering vanilla-sponge wedding cake iced in buttercream frosting with blue sugar irises.

Since Pam and Greg both love to dance, they put a spin on the traditional first dance by enjoying two: a "first" Greek dance, followed by an American "first" dance. Adding to the romantic ambience was the ballroom's dazzling chandelier and elaborate French doors that lead out to the glass-encased conservatory. The multicultural music continued with a three-piece Greek band and an eight-piece R&B band that played throughout the night to create an ongoing party atmosphere. "We loved watching everyone dance, mingle, and share in our love and happiness," says Pam.

The beautiful night ended with after-dinner cordials, bite-sized desserts, specialty coffees, and cigars on the patio, while the Greek band played a final romantic set. As guests left the reception with tulle-wrapped sugared almonds tied with "evil eye" good-luck charms, they took with them an evening of memories filled with music, tradition, and above all, love.

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