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The Zoitas-Pantelidis wedding of the summer in the Hamptons
by Fotis Papagermanos
A summer wedding is always a good way to create memories, especially this summer, after a year of hiding behind our masks due to pandemic. And if the wedding happened to be held somewhere in the Hamptons, then it was almost certain that all guests would have a good time.
This Greek-American wedding was billed as a family affair, and mostly close family attended. The families of the bride and the groom are well-known in the community, having been in the forefront of the business and social ladder.
So, when two young persons are joined with happiness and become a lovely couple everyone enjoys the happy occasion of a summer wedding. On June 19, 2021, on a very warm Saturday, the family of George Zoitas, and the family of Calliope Pantelidis, celebrated the wedding of two of the most promising young people in the community.
The father of the groom Ioannis Zoitas is the owner of the West Side Market chain supermarkets that are well known for their fresh produce and delicious warm food from its kitchen.
The mother of the groom Maria Katopodis–Zoitas, aside from being a great cook, has recently authored a cooking book with a variety of Greek recipes. West Side Market also has a record of social solidarity and community, offering food and other assistance to their respected communities.
The father of the bride, George Pantelidis, is a well-known and well-regarded entrepreneur, who along with his brothers formed the “Pan-Bros Associates”, a real estate development management company. The mother of the bride, Stephanie Pantelidis, is currently the President of the Philoptochos Benevolent Society of Ladies in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Holy Trinity.
Both are very close to the life of the community, offering personal support and donations to many philanthropic organizations and the Greek Church.
The Zoitas family is originally from the island of Lefkada in the western part of Greece. Many family members with roots from the same island were in attendance, along with some of the most prominent members of the Greek community of Long Island.
The wedding ceremony took place in the church of the Dormition of Virgin Mary, located at 11 St. Andrews Road, in Southampton. Father Konstantinos Lazarakis officiated the ceremony, assisted by Fr. Alex Karloutsos, vicar of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The church was decorated with beautiful flower arrangements in the shape of an arch.
George Zoitas, the groom, surprisingly arrived at the church driving his own car.
During the ceremony, the groom was wearing a blue tuxedo, unsuspectingly sending a message to all guests that this was a summer wedding (by not wearing socks).
The bride, Calliope Pantelidis arrived by limousine and immediately upon her exit all guests were drawn to her exquisite gown, a beautiful two-piece dress with lace and long sleeves. The gown also had a long veil that accompanied the bride. Her hair was held in the back by a knot.
And so, after the ceremony and the traditional exchange of wishes from guests, everyone was directed to the home of the bride in Water Mill NY.
There another surprise awaited all guests. This was a black-tie optional affair, but you would not feel uncomfortable if you sat down with the tuxedo. The house and the grounds were transformed into a mythical palace offering a warm place for the reception that followed. Even those among the guests who were not somehow related to either the family of the groom, or the family of the bride felt like they were family.
The transformation of the backyard of this beautiful Hamptons home was magical.
Flowers, and especially roses in pink and red colors, were placed all over the garden and welcomed the guests, who were directed to a new grand hall space like ones usually used to stage wedding receptions. Even the letters C&G were displayed elegantly on the dance floor.
Of course, the dance floor did not remain empty for long.
With green trees surrounding the backyard, guests felt as if they were in nature, while all the elements inside were that of a touch of luxury and a fine service. The feeling everyone had was like seating comfortably inside the summer house on any other day.
The main attraction of course was the newlywed couple, who danced their first dance to the tunes of Michalis Hatzigiannis, a popular Greek singer. The traditional Greek “glenti” had already started. The mother of the groom and the father of the bride were in the dance floor first and then everyone was invited to join.
Soon after, the floor was filled with the money that guests and relatives threw on the couple. One can argue that this is a local tradition, since it has started a long time ago in the community. But it is a tradition that came from Greece and was enhanced here.
The mother of the Groom Maria Katopodis-Zoitas could not contain her joy at seeing her son married. “I feel very happy about George and Calliope who are two good kids and I believe that they will make a beautiful family. George is the last of my children who went to the altar and I wish to see him happy and full of joy. I wish to see both happy, and may they be blessed by God with health and happiness. I also wish them to be good parents, have lots of children and their house be full of happiness and joy.”
We also requested a comment from the father of the bride. Before giving us a statement, he told us that he tried to get the best wedding planner there is. That was the secret we were looking to uncover.
Mr. George Pantelidis expressed his joy he felt seeing his daughter Calliope as a bride. “I wish them happiness” he told NEO and “I wish for them to always be joyful”.
That is our wish to them as well.
PHOTOS: ZOITAS FAMILY