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Greek-American Couple Weds, but “Big Fat” Wedding Has to Wait

NEW YORK – John Damianos and Vungelia Glyptis met while both were students at Dartmouth in September 2013, he was a sophomore and she was a freshman, the New York Times reported, adding that the celebration of the couple’s May 9 nuptials had to be scaled back from a “big, fat Greek wedding” due to COVID-19.

Damianos was also the president of the Hellenic Society and Orthodox Christian Fellowship in 2013 and had sent a welcome to all the incoming freshmen via email to which Glyptis had replied. The two met for lunch in the campus dining hall and “hit it off spectacularly and spoke for hours until they were told by dining hall staff that they had to leave because it was closing time,” the Times reported.

While “Damianos later texted to a friend, ‘I want to marry this girl,’ Ms. Glyptis called her mother to say she had met a ‘nice Greek boy, but thought he talked too much,’” the Times reported.

Glyptis was content to remain friends with Damianos but he “was smitten from the start,” the Times reported.

Glyptis told the Times, “I was very focused on my schoolwork and a relationship was not something I was interested in at that time. He kept asking me out, and I kept telling him that I didn’t want to go down that path and stray from my studies… There were hurt feelings on both sides, which I understood, and we didn’t speak to each other for two years until I called him from Copenhagen.”

She was studying abroad in September 2015 when she FaceTimed Damianos who “was in a panic” before answering his cellphone, the Times reported. “We hadn’t spoken in quite a while, and I knew she was studying abroad in Copenhagen. My first thought was ‘Oh my gosh, she must be in trouble,’” he told the Times.

Glyptis, however, was not in trouble, she was “bored,” the Times reported. “I FaceTimed about 25 people that day, only two of them got back to me, my mom and John Damianos,” she told the Times.

Glyptis, a retail consultant in Secaucus, NJ, for Ashley Stewart, and Damianos, an incoming internal medicine resident at Yale, set to receive a medical degree from Dartmouth in June, now both 25, stayed in touch after that FaceTime in 2015, the Times reported, adding that they started dating “which pleased their parents.”

“Glyptis is a daughter of Maria and George Glyptis of Seven Hills, OH,” the Times reported, adding that “her parents are the owners of the Gyro George restaurants in northeast Ohio.”

“Damianos is a son of Francine Damianos and Dr. Aristotle Damianos of North Hampton, NH,” the Times reported, noting that his “father is a gastroenterologist at Atlantic Digestive Specialists in Portsmouth, NH” and “his mother is a retired clinical nurse who specialized in hematology at the Mary Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH.”

Damianos and Glyptis got “engaged on April 20, 2018, and set a date for ‘a big fat Greek wedding,’” as Glyptis told the Times, “for May 9, 2020.”

The wedding was held that day, but in a scaled down version due to the coronavirus, with just 9 guests instead of the original 250 on the list, the Times reported. The ceremony was held at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Cleveland, the parish where the bride attended growing up, the Times reported, adding that the Rev. Thomas Drenen presided.

“Hopefully, we’ll still have that big fat Greek wedding that we had been dreaming about. What’s most important now is to keep everyone healthy and safe until this virus finally goes away,” the bride told the Times.


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