Friends and family who were near, and those around the world who read of the tragedy of Maria Pantazopoulos, who died at 30 years old when she was swept away from a riverbank while wearing her wedding dress for a photo shoot, paid their last respects. The funeral was held Aug. 30 in Montreal at Koimisis Tis Theotokou Church.
Hundreds of members of the Greek-Canadian community gathered for the farewell to Pantazopoulos – the tragic bride who drowned during a Trash the Dress photoshoot as she posed in her wedding gown in water at a Quebec park.
Photographer Louis Pagakis, who tried to save her, said that Pantazopoulos, who was married only two months, went into the Ouareau River in her wedding dress so she could have her picture taken in the trendy style of wedding photography meant to symbolize that permanence of the marriage. “She had her wedding dress on and she said, ‘Take some pictures of me while I swim a little bit in the lake,'” recalled Pagakis. But the dress quickly became saturated, and the weight was simply too much for the 100-pound Pantazopoulos who began to sink to the bottom.
“The photographer put down his equipment and tried to save her,” Sgt. Ronald McInnis of the provincial police told the Montreal Gazette. “He grabbed her with his hands. (One witness) tried to help, but they couldn’t save her. The dress was too heavy.” Pagakis, in tears, told CTV that, “I tried to save her … I tried, I tried, I tried.” Canadian and international media are warning young brides to beware whenever they engage in such modern activities, noting that a simple mistake can cause their lives.