Christos Bisiotis and Laura Neroulias tied the knot on December 11 in Miami. Photo: Courtesy of the bride
MIAMI, FL – Christos Bisiotis and Laura Natalie Neroulias were married on December 11 at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in North Miami with koumbaros Renos Efthymiou and koumbara Tina Vournas-Machani and 100 guests in attendance. The bride wore a St. Patrick gown.
Fr. Frank Marangos presided over the services with a surprise appearance by Fr. Elias Villis, Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne, who flew in for the occasion to participate. Neroulias told The National Herald that “he is the priest I grew up with in Rye, New York — the whole church gasped! He started chanting in the middle of the service behind the altar and then appeared.”
The wedding reception took place at Briza on the Bay, in Miami.
Athens-born Bisiotis and New York-born Greek and Cypriot-American Neroulias met on December 28, 2019 in Astoria, NY at a bar. Neroulias was visiting from Miami for a few days in NYC and always attended her friend’s Christmas party, usually held at a house, but this time, it was held at a local bar which happened to be Bisiotis’ neighborhood bar.
“We locked eyes a few times and I ended up approaching him because he has a tattoo on his arm of my favorite Greek soccer team logo [Olympiacos] (which he is a fanatic) and I wanted to take a picture of it,” Neroulias told TNH. “From there, he asked me my name, if I’m Greek (to which I snarkily replied that I’m Cypriot!), and from there, would not let me out of his sight.”
She continued: “We ended up spending all night together, going from different establishment to establishment — bumping into our exes who were trying to warn us about each other on the side. Something was different and clicked and we did not care. We laughed all night, danced all night, went to Astoria Park to talk about our lives, watch the sunrise and then… we went to church! I guess you can say our first date lasted 12 hours.”
“The challenge was that he was in the midst of opening up a restaurant in Astoria (which was slated to open March 25, 2020), and I lived in Miami,” Neroulias told TNH. “Christos is a very successful chef. I had been in the PR field for about 15 years and even though I grew up in Westchester County, NY (my father is Colonel Andonios Neroulias and my mother is Eva Neroulias), I had been living in Miami since the end of 2015. We were flying back and forth almost every other week to see each other for the first few months.”
“On March 15, 2020, Christos flew down to Miami for one last ‘hoorah’ before the restaurant was slated to open,” Neroulias noted. “COVID stopped everything in its tracks where all the permitting, licensing, etc. was at a huge stop. The restaurant was ready to go — all the equipment was in, the staff was more/less hired and the vision was complete. From there, he could not get any updates from the city and stayed in Miami until June 2020.”
After knowing each other for less than three months, all of a sudden, the couple was living together and making a life together during uncertain times. “We overcame many challenges that occurred way faster due to the pandemic and living together,” Neroulias told TNH. “I was working from home, having a steady PR job and active during the day, while Christos was trying to figure out what to do and the state of the industry. This caused challenges and friction at times — getting to know someone through their hardest and darkest moments is what made us a more powerful and stronger couple. We got through everything together.”
After deciding to let go of the restaurant, at the start of September 2020, Bisiotis moved to Miami full time with Neroulias and the couple became engaged on November 30 after Bisiotis received her father’s blessing.
A Michelin-nominated executive chef, Bisiotis helped to open Mila Miami (working there from September 2020-February 2021) and since February 2021, he is the lead Pasta Chef at Carbone. He was featured by Good Morning America in July 2021for his authentic Greek cuisine. Neroulias told TNH that “his dreams are still alive to open up his own restaurant… and after 15 years in PR, I am starting a new venture as the Executive Director of the Miami Hospitality Alliance effective as of January 3, 2022 — advocating for restaurants, bars, and nightlife.”
“I’m working with the team who successfully built the NYC Hospitality Alliance which has been extremely effective for nearly a decade — MIA Website: https://miaalliance.org (WIP but definitely check out), and NYC Website: https://www.thenycalliance.org/board-of-directors,” Neroulias continued. “Christos has challenged me and because of him, I have changed the course of my career to fight for those who may not have a voice, and help as best as I can for those who still want to be part of the restaurant industry. Small businesses matter, and big dreams matter.”
Neroulias told TNH, “COVID in a way brought us to be together — in a time where there was so much uncertainty professionally, it allowed us to be certain about each other personally (which then changed my course of career). How the world works!”
NEW YORK – The Consulate General of Greece in New York and The Juilliard School honored the centenary of Maria Callas’ birth with a program that celebrated Callas’ remarkable life and indelible contribution to opera history and craft.
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