Byline: Aileen Mehle
At a beautiful, traditional Greek wedding ceremony in Athens, Alexa Hampton of New York and Southampton married Pavlos Papagerogiou at the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord Our Saviour. The bride’s white lace gown was designed by Bill Blass with three-quarter-length sleeves, a scalloped hem with a mere hint of a fishtail. Her veil was a cloud of tulle, and she wore her mother’s pearls. Lovely.
Alexa’s mother, Mrs. Mark (Duane) Hampton of New York society, wearing Blass’s lavender silk crepe and a diamond flower pin, escorted her daughter through a small park in front of the church and up the stairs to the threshold where, in keeping with tradition, they met the groom who was holding Alexa’s bridal bouquet. Then the wedding party (a maid of honor, three bridesmaids, six ushers, two groomsmen and the groom’s parents), preceded by the bride and groom, walked together down the aisle to the raised altar.
Alexa’s maid of honor was her sister Kate, and the bridesmaids were Gaby Baron, Dora Stern and Stephanie Steiker. All wore purple chiffon dresses with silver beaded bodices and matching chiffon shawls by Oscar de la Renta. The groom’s attendants were in white tie. The groom’s mother, Sonia Papagerogiou, wore bronze satin with a matching lace jacket.
Archbishop Nectarios performed the ceremony, the best man was responsible for the ring and crown part of that rite. Kate Hampton recited the Lord’s Prayer in English after the Greek version was spoken. As the couple circled the altar three times led by the priest, they were pelted with rose petals and rice. When one is married in a Greek ceremony by a Greek archbishop there are no two ways about it. One — make that two — are really married.
Afterwards, the more than 400 guests repaired to Vougliamene where a huge tent, decorated with garlands of greenery and fluttering ribbons and built around ancient olive trees, had been erected on a peninsula jutting out into the sea. So many aspects helped make the setting magical, white walls covered with bougainvillea, tall oleander bushes and walkways lined with pots of flowers and picturesque amphoras and bullrushes waving in the gentle breeze. When the bride and groom arrived at the party, there were great bursts of fireworks. The New York deejay Johnny Dynell flew over to play at the party, and the only speeches were given by the bride’s mother and the groom. It was all so joyous and festive a night that the dancing went on until six in the morning.
The crowd at the various grand parties given for Alexa and Pavlos had come from all over the globe. The groom’s father, Ambassador Michel-Akis Papagerogiou, has been posted in South Africa, Portugal and The Vatican, so there were friends from there. Doda and Felix Voridis, golden Greeks who are so well-known in New York, gave a cocktail party for more than a hundred Athenians and out-of-towners. There were 250 guests at the Papagerogiou’s spectacular open-air restaurant Aiolos, in Monastiraki, where spirits were high and dishes were broken. And these are some of the Americans who went over for the celebration: Mr. and Mrs. Carter Burden III, Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Robinson and their daughter Victoria, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Grunwald, Nan Kempner, Noonie Marx, Montague Hackett, Sean Driscoll, Mr. and Mrs. Arie Kopelman, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew McFarland, Mrs. T. Dennie Boardman and her daughter Sarah, Alexa’s aunts, Mrs. Rolf Blank and Mrs. Carl Christensen, Larry Lovett and the staff of Mark Hampton Inc. of New York. The late Mark Hampton, Alexa’s father, was the renowned international interior decorator, and Alexa is following in his footsteps.
Speaking of Greeks — and heaven knows I am — Lauren and John Veronis gave a big reception at Le Cirque in honor of the noted Greek author Nicholas Gage and his newest book, “Greek Fire,” the inside story of the Ari Onassis-Maria Callas love affair. Everyone was there plus even more Golden Greeks toasting one of their own and mingling to the music of an authentic Greek trio. In the crowd: Dr. and Mrs. Jim Nicholas, Karen and Peter Goulandris, Claire Gregorian, Alexander Marchessini, the Rev. and Mrs. Robert Stephanopoulos (George’s daddy and mommy), Nicholas Zoullas, Phyllis George, Perri Peltz and Eric Ruttenberg, Marie Josee and Henry Kravis, Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, Duane Hampton, Jo Carole and Ronald Lauder, Maria Luisa Mendoza, Martha Stewart, Veronica Hearst, Paula and Leon Root, Peter Maas, Joseph Lelyveld, Nancy and Henry Silverman and on and on and on. You should know that tall, blonde and stunning Lauren Veronis was just honored by the Irvington Institute for her outstanding philanthropy and her 25 years on the board. But more of all this later. Who can keep up with New York parties at this time of year? You just try to take them as they come along and they COME ALONG.
Amanda Taylor and Trevor Traina are the big romance in California. Both have famous grandparents and both grandparents are ambassadors. Oh, and both grandmothers own pink Fiat Jollys. Amanda Taylor is the granddaughter of Anne Cox Chambers, a former ambassador to Belgium. Trevor is the grandson of Ruth Buchanan, now remarried, and the late Wiley Buchanan, once our ambassador to Luxembourg. How about that for something in common, aside from being in love, of course? Oh, and you know about Fiat Jollys, don’t you? Gianni Agnelli, the tycoonest of all Italian tycoons, had them made for his friends in the late Fifties and early Sixties. It’s a small Fiat with wicker seats and an awning top. They’re now collectors’ items as there are less than two dozen left in the world. Who else would tell you these things?