Lauren met Antonis when he was her waiter for dinner with one of her girl friends at Clyde’s of Georgetown in Washington DC. Antonis had recently fallen off his bicycle and was bandaged up, but it made for good conversations at Lauren’s table. Even with all the bandage, Lauren thought her waiter was a “major cutie.” They had a great time and Lauren left without knowing that her friend left her phone number on the receipt for Antonis. Well, the rest is history.
We planned their engagement session in a way that really reflects the significant moments and individuals of their relationship. We started around the Georgetown Waterfront where Antonis and Lauren met for their first date and sat for hours talking. We took a walk around where they live and the neighborhoods where they would walk Lola, their furry baby. They got Lola (spontaneously!) when Antonis surprised Lauren and took her to the pet store to play with the dogs. They came in the store with the sole intention of cheering Lauren up, as her childhood puppy had passed away, but came out not only with mission accomplished but also a furry friend who quickly became an integral part of their lives. Our last stop was at Clyde’s where they first met and where it all began.
Read on to find out more about their story.
Favorite Things They Like To Do Together
They love simply spending time together. But if it involves going out, they love going to wineries and getting out of the city for the weekend. And if it doesn’t, “I love when Antonis cooks and I can just watch him do his magic and eat it!,” Lauren says.
“I love traveling with Lauren,” Antonis says. “Exploring the world with my best friend has been such an exciting ride. We have been to Greece, France, The Bahamas, and a bunch of states in the U.S.“
What They Love Most About Each Other
Antonis: “I love the unconditional support and love Lauren gives me. As a private contractor, I have to come up with different ways to find clients. I’m always talking about creative strategies and asking for advice from her. I’m sure it can get boring for her sometimes but she is my muse and is capable of great ideas. My success is owed to her support and I don’t where I would be if I hadn’t met her.“
Lauren: “He is very attentive and just so sweet. When I’ve had a bad day he always surprises me with something. Whether it be a drawn bubble bath, flowers or a spectacular meal. He is always putting me first, even if I don’t always deserve it.“
Lauren: “Antonis and I were in Greece and he had taken me shopping in Rethymno. I had NO idea it was coming. That night was the festival of St. Mary which was a huge party in his village. We had just arrived in Greece and I was still jetlagged and tired and parties in Greece go until the early morning regularly. At 3 in the morning, I was ready to go to sleep. At that point it was now or never I guess! Antonis asked me if I wanted to go for a walk to the park where we went 4 years earlier to look up at the stars. As we walked through the crowd of maybe 250 people, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was speechless. It was the perfect proposal for us.“
Antonis: “Lauren was in complete disbelief. She did not expect it, especially since I said it wasn’t happening anytime soon. I bought the ring in front of her in a Greek jewelry store. It’s a good thing she doesn’t understand Greek. That evening, I brought her to the center of the dance floor during a huge celebration in the village my Grandmother was born in. I got down on one knee and you could tell she was confused. I asked, “Will you marry me?” over the live music playing in the background. The whole village was confused as proposing in front of a crowd is not a common way for Greeks to propose. She did not say one word. It was as if her thoughts were going too fast for her mouth to articulate the word “yes”. I proceeded to put the ring on her despite not hearing yes yet. I got up and asked the question again. The villagers were whistling and clapping and I finally got a “Yes!” She was in tears immediately and so was I. She asked me, “who knows about this?” I told her I asked her Dad first and she was so happy that I did it right that she cried even harder. I had a friend record the moment on my phone.”
Antonis tells it best about the ring. It made me laugh out loud. So here goes: “The ring is from Greece. When we decided to go back to Greece together for a vacation I had no intention of proposing to her. Maybe I was too preoccupied with work or maybe I was just being stubborn, either way, once we landed I started to form this romantic idea of proposing to her in Greece. Not only in Greece but in Kerames, the village I visited in the summers growing up, the village my Grandmother was born, the village that is over 300 years old conservatively, the village that is my birth right and the reason I am who I am today. I start talking about it with my friend Aris, a groomsman in the wedding, the night before. He tells me, “If you love her and want to spend the rest of your life with her then do it! She’s a great girl and the whole village loves her.”
The next day I take her to Rethymno, Crete for shopping. It is the closest major town. I take her into the jewelry store and start telling the saleswoman about my intentions being careful no to use the Greek phrase “I’m getting married” (“Padrefto”) in the sentence. Lauren had picked up some Greek at this point and trust me when I say she had marriage on her mind. I somehow get the saleswoman to size her in the corner of the shop. Meanwhile, I’m quickly haggling and picking a ring. I am literally arguing with the saleswoman and telling her that I do not want an engagement ring but a wedding band. My intention was to allow Lauren to help in picking the actual engagement ring, at the same time I wasn’t going to drop a ton of money on ring that was not thought out.
Fast forward to a few days after the proposal and we are in Chania, Crete enjoying the sites. We come across a jewelry store and a ring caught Lauren’s eye. We go inside and it appears they are getting ready to close. Of course, they accommodate especially since Lauren already knew which ring she wanted to try on. She puts it on and it fits perfectly. You see her eyes light up and I immediately felt my wallet get lighter. I knew this was the ring. I begin to negotiate in Greek in order to keep the price from Lauren. As we’re negotiating they bring out the Raki. Raki is a spirit similar to Grappa which is made from the second pressing of grapes intended for wine production. These sneaky Greeks and their liquid kryptonite. I ask Lauren if this is the ring she wants. She screams “Yes!” and I proceed to take a shot. This moment was captured by the assistant who was taking pictures of us while we were in the shop. I still have the picture.”
The Wedding Theme
Classic with gold, blush and white is going to be their wedding theme. They both come from a rich heritage – Lauren is Irish Puerto Rican and Antonis is Greek Filipino – and will dedicate the desert table for delicacies from their cultures. And for their love of travels, the table names will be places they have been together and have a significance to them.