Maria Papadakis and Brendan Kent may have made history by hosting the first wedding reception ever at The Academy of Music (240 S. Broad St., 215-893-1999), but that was never the couple’s intent. The opulent concert hall has always been special to Papadakis, an Emmy-winning TV personality. It’s where she appeared on stage as a child with the Opera Company of Philadelphia and spent many evenings watching performances with her father, Drexel University President and CEO Constantine Papadakis, who passed away in 2009.
Papadakis’s wish to honor her father’s memory went hand in hand with a desire to host a lavish wedding steeped in Greek tradition. Wedding guests enjoyed homemade baklava baked by her family and danced to traditional Greek music on a dance floor that was specially created—as a platform that extended over the theater seats—to accommodate more than 500 guests. “I’m so blessed that my husband embraced these traditions,” says Papadakis, who connected with businessman Kent in 2010. “It was such a magical evening.”
Equally as magical was her fairy-tale dress, a two-piece gown with a beaded Monique Lhuillier corset and custom silk organza skirt. (The Wedding Shoppe, 503 W. Lancaster Ave., 610-293-1299). In another subtle nod to her beloved dad, Papadakis wore a pair of Vera Wang heels (Nordstrom, King of Prussia Mall, 610-265-6111) that she danced in at her first father-daughter dance as a young debutante.