Sophie weds in military theme

SEVERAL government dignitaries stood alongside members of the public to greet Mr and Mrs Mirabella with warm applause as the newlyweds emerged from Wangaratta’s Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral on Saturday.

Health Minister Tony Abbott, federal MP Bronwyn Bishop and liberal heavyweight Michael Kroger were among the 250 guests who witnessed member for Indi Sophie Panopoulos become Mrs Mirabella.

The MP was led to her husband in waiting, Lt Colonel Gregory Mirabella, by brother Mario in a military themed Orthodox ceremony with all the trimmings.

Mrs Mirabella, 37, was the epitome of elegance in a strapless 1950s ins-pired gold silk organza gown worn with a chiffon jacket complete with delicate pleated detailing.

Mrs Mirabella’s step daughters Madeline and Emily Mirabella, along with her god daughter Elizabeth Wheeler, were flower girls accompanied by best friend Susan Bruce and sister Gigi Panopoulos.

The bridal party wore either gold or royal blue dresses with matching velvet navy jackets complete with elaborate military embroidery.

Touching on everything from politics to the sanctity of marriage, Fr Geoff Harvey led the service before the couple exited the cathedral through a military honour guard comprising Lt-Col Mirabella’s colleagues from Puckapunyal army base.

“I got very teary and emotional when the ceremony started,” a relieved Mrs Mirabella said as onlookers jostled to take photographs.

“It’s incredible to see so many well wishers here.

“I’m actually relieved it’s all over and can’t wait for tonight.

“It’s party time.”

Mother of the bride Barbara Panopoulous couldn’t hide her intentions for her daughter.

“I want them to have children because to be honest, I would like more grandchildren,” she said.

Colleague and member for Farrer Sussan Ley described the service as beautiful.

“There’s such an enormous amount of goodwill towards Sophie and the turnout today shows that she’s very loved,” she said.

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