ALEXIS COZOMBOLIDIS & HUNTER PENCE

Inside Weddings - - Weddings - Novem­ber 26, 2016 San Fran­cisco, Cal­i­for­nia | Pho­tographed by Mel Bar­low & Co.

Novem­ber 26, 2016 San Fran­cisco, Cal­i­for­nia Pho­tographed by Mel Bar­low & Co.

When you’re a two-time World Series cham­pion and three-time All Star, you have ac­cess to some pretty clever op­tions when it comes to plan­ning an un­for­get­table pro­posal. While on a trip to Dis­ney World, Hunter Pence – out­fielder for the San Fran­cisco Giants – told his girl­friend, YouTube per­son­al­ity Alexis Cozombolidis, that he had to

ALEXIS COZOMBOLIDIS & HUNTER PENCE

do an in­ter­view for the theme park. “What’s your fa­vorite moment so far?” the “in­ter­viewer” asked Hunter. “Right now,” he replied as he got down on one knee. Alexis was over­come with emo­tion as fire­works went off in the dis­tance. Fit­ting with the bride’s ca­reer, the whole pro­posal was caught on cam­era.

“It was a dream of mine to get mar­ried in the Greek Is­lands, but when you marry a base­ball player, that’s just not going to hap­pen,” Alexis ad­mits. “It’s freez­ing in San­torini in Novem­ber!” Though she hails from South­ern Cal­i­for­nia and Hunter grew up in Hous­ton, Texas, the happy cou­ple de­cided to wed in San Fran­cisco. “It’s where we met and fell in love,” the bride muses. In a move much ap­pre­ci­ated by Alexis’ fa­ther, Hunter took Greek danc­ing lessons dur­ing the plan­ning process. “My dad has only asked me for two things in my whole life: 1. Get mar­ried in a Greek church; and 2. If I have kids, to bap­tize them in a Greek church,” the bride ex­plains. So, the vow ex­change was held in a lovely Greek Ortho­dox church in Oak­land.

Alexis wore an Art Deco-in­spired Monique Lhuil­lier gown fea­tur­ing beau­ti­ful sil­ver de­tails. In­stead of a tra­di­tional veil, the dress was paired with a sheer, hooded cape, ty­ing in the fan­tasy el­e­ment that would emerge at the re­cep­tion. Hunter teared up as his bride walked down the green­ery-lined aisle with her fa­ther. “I will never for­get how happy I felt in that moment and how much I loved see­ing my best friend,” he shares.

The new­ly­weds didn’t let rain dampen their spir­its as they en­joyed a cock­tail hour in­spired by Mamma Mia! Af­ter smash­ing plates, Alexis and Hunter joined their guests for tra­di­tional Greek danc­ing. A Mykonos-blue color pal­ette, wind­mills, lemons, and olive trees helped to cre­ate the Mediter­ranean aes­thetic the bride de­sired.

En­ter­ing the re­cep­tion was like walk­ing into a fan­tasy world, which was ex­actly what the cou­ple had en­vi­sioned. As big fans of both Game of Thrones and the Harry Pot­ter fran­chise, Alexis and Hunter made sure the dé­cor em­braced their in­ter­ests. Af­ter all, “Mar­ry­ing your best friend feels like a fan­tasy,” the groom adds. The ta­bles were even named af­ter sets of Magic: The Gath­er­ing,a trad­ing card game that Hunter loves to play. A moss run­ner paired with mag­ni­fy­ing glasses, vials, ter­rar­i­ums, books, and more were set on the long king’s ta­bles.

Float­ing can­dles that al­luded to the Great Hall of Hog­warts were also a fa­vorite of the groom. In ad­di­tion to mag­i­cal realms, the pair is also in­trigued by the con­cept of spirit an­i­mals. Guests sent in self­por­traits be­fore the wed­ding and a spirit an­i­mal reader an­a­lyzed each at­tendee. Ev­ery­one’s unique re­sult was re­vealed on their place card, and the de­scrip­tion was de­noted on the menu.

The new­ly­weds took spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tion when se­lect­ing their open­ing dances. Close friend and fel­low YouTube per­son­al­ity Melvin Gu­tier­rez per­formed while the bride and groom shared their first dance. Hunter had sug­gested they take dance classes be­fore the wed­ding, and though Alexis first thought it was un­nec­es­sary, she re­flects, “It ended up be­ing the best de­ci­sion.”

The bride knew she’d cry if she chose a slow song for the fa­ther­daugh­ter dance. In­stead, she se­lected “I Wanna Be Like You” to re­flect her child­hood habit of singing num­bers from The Jun­gle Book with her fa­ther. “I just melted watch­ing her dance with her dad,” Hunter con­fides. “I was over­whelmed with joy to see her shine.” The groom also steered away from bal­lads for his moment in the spot­light with his mom. Self-de­scribed goofy, out­go­ing peo­ple, mother and son had a blast with “I Got It From My Mama” by will.i.am.

The joy spread by mu­sic choices didn’t stop there. A high­light of the re­cep­tion was un­doubt­edly the sur­prise Hunter and his grooms­men be­stowed upon the bride: a chore­ographed dance to “Baby” – the hit song by Justin Bieber. “I got the idea from a YouTube video,” the groom ad­mits. How­ever, that wasn’t the last per­for­mance of the night. The guest list not only in­cluded some cur­rent and for­mer team­mates of Hunter, but also singer-song­writer Tay­lor Dayne. When the DJ played her first hit, “Tell It to My Heart,” the songstress grabbed a mi­cro­phone and started singing – de­light­ing rev­el­ers. Re­flects the groom, “You hear peo­ple say their wed­ding was the best day of their life, but you don’t un­der­stand it un­til going through it your­self.”

“Mar­ry­ing your best friend feels like a fan­tasy.”

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