Sara & Matt
Dec. 5, 2009 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral and Brasserie Montmartre in Portland
Combining love and work is never easy, but Sara Stephens and Matt Maletis make it look picture-perfect. Only a month after the Portland restaurateurs met on the job, they were a couple; less than a year later, they were moving full steam ahead renovating the Brasserie Montmartre, a landmark downtown restaurant they now own. It was there, amidst the construction mess, that Matt proposed to Sara on the same stage where they would share their first dance.
And then the hard work began. Planning a wedding and opening a restaurant is no easy task, especially when your timeline requires you to do both in six months!
Luckily, the two quickly agreed on a glamorous, winter wedding inspired by Old Hollywood—and, of course, the Brasserie’s Jazz Age-style interior would make the perfect backdrop. With the venue still in progress, they began with their own looks—Sara chose a classic white duchess satin trumpet-skirt gown complemented with a vintage fur wrap; Matt’s custom tuxedo was inspired by James Bond. The bridesmaids were gifted with estate jewelry and carried antique gold and black umbrellas.
The big day arrived only a month after the Brasserie’s grand reopening. To honor Matt’s rich heritage, the couple had a traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony at the Laurelhurst cathedral that his great-grandfather helped found. The service was officiated by five priests, two of whom flew in from Greece for the occasion. “Matt’s mom said we were very, very married!” jokes Sara. They were whisked away in a 1955 white Bentley, and when they arrived at the Brasserie, Matt saw his surprise from Sara: a custom marquee declaring her love projected on a neighboring building.
Inside, all three floors were decorated with mercury glass votives, champagne gold linens and bouquets of white lilies and peonies. The 360 guests enjoyed exotic tasting stations that included live oyster shucking and were each served a trio of desserts. A live video feed from the main floor kept everyone in on all the action, including the speeches and ouzo toasts.
“Matt and I are very social and we love to entertain. [This reception] was exactly what we wanted to kick off our life together,” says Sara. Indeed, the party lasted well into the wee hours, when they served a midnight snack of Voodoo Doughnuts, hamburger sliders and pommes frites (all of which are still on the menu).
“I can’t believe we pulled it off,” marvels Sara. But in fact, the wedding could not have been more perfect if it were scripted. After a quick jaunt to the Salishan Lodge in Lincoln City, the newlyweds took a properly decadent honeymoon to Mexico in January. They’re now back to working 18-hour days running the Brasserie—luckily living right upstairs in the building’s penthouse. They’re planning new restaurant projects and a family of their own soon.
Accessories: Vintage Chanel fur & jewelry from Allan & Suzi (NYC) | Catering: Brasserie Chef Sean McKee | Consultant: Champagne Wedding & Event Coordination | Ceremony: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral | Desserts: Brasserie Pastry Chef Melissa McKinney & Voodoo Doughnuts | Dress: Rivini gown from Divine Designs | Flowers: Crystal Lilies | Formalwear: Groom’s custom tux by Este’s | Hair: Crystal Klaumann from Symmetry Salon | Hairpiece: August Veils | Invites & Programs: Uptowne Papers & Uncommon Invites | Makeup: Event Cosmetics | Music/Entertainment: Event Team Entertainment | Reception: Brasserie Montmartre | Rentals & Décor: Barclay Event Rentals | Rings: Bride & groom designed with Packouz Jewelers | Videography & Video Booth: Hybrid Moon | Vintage Umbrellas: Bella Umbrella (Seattle)