Christina Pecha and George Greenhalgh say “I Do”
Photos by Josh Merideth, Bella Grace Studios
Thanks to social media, Christina Pecha and George Greenhalgh “met” via direct messaging on Instagram in November 2016. Six months later, after George swept Christina off her feet in a much less modern fashion, they fell in love and were married four years later in an unexpectedly quaint ceremony at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church. We recently spoke with Christina to get the inside scoop on their magical, not so big fat Greek wedding.
When and how did you two meet?
We met how all the great couples of our generation meet: on the internet. We started following each other on Instagram around Thanksgiving 2016 even though we didn’t know each other at the time. I thought George was super cute but noticed he had a girlfriend at the time. Six months later, he came into town from Lexington for the Derby and posted a picture of himself on Instagram. I was unwinding after the long weekend and got on Instagram for the first time in a while. Sure enough, at the top of my feed, was the picture he posted two days before. Thanks, Instagram algorithm. Unknowingly, I liked it. George was also having a relaxing evening in Lexington and noticed that I liked his picture. He had recently earned quite a few awards at work and was feeling courageous. He thought I was creeping on his profile since I liked his picture and thought he would take a chance and message me. He said, “Hey, I’ve never really done this before, but would you let me take you out to dinner?” At the exact moment he sent the message, I was clicking the top left of my phone to go back to another app and immediately opened his direct message or “dm.” Of course, his message was a bit more thought out than the typical dm and I remembered thinking he was cute, so I happily agreed.
It was the summer before I started dental school, so I was living at home with my parents. I remember it was the first date where I planned my outfit days in advance and he picked me up from my parents’ house to meet me for the first time. He nervously rang the doorbell, my Mom answered, and they chatted as I finished getting ready. She had no idea we had never met! In the era of modern dating, this was not something girls typically did, having the guy meet the parents first and pick me up from my parent’s house. But, I had a strong feeling something about George was different, and as it turns out, I was right. He swept me off my feet during dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse and the rest is history.
When and how did you get engaged?
We were engaged on December 14, 2019, at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. George had been planning the engagement for months and had a big plan for how he wanted to propose. The only thing I told him was that I wanted it to be a surprise. He began planning with my Dad, and without me knowing, they planned a large reunion and dinner in New York City with close family and friends. My Dad normally went to NYC around Christmas every year for a work meeting and my Mom occasionally went with him. Last year, they asked me to go with them and, at the time, I didn’t think anything of it. My Mom and I flew separately from my Dad after my finals and little did I know, George also flew to NYC even though he convinced me he was in Los Angeles for work and to visit a friend. Over the next few days, without me knowing, George and his friend went to dinner with my Dad, Aunt and Uncle. George knew that it was going to be tough to pull off a surprise proposal, so he needed everything planned out.
In the days leading up to the proposal, he went to Rockefeller Center two to three times to look at daylight versus night time for pictures, as well as the best angles and how crowded it would be. He planned for it to take place at 5:05 p.m. so that we could have both daylight and night time photos. Around 2 p.m. the day of, the original chosen photographer got the flu, so George had to frantically find a replacement and luckily, he did. Right before George proposed, he met his brother and best friend at their hotel to reminisce and go over final plans. Around 4:30 p.m., George left to walk eight blocks to prepare and meet the photographer. However, about two blocks in, it started to rain and he did not have an umbrella. He took shelter in a nearby hotel and asked a nearby couple, “I am on my way to propose to the love of my life and I don’t have an umbrella, can I have yours?” The couple happily gave him theirs, but this delayed his arrival. George arrived near Rockefeller Square behind schedule, but thankfully, I was also running behind.
George and his entire party consisting of five people were hiding behind a column waiting for my Dad to put me in the right place to “take a picture of me.” George then walked out into the crowded square and, to my surprise, got down on one knee in front of my family and the large crowd around us who were cheering and clapping. It was a magical moment.
Who assisted with planning the big day?
The short answer is, my Mom. The long answer is, nothing about planning this wedding was easy. For months, there was so much confusion about what we were doing. We knew we wanted to get married this year before COVID-19 even happened, but some other family members wanted us to wait until next year to have more time to plan and after I graduated. When the pandemic hit, we knew there would still be so much uncertainty and we did not know how long the restrictions would last. We did know that this could be the perfect opportunity for us to have the best of both worlds, a small, intimate wedding this year and then a larger celebration next year! Also, George bought a home earlier this year and we got a puppy, Stella, so I just wanted to move in with them and start our life instead of waiting and not knowing when we would be able to get married.
We decided on a small church ceremony in November over Thanksgiving weekend with a small dinner reception after. Originally, I was not planning on doing many decorations and did not really start planning until about a month before. I was so busy with dental school and was just excited to get married. Since I knew it would just be family and a few close friends, I was not too worried about the details. My Mom was the one who convinced me that I would end up wanting these little details, and I am so glad she did, as they truly made the special day even more magical. She took care of most of the planning and organizing of vendors. There were so many little details that I did not think about or know we even needed that my Mom thought of, like a basket to hold the flower petals for people to throw as we processed out of the church. Despite having all of our vendors selected and it being a small wedding, my Mom was worried about how she would be able to orchestrate everything the day of the wedding. Thankfully, she decided to call Maggie from Weekend Wedding Warrior about two weeks before our big day. Maggie is usually out of town Thanksgiving weekend, but due to COVID-19, she was available.
Also, as a side note, we were still unsure of who we were inviting up until about a week before. Once Governor Beshear made the order a week before our wedding on restaurant restrictions, we thought we were doomed. However, since we had about 22 people invited, we just made the cut for the 25 person limit for wedding receptions.
What moment from the wedding stands out most in your mind when you look back on it?
All of it. We were able to enjoy every single part of it because it was so small and intimate. We could focus on the sacrament of our marriage taking place in the church and the start of our life together as husband and wife. I may be biased, but I truly thought it was the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended. There was so much love and warmth in the air. I was so at peace the whole day, and honestly, did not expect to feel that way whenever I thought about getting married growing up. I loved how it felt like we were living in another era, from the vintage 1960 Rolls Royce to the speakeasy feel of the back room of an otherwise empty Volare covered in lush flowers, to being surrounded by only my closest friends and immediate family. I felt like the whole day was a dream. It was cinematic.
What advice would you give to couples who are in the middle of planning their wedding?
Who says you need a big wedding to make a big statement? Make your own rules. Do what you want. It can be easy to get caught up in what everyone else wants for your wedding or what you think you are supposed to have. I truly always thought my wedding would be a big fat Greek wedding with a band, a late-night food truck, fireworks, no less than 300 guests and take place in the summer. At times, I was a little upset that this was not in the cards for me. I kept thinking about other people I knew who were still planning their larger summer weddings and thought I was missing out and not getting what I wanted. But I kept reminding myself of why I was getting married and I am so glad that I did.
We are so fortunate to still be planning a larger celebration in Cabo next year, but if for some reason it gets canceled due to COVID-19, we will be at peace knowing the best day of our lives already happened on November 28, 2020.
Ceremony Venue: Assumption Greek Orthodox Church
Reception Venue: Volare Italian Ristorante
Pre-Ceremony Pictures Venue: Big Spring Country Club
Post-Ceremony Pictures Venue: The Seelbach Hilton Louisville
Wedding Gown: Madi Lane
Earrings: Sara Gabriel
Suit: Custom tuxedo by Tom James
Hair: Z Salon and Spa
Makeup: Beauty Patrol MUA
Flowers and Arrangements: Country Squire Florist
Catering: Volare Italian Ristorante
Cake: Cakes by Coco
Photographer: Josh Merideth, Bella Grace Studios
Officiant: Father Jon Boukis, Greek Orthodox Priest
Transportation: Royal Transportation
Rings: Staples Jewelry