{SBB Bride of the Week} Christina

C H R I S T I N A + S T E P H A N

{November 25th, 2017}

 {Photos by: Timothy Whaley & Associates}

{Photos by: Timothy Whaley & Associates}

Meet Christina!

I’m sure you already noticed but she looked AH-MAZING in her strapless, satin Essense of Australia gown!

Combined with her Edward Berger veil {from SBB} and her gorgeous bouquet by Flowers with Jazz, Christina was walk-down-the-aisle ready!

{Photos by: Timothy Whaley & Associates}

Christina married her husband Stephan in a gorgeous ceremony at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church…

{Photos by: Timothy Whaley & Associates}

After the I do’s, guests headed to The Odyssey in Tinley Park!

To say the hall was covered in gorgeous blooms is an understatement! We’re such big suckers for beautiful flowers!

Know what else we’re suckers for? Dessert.

And there was a LOT of it at this reception!

{Photos by: Timothy Whaley & Associates}

I mean, so pretty right??

OK, let’s get down to the details! How did Christina and Stephan meet?

“We met at IU Optometry School one of our first days there. I messaged him on Facebook after finding out he was Greek too and we hit it off. We began as friends and we would study together all the time and then one thing led to another.”

How did he pop the question?

“I was doing my rotations for school in Chicago and he was working in Munster, Indiana. My birthday had been a few days before and he told me he wanted to take me to dinner and come stay in the city for the weekend. He booked a room at the Godfrey Hotel and told me to meet him there (I was staying at my uncles' house in the city). So I get to the hotel and meet him at the room and when he opened the door there were rose petals leading from the door onto the bed. I kind of laughed because I thought this was for my birthday and had always told him he wasn't romantic. He was already dressed and told me to get ready so we could go to dinner since we had reservations soon. I got ready quicker than he expected and when I finished he had to kill some time so he told me that the reservations had gotten pushed back. I sat on the bed and started looking through the menu of the place we were going to and I hear him messing with the safe. He kept opening and closing it and made some comment like "Look the safe works!" and I told him to stop messing with it because he was going to break it and we would have to pay for it. He goes, "Ok, ok! Hey, why don't you come over here and take a picture with me." So I walk over and he's on his knee with the ring and says (what I can remember even though he claims he said a lot more) "Christina Alexandria Kouklakis, will you marry me?" and the only thing I could get out of my mouth was "How did you get that already?!" to which he responded "Are you going to answer me?" Of course I said yes and then begin to try and call my family. No one was answering their phones. No one. So he tells me let's just go to dinner and you can call them when we get back. We get in the Uber and drive to the restaurant (Chicago Cut) and he's trying to keep me outside by telling me we need to take some pictures and let's look at the water. After 10 minutes I was ready to go inside, I couldn't understand why he didn't want to go in. Finally, he gives in and we walk into the restaurant and I look to the side and I see my whole family and his! He had been trying to hold off going inside to give the restaurant time to seat everyone so it would be a surprise!"

Oh my gosh, so sweet!! Was it a surprise or did she know it was coming?

“We had designed my ring together at Albert's. We couldn't find one that we liked and decided designing it would be the best option. Stephan's only rule was, even though I knew what it would look like, he didn't want me to know when it would be ready and when he picked it up. The lady who was helping us when we went to pick out the center stone told us it would be at least 2-3 months before it was ready. In actuality, it took about 2 weeks. So I knew it was coming but I didn't know when."

Let’s talk dresses! How did Christina find “the one”??

“I had gone to look at dresses in Chicago at some salons and could not find anything that I liked so I was becoming really frustrated. I came to Something Blue and immediately found 2 or 3 dresses that I really liked and that my dad really liked as well. He wanted to be the one to give his approval on the dresses my sister and I picked when we got married since he was there when my mom picked out her dress. 

Originally I had another dress picked out and was going to go back into Something Blue with my mom, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and grandma to show them what I had picked. A few days before, my sister saw a dress on Something Blue’s Facebook and said that even though I had picked a dress I HAD to try this new one on before making a decision. When we got to the store and I put it on I loved it. It was classic. It had just the right amount of lace, a long beautiful train with buttons going down the back and hugged my figure the way I wanted. Put it together with a cathedral veil and it was perfect!"

We agree!

When it came to planning her big day, what were Christina’s favorite and least favorite parts?

“I really liked the planning process in general. I liked picking out flowers and decorations and deciding what the invites would look like! 

My least favorite was the stress. We couldn't find a venue for the longest time that could fit the amount of people we were having (think, My Big Fat Greek Wedding- almost 500 people). Figuring out the date was another headache. If the hall could do it, the church couldn't and visa versa, we were bringing people from Greece so trying to coordinate with them was a challenge.”

What was her favorite moment from her wedding?

“After we were married. Our reception was so fun! Everyone seemed to have a great time!”

Now that she’s a married woman, Christina has some advice for future brides…

“Enjoy each moment. Definitely start early and do the big things first- hall, music, photographer/videographer, etc. 

Enjoy the process! The day of the wedding make sure you have someone in your wedding party have an "emergency bag" with them full of things you might need-- including a snack and some water! The day goes by quickly so make sure you have fun and don't worry about what might go wrong or what things should have looked like."

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful wedding day with us, Christina and Stephan! We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!! Check out more of their big day in the gallery below!