A Big Fat Greek Wedding in Seattle at the Arctic Club
Winter weddings in Seattle are few and far but when they’re at the Arctic Club, you know it’s going to be classy and sweet. I’d never documented or witnessed an Orthodox Greek wedding in Seattle so when Nina and Nick invited me to shoot theirs in 2015, I was ecstatic.
Here are a few words behind the planning from Nina and Nick:
How did you and Nick meet?
Nick was living in California and I was living in Seattle. He had been friends with my brother for 15 years and we were both involved in the Greek community. Somehow, we had never met. We both visited Portland one weekend for the Greek festival since we had mutual friends there. I instantly knew who he was, so I walked up to him and said “Hey, you’re Nick Retelas!”
That same night a group of us went to a small bar to catch-up. He and I had wild chemistry that drew us to each other. We connected through an existential talk. We felt like we had known each other forever. The next night I told one of our friends “He’s my soul mate.”
How did Nick propose?
Family is very important to us, so Nick arranged for his entire family from California and my family to get together on my 26th birthday.
I was upstairs at my parents house in my childhood room, where he found me and grabbed me at my waist (he was was so nervous and breathing heavily – like Darth Vader). He said the most beautiful, romantic words I’ve ever heard; which I now can’t remember. He then dropped down on his knee, reciting my full name and asking to marry me.
Both of our families were waiting to congratulate us downstairs with a lot of champagne prepared.
What’s your inspiration behind your decor?
We wanted our love to shine, so keeping the décor simple, was key.
White and Gold, were the color scheme to our subtle décor; which can be complex and difficult to tastefully execute. Our intent was to highlight the architecture and keep the décor simple, elegant, and timeless. To do so, we avoided superfluous decorations and made very thoughtful choices on quantity and quality.
The flower arrangements consisted of all white roses, gardenias, and orchids that were accented by gilded magnolia leaves and olive branches – imagine 1920’s Classic meets Mediterranean. I believe that invitations set the tone for a wedding. We selected a high quality, ecru colored, thick paper, accented by gold edges and (taupe) engraved, formal text. Consistency was very important to us, so we were very thoughtful about keeping our vision at the forefront of decision making.
What are your favorite parts of your wedding?
Our ceremony was deep and spiritual – you could feel the room palpitating with love. Nick and I couldn’t stop bawling, as his father (our priest) spoke his blessing to us at the end of our service.
We entered our reception lead by a Greek folk band and the entire dance floor was showered with money as we danced (a Greek tradition).· We chose to get married on my husband’s 35th birthday – he proclaimed, “It is the best gift I could ever ask for.”.
To honor Nick’s birthday properly, we had our 5 tier wedding cake rolled out, full of sparklers and the room sang happy birthday!
Why the Arctic Club?
Large weddings can lack intimacy and warmth. The Arctic Club is a historic landmark, filled with photos and relics from the originating founders. That historic presence in combination with the grand architecture provide the perfect intimate setting for a winter wedding.
Here are a few more photos of Nina and Nick’s day starting with their getting ready and their Greek Orthodox wedding at St. Demetrios Orthodox Church in Seattle.
Thanks to our fellow vendors for making Nina and Nick’s vision come true!
Venue: The Arctic Club Seattle
Florals: Athina Flora
Video: Best Made Videos
Bakery: Macrina Bakery
DJ: Yianni Vlahos
Second shot by my work wife and BFF Jenny Wohrle!
Getting married at the Arctic Club Seattle and need a photographer? Having a big fat Greek wedding in Seattle and need an experienced photographer? Get in touch!
Need another indoor venue in Seattle? Check out this Seattle Tennis Club wedding by the water!