Georgia Vasiliki Kostopoulos and Jacob Michael Rae were married June 28 in an outdoor ceremony at Red Maple Vineyard in West Park, N.Y. Kevin D. Benish, a friend of the couple who became a minister with American Marriage Ministries for the event, officiated.
The couple met at N.Y.U., from which each received a law degree.
The bride, 27, is a litigation associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, the New York law firm. She graduated from Harvard.
She is a daughter of the late Vasiliki Kostopoulos. The bride’s mother was a freelance graphic artist before working as an education assistant in the guidance counselor’s office at Port Richmond High School in Staten Island.
The groom, 33, is a litigation associate in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis, the Chicago law firm. He graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.
He is a son of Dr. Melissa Greenspan and J. Paterson Rae of Northampton, Mass. The groom’s mother retired as a family physician with the Hilltown Community Health Centers in Huntington, Mass. His father, also retired, was a public interest lawyer with both Western Massachusetts Legal Services in Springfield, Mass., and the Center for Public Representation in Northampton.
Ms. Kostopoulos and Mr. Rae met in Washington in March 2014 at a career weekend sponsored by N.Y.U. School of Law.
It was an instant connection. “I was at a table and Jake came over and started talking, and he was funny and sweet and seemed like a very interesting person,” Ms. Kostopoulos said. “I felt like I had always known him, and couldn’t imagine a time when I hadn’t.”
Mr. Rae said he “instantly realized that Georgia was a very charismatic person.” He talked to her for hours, and over the next few months, they settled into a close friendship.
But whenever Mr. Rae tried to stretch the boundaries of their friendship, he noticed that Ms. Kostopoulos seemed to make excuses about why she wasn't able to spend free time with him. Weeks would also go by, he said, without seeing her in class.
He eventually asked her out on a date, and learned the reason behind Ms. Kostopoulos’s excuses and absences. Her mother had been diagnosed with an aggressive Stage 4 cancer. Convinced that her life as a caregiver of a dying parent was too chaotic to impose on anyone else, Ms. Kostopoulos reluctantly turned Mr. Rae down and the two agreed to remain friends.
Ms. Kostopoulos expected Mr. Rae to fade from her life, but with each passing day, as she shared more about her mother's illness and care with him, he remained a calming and welcome presence.
“I felt that there was nothing that was getting thrown at him that he couldn’t handle,” Ms. Kostopoulos said.
The two eventually began dating, and in April 2015, Mr. Rae was invited to a Greek Easter celebration with Ms. Kostopoulos and her mother. “My mom got to know Jacob really, really well and liked him very much,” Ms. Kostopoulos said.
About a year later, Ms. Kostopoulos’s mother died. By that time, Ms. Kostopoulos had missed most of her law school exams for the semester, and it was unclear whether she would be able to complete her degree without taking time off.
Mr. Rae supported her decision to try to obtain her law degree in a timely manner, and he and other friends mobilized the law school faculty and classmates to share class notes and outlines to help her to catch up on a semester of missed classes.
With their help, Ms. Kostopoulos completed her exams, earned her law degree, and was chosen by the law school faculty and her classmates to speak at the 2016 graduation.
“Hearing her speak that day was truly amazing,” said Mr. Rae, his voice beginning to crack. “All of the people who rallied around Georgia knew that she was someone who was always giving of herself, someone who always managed to be there for them despite all she had been going through, it was just their way of saying thank you.”
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