Normally, I use this space to talk about important world leaders and major world events.

But today, I would like to take a break from that and discuss something that I will always remember, and to me, is just as important as any world leader or major event ever could be.

Dr. John Kallis is one of my dear friends and one of the most ind and generous people you will ever meet.

I have known him and his family for many years and you could not ask for a better friend, doctor, or associate of any kind.

His daughter Michelle — who is an MD with a residence at a prestigious hospital — just got married, so as you can probably imagine, Dr. Kallis is over the moon.

I was honored to be in attendance at St. John The Theologian | The Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, one of the most culturally rich and architecturally gorgeous houses of worship that I have ever visited.

I found the ceremony to be one of the most beautiful celebrations that I have ever witnessed.

I was so overjoyed to be a part of this and see the jubilation of Dr. Kallis and his family that I was inspired to write an article about the occasion and I have decided to share it with you here.

Congratulations to Dr. Kallis, his lovely daughter Michelle, and their entire family.

It is very uncommon in today’s world that two young people meeting each other and deciding to get married would be considered anything traditional.

In certain religious and ethnic groups, centuries of wedding and marriage traditions vibrantly continue as is true with many Jewish, Indian and Greek wedding ceremonies.

Yet, such was the case with two young, energetic Greek-American professionals who had the wedding of the century this past weekend at The Pierre Hotel on Fifth Ave and Central Park in New York City in front 450 guests.

Michelle and Loukas have known each other since before they were born, as their great grandparents, grandparents and parents come from the same small village in Central Greece near the mythological ancient city of Thebes.

As thousands of years have gone by, it was their destiny to meet as children at Greek ethnic events, to go to the senior prom together as friends out of respect for their families’ traditions, and to eventually meet each other in Hoboken, NJ one night while out with a large group of other young Greek-Americans.

It was also their destiny to fall in love, nurture their relationship, and develop it along traditional and cultural standards.

The way that Loukas asked Michelle’s mother and father for their daughter’s hand in marriage…….

The traditional Greek engagement party where there is an exchange of gifts to the young couple from the families……

The planning of “The Big Fat Greek Royal Wedding” where there is traditional Greek music (with clarinets, bouzouki, violins and drums), wonderful and festive Greek dancing…..

The traditional breaking of dishes and throwing money, which is done to bring good luck/fortune to the newlyweds and to scare away the negative…….

All of these things spoke to both the incredible nature of the moment and the beauty of preserving cultural traditions that have been passed along from generation to generation for centuries.

As a close personal friend of Michelle’s father, I could not be happier or more proud to see his daughter this radiant and am thrilled they have welcomed Loukas and his family into the Kallis family — one of the most revered families in the entire tri-state area — with open arms.

September 2, 2018 was an unbelievable wedding and the most amazing way possible for Loukas and Michelle to officially start their lives together.

May they always remember that day fondly and may they have a lifetime of happiness and wedded bliss.

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