Introducing Mr. & Mrs .Gress

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Kasandra Aslanidis was dancing with friends at Generic Night Club Screen-shot-2011-12-13-at-10.27.26-AMthe night of April 24, 2008, when out of nowhere came this man she’d never met. Anthony Gress had noticed Kasandra from across the room.

“He started dancing with me, and later that night, he had me put my number in his phone,” Kasandra says. “After we left Generic, he called me to make sure I’d gotten home OK, and we have been talking ever since!”

On his 30th birthday, August 3, 2010, Anthony asked Kasandra to go with him on a short drive to the Big Burr Oak in McBaine. There he proposed.

Anthony and Kasandra wed on Sept. 10, 2011, in a blufftop ceremony at Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport.

Kasandra wore an ivory gown with a tulle lace overlay embellished with rosettes and sequins. The gown was strapless with a lace-up back and a chapel-length train. Kasandra wore an ivory, multitiered elbow-length veil with a rhinestone tiara and had her hair fashioned in an updo with pearl pins peeking out of the curls. She further accessorized with a pearl necklace and pearl earrings from her mother-in-law and a pearl bracelet her mother gave her that had belonged to Kasandra’s grandmother. The bridal bouquet was a cascading bouquet featuring sunflowers and a mix of fall flowers; raffia wrapped the stems.

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The bridesmaids wore tea-length halter-top dresses in claret red. Each dress had a rosette on the side to correspond with the bridal gown. The bridesmaids carried a mix of fall flowers, their stems wrapped in green ribbon to contrast with their red dresses.

Anthony wore an all-ivory tuxedo with ivory shoes. He also wore a diamond cross pendant that Kasandra had given him on the three-year anniversary of their courtship. His boutonniere consisted of a sunflower, a cattail and fall leaves.

The groomsmen wore black tuxedos with red vests, ties and pocket squares. Their boutonnieres were cattails and greenery.

Various-colored potted mums wrapped in brown burlap and tied with fall-colored suit ties lined the aisle that led to the blufftop. Potted mums and rustic lanterns wrapped with fall leaf garland framed the spot where Anthony and Kasandra stood.

 

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Anthony and Kasandra exchanged traditional vows in a ceremony led by Anthony’s stepfather, Timothy Bickhaus. Anthony’s father, Bob Gress, read from the Bible. The ceremony was short and sweet, followed by a reception in the lower level of Les Bourgeois Bistro.

The fall theme continued in the reception decorations. Leaves, pumpkins and gourds decorated the tables; centerpieces alternated between a design featuring iron pumpkins filled with orange tulle and lit with tea-lights, a design featuring potted sunflower topiaries and tea-lights, and a design featuring autumn harvest arrangements with candles. The head table had a mum garland and a ceramic pumpkin marked with a G on a cake stand.

Each place setting included a favor bag with the wedding couple’s engagement photo on the front, along with their names and wedding date; on the back was a sunflower with the message, “Thanks for sharing our special day.” The bags were filled with a colored piece of cellophane with candy corn.

 

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An illuminated glass block with an engagement photo of the couple sat on the guestbook table, along with a handmade scrapbook of events leading up to the wedding.

The evening had several memorable moments. Before the meal, Anthony’s father, Bob, asked the couple’s parents and stepparents to come to the front and hold hands while he said a prayer. During dinner, guests were entertained with a slideshow that Kasandra’s father put together with pictures of the bride and groom growing up, as well as their time together dating and their engagement photos. There was some Greek dancing — Kasandra’s family is Greek — and during the father-daughter dance and the couple’s first dance, guests followed the Greek tradition of throwing dollar bills on the bride and groom.

“It was unreal to be dancing with money flying all around,” Kasandra says.

For their first dance, Anthony and Kasandra performed a choreographed routine to their own custom remix of popular songs.

“It caught everyone off guard!” Kasandra says. “Everyone loved it.”Screen-shot-2011-12-13-at-10.27.52-AM

The wedding cake was an 8-inch round cake that sat atop a three-tiered cupcake stand. The cake topper was a silver rhinestone “G” placed amid fall flowers; gum paste sunflowers and vines decorated the cake’s front. The cupcakes were topped with hand-piped sunflowers.

 

Anthony and Kasandra live south of Columbia. Anthony, the son of Carla and Tim Bickhaus of Macon, and Bob and Jeanette Gress, also of Macon, works at Miller’s Professional Imaging. Kasandra, the daughter of Lisa Freet of Columbia, and Alex and Renee Aslanidis, also of Columbia, works as a waitress at her family’s restaurant, G&D Steakhouse, and part time at Hallmark.

 

 

The Businesses That Helped Make The Day Special

Bridal Gown:

The Gown House

Bridesmaids’ Gowns:

The Gown House

Hairstyling:

Studio 311

Photography:

Silent Story Teller Productions

Tuxedos:

Savvi Formalwear

Bridal Bouquet:

Michaels

Bridesmaid Bouquets:

Mary Wulff, Sweet Treat 4u

Stationery And Favor Bags:

Mary Wulff, Sweet Treat 4u

DJ:

Fat White Boy

Cake:

Hy-Vee

Rings:

Helzberg Diamonds; Zales

Registry:

Macy’s; Bed Bath & Beyond

Wedding Coordinator:

Mary Wulff, Sweet Treat 4u

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