Real Weddings: Ania and Thanos

Inside a laid-back Mediterranean island ceremony

With their nuptials delayed three times—twice by Covid and once by a pregnancy—the fourth time was the charm for Ania Taubenfligel, co-founder of Triarchy Denim, and Thanos Tripi, the owner of Mamakas Food Group, which operates Mamakas Taverna, Souvla by Mamakas, Bar Koukla and Agora in Toronto. The couple first crossed paths in May 2016, when Ania dined at one of Thanos’s restaurants. They got engaged in September 2018, and four years later, their loved ones gathered on the Greek island of Sifnos for a chic, laid-back wedding celebration with Mediterranean flair.

Greek island wedding

Thanos: We met when Ania came into Mamakas Taverna with a friend for dinner. When she left, I thought, Wow. I was completely taken. I spent the next six months—maybe longer—trying to convince her to go out with me.

Ania: Thanos and I became friends after that first meeting. We exchanged numbers and kept in touch.

Thanos: Ania was travelling for work, and every time I reached out to her, she was out of town. But then she finally came back to Toronto and agreed to go on a date. 

Ania: Thanos was very thoughtful about planning our first date. I left my dog with my parents in Vancouver when I moved to Toronto in 2016, and I really missed her. So Thanos borrowed a friend’s dog and asked me to go to the park with him. 

Thanos: I’d just opened Agora across the street from Trinity Bellwoods. We went there to pick up food and had a picnic in the park. Then we went out for drinks on Dundas West. From that night on, we never left each other’s side. 

Ania: We just loved spending time together. We had so much fun no matter what we were doing. There was no one else I would have rather been with.

More Real Weddings





Thanos: After we’d been seeing each other for about three months, I gave Ania a key to my loft, and she moved in. For my birthday, in December, she bought me our now seven-year-old dog, Stella. After a year together, we got pregnant with our daughter, Kleio. I felt like it was the right time for me—and Ania was the right partner—to start building a family.

I made the decision to propose in September 2018, while Ania was pregnant with Kleio. After she gave birth, her parents came to visit from Vancouver. While we were walking our dogs, I pulled her father aside and asked for her hand in marriage. He gave me his blessing. 

I spend time in Greece every year, meeting suppliers and getting inspiration for my restaurants. When Kleio was two months old, I took her and Ania to my grandfather’s hometown, Gerolimenas. It was my first time visiting, and we stayed at the Kyramai hotel. It was important to me to show Ania and my firstborn child my roots. 

Ania: One day during the trip, we went snorkelling. I love history—especially pirates and that kind of thing—and there are shipwrecks in the area. I was looking around underwater, and when I came up for air, Thanos came up as well. He had a ring with him. For a split second, I thought, Oh my god, did he just find that?! We have to get back down there! But then he said, “Will you marry me?” I was stunned, but of course I said yes.

Thanos: My mother first took me to Sifnos, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, when I was about 14. We visited the Chrisopigi Monastery, and I said to her, “This is where I want to get married.” It’s a very magical place with a lot of history. We were there during a religious celebration, and afterward, the whole village came together to feed everybody, tourists included. Then we danced into the night. I returned to the island year after year.

After our engagement, I took Ania to the monastery, and she loved it. My business also has a connection to Sifnos: our plates are made by a local potter. Some of my favorite restaurants and chefs are based there. To have a traditional Greek wedding on a Greek island, close to my heritage, sounded like a fairy tale come to life. 

Ania: The first time Thanos took me to the monastery, we were both very emotional. It’s an incredible place. We stood out on a cliff that’s connected to the land by a little rock bridge, surrounded by the Aegean Sea. The wind was whipping around us, and the water was the deepest, most vivid blue imaginable. I thought, This is one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been to. 

Thanos: Covid delayed our wedding twice. When Ania became pregnant with our second child, Kairos, it was delayed a third time. Even though Greece opened up after our original wedding date in September 2020, our elderly relatives didn’t feel comfortable travelling, so we pushed the date back by a year. Then another Covid wave hit, and we pushed it back by a year again. My brother, Stavros, is an event planner, and he planned our wedding. He and Ronia Anstasiadou, a Sifnian wedding planner, coordinated and lined everything up on Sifnos. They paused the plans for three years and then executed them flawlessly on the day of.

We had a few unexpected hiccups. Some of our wine, from Gaia Winery in Santorini and Tselepos Winery in Arcadia, got lost in the shuffle. We don’t know what happened to it, but it never arrived. We were scrambling to make sure we had enough. Our branding team in Toronto, The Community Agency, designed napkins with our menu on them. They shipped them to Greece, but they missed the ferry to the island. So my brother called a family friend who knew someone who flew helicopters, and they flew the napkins over. Luckily, everything arrived on time. And we didn’t even know about most of this until later, because Stavros and Ronia handled everything. 

Ania: There wouldn’t have been a wedding without Stavros. He was also Thanos’s best man.

Greek island wedding

Thanos: My suit was off-white Italian cotton, custom-made by Sydney’s on Queen Street. It was impeccably tailored.

Ania: My brother, who was also my man of honor, found my dress. He called me from the Tom Ford store in Palm Springs and said, “Did you ever end up finding your wedding dress?” When I told him I hadn’t, he asked for my size. Then he said, “Okay, done. I have your wedding dress.” If anyone else had done that, I would have been worried. But my brother knows me better than anyone, so I trusted him. Sure enough, when I tried the dress on, it was perfect. I didn’t even have to get it tailored.

There’s a Greek word we use to describe what we wanted our guests to experience on the island: philotomo. It refers to hospitality, and it’s about welcoming people and making them feel at home.

We had three days of scheduled events. We wanted our guests to feel comfortable on the island, so we hired a concierge who was available for everyone, whether they had a question about which beach to go to, which restaurant to try or where to go for coffee. The idea was to make our friends and family feel like they could experience the island lifestyle.

Related: Inside a romantic rustic-chic celebration in a 150-year-old restored barn

Thanos: Sifnos is known for its pottery, so some of our guests took pottery classes as well, which was pretty cool.

On the day of our wedding, I was nervous, but I was also overcome with pride, joy, love and happiness. Our daughter, on the other hand, had a complete meltdown. While everyone was getting ready, I sat with her and held her for almost three hours. Eventually, she snapped out of it, but not before our wedding photographer captured a really beautiful scene of us together. It was a quiet moment that I’ll never forget.

Ania: In the days leading up to the wedding, I was nervous, thinking about everything there was to do and whether people would enjoy themselves. But, on the morning of, I was calm. I thought, I’m with the people I love most on a beautiful island. It was like the movie Mamma Mia!—it was so perfect. I spent most of the day with my mom and our close relatives, getting ready. I was really relaxed. Then I arrived at the church on a fishing boat with my father. 

Greek island wedding

Thanos: It’s a traditional Sifnian wedding practice. The bride arrives on a fishing boat and walks up the stairs of the monastery. It’s quite an entrance.

Ania: My father and I had the chance to talk and have that father-daughter moment that you always imagine. When the boat pulled up to the church, all of our friends and family were outside, waiting for me. My father and I walked up these incredible stairs, with Thanos standing at the top. Then my father passed me off to him.

Thanos: Waiting for my fiancée as she comes up those stairs is something I’d had visions of since I was 14. It was so beautiful, I teared up. 

Ania: I was wearing a veil during the ceremony, but it was so windy that it kept attacking my face. I had to rip it off mid-aisle. That was the only other hiccup.

Thanos: The wedding was held outside of the church, on the terrace, because we had too many people to have it inside. But it was fun. Even the priest’s stole was flapping in his face.

For the reception, I brought DJ Medicineman, who makes the playlists for my restaurants. We also had a Greek bouzouki band. They played traditional Greek songs like the Zeibekiko and the Hasapiko, and we all had a great time dancing.

Greek island wedding

Thanos: The food was also incredible. We hired one of the best caterers in Athens, Dipnosofistirion, to come down and work with the owner of a local taverna, because the taverna didn’t cater weddings of our size. It was an incredible Hellenic gastronomic experience. I wanted a traditional, taverna-style wedding, so we served a Sifnian menu featuring rustic dishes like grilled fish, lamb chops and keftedes. We also had a souvlaki stand at the end of the night. We didn’t want anything too fancy or over the top.

Greek island wedding

Ania: I ate a lot at my wedding. I know a lot of brides don’t, but the food was so amazing. 

Thanos: My restaurant suppliers also gifted us some incredible wine, like village-made tsipouro, which is like moonshine or eau de vie. It’s amazing.

Ania: It greatly added to our hangovers the next day.

Thanos: I’d like to do it all again, but we’re only getting married once. 

Ania: The next day, we spent time with our guests on Kamares Beach. The day of the wedding, we were so busy, and at dinner it was difficult to make time for everyone. But, once it was over, we didn’t have as many obligations.

Thanos: It was a recovery day—a chance for us to talk with our friends and family a little bit more and thank everyone for coming. It was wonderful to just relax. That’s what you do in Greece. You go to the beach, eat, chill and swim. It’s part of the experience. We wanted to share that with our loved ones.

Ania: I had never given a lot of thought to what my wedding day would be like. But experiencing it reminded me that life is all about the memories you make. And this is, by far, my most cherished memory. Having all of the people you love most around you while you get to celebrate finding the person you love most in the world? That’s pure magic.

Greek island wedding

Cheat Sheet

Date: June 30, 2022
Venues: Chrisopigi Monastery, Tsapis Taverna, Kamares Beach
Catering: Dipnosofistirion; menu curated by Nikos Neroutsos of Cayenne Restaurant Art Gallery
Photography: Yiannis Sotiropoulos
Day-of coordinator: Ronia Anastasiadou of Sifnos Events (Greece) and Stavros Tripi of New January Experiential (New York)
Bride’s dress: Tom Ford
Makeup: Despina Souyoultzi
DJ: DJ Medicineman
Florals: New January Experiential
Hair: Eirini Psarafti
Rings: Custom rings by Martin Smith, The Perfect Gift Vancouver