When it came time to putting the finishing touches on their big, fat Greek wedding this past July, Ryan Serhant and Emilia Bechrakis needed some help. Despite initially being unsure if they wanted a wedding planner, the Million Dollar Listing New York couple eventually hired famed event planner Kevin Lee, who you may know from his appearance on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
"They weren't quite sure how to put a wedding together for 200 guests, actually a little over 200 guests. What they decided was they didn't want to have a typical wedding in the city, in Manhattan. They wanted something romantic, whimsical and [about] Emilia's background in Greece... They didn't want to have an over-the-top wedding. They wanted this very beautiful, whimsical Greek traditional wedding," he told The Daily Dish.
To pay homage to Emilia's native country, the settled on saying "I do" on the island of Corfu, which was only one of the puzzle pieces that Kevin had to make fit. "There are a lot of important factors that we need to have — the music, the food, the ambiance the lighting — in order to make a fabulous wedding," he said. "You also have to have a fantastic, great team and we need great teamwork to put this kind of wedding together, and supposedly they do a lot of weddings in Corfu. I found a fantastic team to make their wedding come true. I made it happen."
Not that it was always smooth sailing, as viewers will see when Kevin appears on Million Dollar Listing New York Ryan's Wedding. "As a professional wedding planner, I have to listen to what they're looking for... I have to make it work," he said. "It's their dream wedding. I have to follow their steps to make it happen, that's my challenge. It's not my wedding; it's their wedding. I have to make sure they're happy for what they're looking for."
And for Ryan and Emilia, that meant that Greece was the centerpiece of the nuptials. "She wanted to have the integrity of the Greek background. [She said], 'I'm from Greece. I want to have a beautiful Greek wedding,' emphasis on that more than anything," he said. "Ryan said, 'Kevin if I wanted a typical American wedding I could do a wedding in Manhattan, but that's not what I want. I want to have the beautiful Greek wedding that we can remember forever.'"
At times it was "challenging" for Kevin, but the final product was all worth the stress. "It came together beautifully and we made it happen," he said.
There was one very big difference he noticed between planning Lisa Vanderpump's daughter Pandoa Vanderpump Sabo's wedding and the Serhant wedding. "Well, Pandora and Lisa Vanderpump, they are more over the top. She wanted it very bling, bling, bling [and] very opulent," he said. "And Emilia and Ryan were totally the other way around: very, very, very whimsical and a very organic, very outdoor feel. It was totally different for sure."
Despite the additional obstacles that come with getting married in another country, Ryan and Emilia's choice for a destination wedding paid off. "I highly recommend [a destination wedding] because you have a totally different experience than a typical [wedding] that you do the States," Kevin said. "Emilia and Ryan had a great time. All the guests, they had the best time ever. They loved it. I highly recommend doing a destination wedding for sure."
Below, find out what Ryan's MDLNY pals got him to celebrate the wedding.
The Daily Dish is your source for all things Bravo, from behind-the-scenes scoop to breaking news, exclusive interviews, photos, original videos, and, oh, so much more. Subscribe to The Daily Dish podcast, join our Facebook group, and follow us on Instagram for the latest news hot off the presses. Sign up to become a Bravo Insider and be the first to get exclusive extras.