NEW YORK – New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes, 34, married Melanie Graf, 30 on December 7 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in New Rochelle. Family and friends crowded the church for the ceremony which was performed by the presiding priest of the community, the Very Rev. Nicholas Anctil, as reported in the New York Times on December 8.
Also participating in the service was Gounardes’ brother-in-law, the Rev. Alex Orphanos, who is married to Gounardes’ sister Patricia, the Brooklyn Reporter (BR) noted.
Among those present was New York City Councilmember Justin Brannan who represents District 43 and is a good friend of Gounardes’.
The Democratic senator represents the 22nd District which includes Bay Ridge and Southwest Brooklyn. Graf is an associate vice president at the Manhattan communications firm Prosek Partners. The couple met two years ago.
Graf was by Gounardes’ side for his swearing ceremony in January at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, BR reported.
Gounardes shared the news of his wedding on social media, posting a wedding photo and tweeting, “Can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with this stunningly radiant (and goofy!) woman who makes my heart smile each and every day.”
Gounardes who is a member of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Bay Ridge told BR that “the couple chose the bride’s church as the setting for their wedding” and “it was deeply meaningful to him to have his brother-in-law take part in the wedding service.”
Gounardes also spoke earlier this year to the Home Reporter about the upcoming nuptials noting that “December was a perfect month for him to get married because ‘the legislature’s out of session,’” BR reported.
The new session of the state legislature begins in January.