Tahis Haloulos (27) & George Koutsopoulos (37)
MAMMA MIA GREEK WEDDING!
Location: San Diego, CA
Wedding Date: November 2, 2019
Wedding Venue: St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church & the Horton Grand Hotel
Guest Count: 170
BIG BRIDAL SAYS: Tell your MOH exactly what you need from her.
WEDDICULOUS SAYS: Trick her into behaving by all means necessary.
Tahis & George's Story
Tahis and George met at a bar two years ago. George was immediately drawn to Tahis’ striking looks and bubbly energy, while Tahis was shocked to learn that a “hottie” like George was 35, single and kid-free! Things moved quickly after their first meeting, where they bonded over a shared love of travel. They booked a 30-day Euro trip just four months into dating, and quickly moved in together upon their return. On their next trip to Greece, George popped the question in front of his Greek relatives.
Tahis and George live in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they’re a part of the thriving local Greek community. Along with his family, George is 100% Greek Orthodox and their culture is a huge part of their lives. All of his friends got married at the local Greek church and every wedding he’s gone to has had well over 500 people, as it’s customary to leave no fellow Greek behind on the big (medium) day. Despite this, Tahis pressured George to have their wedding in San Diego, where she’s from. George’s family is upset that they’re being denied the massive wedding they’re used to, and the older generation has threatened not to attend. George still wants to invite more people he knows, while Tahis is strictly limiting the guest list to 170. They constantly argue about who will make the cut.
Though they’re having a traditional Greek wedding, they’re also sprinkling in Mexican touches to represent Tahis’ mom’s heritage. While Tahis identifies as Greek by way of her father (who, as it happens, is also named George), she got the shock of her life when she turned 13. As her parents went through a divorce, they revealed to her that the Dad-George she’d grown up knowing as her father was not in fact her biological father. Rather, that man was an out-of-the-picture Israeli named Ilan. Now, on top of the headache of her fiance’s family threatening not to come to the wedding, Tahis is dealing with the stress of both of her dads not only attending, but meeting in person for the very first time.
A Story - The Deep Dive
BACKSTORY: Although Tahis thought she was Greek until she was 13 years old, her true background is Jewish and Mexican. She’s travelled to Israel numerous times since the revelation to get to know her biological father, Ilan. He has expressed that he’s nervous to come to America and go to a Greek Orthodox ceremony, as he has his own strong religious beliefs and personally wishes Tahis was marrying someone Jewish.
Given their strong connection and that he raised her, Tahis has chosen Dad-George to walk her down the aisle. She has yet to tell Ilan about her plan, as she’s nervous it may hurt him. He is coming all the way from Israel to attend the wedding and desperately wants him to be part of it. She hopes both her dads feel loved and involved on her wedding day.
TASK & PROCESS: Jamie recalls themes from her favorite early 90s rom-com “Three Men & A Little Lady,” where biological dad Ted Danson raises his daughter with the help of his fully-grown adult roommates, Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg. The lesson here is: Tahis can totally have, and love, more than one dad! Jamie will help Dad-George and Ilan get to know each other by taking them on a DAD DATE the Friday before the wedding. This will consist of classic male bonding activities such as golf and beer-drinking, but Jamie will be sure to add a cultural twist so both men can come to understand each other’s respective backgrounds. Since Dad-George is Greek, maybe they’ll split some shawarma at a local eatery. Since Ilan is Jewish, maybe afterwards they’ll go to a demolition park where Ilan can teach Dad-George about breaking glass just like they do at Jewish weddings. “L’Chaim!” To cap things off, Jamie will also find a job for Ilan to do at the wedding to make him feel included while taking care not to overshadow Dad-George.
PAY OFF: Tahis’ dads will feel not only connected to Tahis, but more connected to each other, thereby diffusing the bride’s stress over them getting along.
B Story - The Hand Off
BACKSTORY: George’s sister Cassandra is a high-maintenance Greek goddess who can be downright mean. She wants all eyes on her at the wedding, even if that means picking out a tight-fitting designer dress to pull focus with. She doesn’t seem to understand that the day is about the bride. Further, she’s also begun to subsume the bachelorette party, going so far as to plan it around what she wants to do. Cassandra has always had issues with George’s girlfriends and constantly makes fun of Tahis. She’s very protective of her brother and doesn’t think anyone is good enough for him.
TASK & PROCESS: In order to teach Cassandra that no one should steal focus from the bride during her wedding, Jamie uses reverse psychology to get the result Tahis needs. For example, under the auspices of shopping for bachelorette supplies with Cassandra, Jamie pitches a bunch of ideas for making herself, Jamie, more central in the wedding. Jamie could show her the outfit she plans to wear (something insane) or a song or dance she plans to force into the reception (Jamie singing Wrecking Ball). The test is to see whether Cassandra steps up to defend the wedding against Jamie’s (fake) takeover. If she says “I think the day should be about Tahis, not you, Jamie,” Jamie can be like, “say that again. Three times.” This then spurs a moment when Cassandra admits that she needs to take a back seat.
PAY OFF: Cassandra either becomes a more supportive bridesmaid OR steps down from the bridesmaid role if she can’t handle the responsibility—whatever is best for Tahis.
Alternative Hand Off
BACKSTORY: Annie, one of Tahis’ childhood friends, has been throwing a fit about not being named Maid of Honor. She claims that when she and Tahis were 17 years old, they made a pact to be each other’s Maid of Honor whenever either of them got married. Despite their agreement, Tahis and George’s Greek Orthodox ceremony is obligating Tahis to pick someone from the church to serve in the role.
Annie claims that Tahis is breaking their childhood promise. In retaliation, she’s planning on not only skipping Tahis’ bridal events, she’s considering ending their entire friendship. Deep down, Tahis still wants her to be a bridesmaid, but she worries she’s going to cause drama on the wedding day. While Tahis did make Annie a bridesmaid proposal box, she’s holding off giving it to her until they reach a resolution.
TASK & PROCESS: Jamie is all for tradition, but not when it’s driving a wedge between Tahis and her oldest friend. Jamie will speak to George and his family about bending their expectations to fit his future-wife’s needs, not the other way around. Happy wife, happy life, pal! Jamie will also work with Annie to address her aggression towards Tahis. Perhaps they visit an MMA-based workout class? Or perhaps Jamie organizes BA (Bridesmaids Anonymous), a safe space for people in the wedding party to vent their frustrations.
PAY OFF: Annie is asked to be a bridesmaid officially and happily accepts, while being more mindful of ways to support Tahis during this special (i.e. hellish) time.
C Story - The Quick Fix
BACKSTORY: This wedding is a huge undertaking for Tahis. With planning the wedding from afar and both her dads meeting for the first time, it’s becoming too overwhelming for her. She wants to relax and enjoy her fiancé and this special time in her life!
TASK & PROCESS: Jamie goes through Tahis’ to-do list with her, assessing remaining tasks, and finding 16 hours worth of Tahis tasks, which they outsource or quickly handle together or choose to not do at all. Then, Tahis takes those extra hours earned back and plans a little phones-off, task-free pre-wedding relaxation day with her fiancé.
PAY OFF: Tahis is relaxed and happy in the lead up and day of her wedding!
George has raised Tahis as his own daughter and is a huge part of her life.
He is going to get very emotional walking her down the aisle and is looking forward to it.
Tahis' Bio Dad
Ilan has only been in Tahis’s life since she was 18 years old.
He has a wife and two kids of his own. He is coming to her wedding day all the way from Israel and is very nervous about meeting everyone for the first time, especially George Tahis’s step dad.
He wished that Tahis was marrying “nice Jewish boy”, and is nervous to go to the Greek Orthodox ceremony.
Cassandra is George’s younger half-sister. She’s sassy and extremely protective of her brother. She hasn’t fully accepted Tahis as her sister yet.
She’s single, but has been planning her own future wedding via her scrapbooks for years and doesn’t understand how Tahis doesn’t have all these wedding decisions made.