Family isn’t always blood; it’s the people who love and care for you.Toula Portokalos
The Portokalos family is back with a bang in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3, and we simply can’t wait for a new heartwarming and hilarious adventure with them! Our love for the Portokalos family runs deep in our hearts. For over two decades, we’ve laughed at the family’s quirky and chaotic Greek gatherings, cried with them, shared their unwavering love for one another, and definitely memorised their unforgettable and sometimes hilarious catchphrases.
Since its release in 2002, My Big Fat Greek Wedding still remains one of our most beloved cult rom-com, and when we heard that a third part was to be released, we couldn’t contain our excitement. In this third instalment, it’s time to reunite with the Portokalos clan as they go back in search of their roots in Greece. It’s like reuniting with old friends we’ve missed dearly!
Join us as we dive into the plot, meet the cast and crew behind My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3, and uncover the filming locations in the picturesque land of myths and legends — Greece. Opa!
What Is the Plot of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3?
In the third instalment, the Portokalos family goes to Greece for a family reunion after their patriarch, Gus (the late Michael Constantine), passes away. Their goal is to deliver Gus’s journal to his friends in his hometown. However, during their trip, they make a surprising discovery: Toula, portrayed by Nia Vardalos, learns that her father had a previously unknown son named Peter, who now has his own family, further enlarging the Portokalos family. And what would a My Big Fat Greek Wedding movie be without a love story and an impromptu wedding?
Brace yourselves for another spontaneous and joyful celebration of family and love. Just like the original feature, this instalment touches the nostalgic chords of our hearts with a new love story between a Greek and a non-Greek while addressing relatable contemporary family issues in a hilarious and heartwarming fashion.
Meet the Cast of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3
All the prominent cast members in the first two movies are reuniting again for My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3, apart from Gus, with the addition of some new members. The movie is dedicated to the memory of the late actor Michael Constantine, who played Toula’s dad, Gus Portokalos.
Nia Vardalos returns as Fotoula “Toula” Portokalos, John Corbett as Ian Miller, Louis Mandylor as Toula’s brother Nick Portokalos, Lainie Kazan as Toula’s mom, Maria Portokalos, Elena Kampouris as Toula and Ian’s daughter, Paris Miller, Gia Carides as Cousin Nikki, Joey Fatone as Cousin Angelo, Andrea Martin as Aunt Voula, and Maria Vacratsis as Aunt Frieda.
The new faces further rounding off the cast include Elias Kacavas as Aristotle, a potential mate for Paris, Stephanie Nur as Qamar, and Melina Kotselou as Victory, the Greek village’s mayor.
Who’s the Creative Crew Behind the Scenes?
With the cast’s reunion and the talented writer/director/executive producer Nia Vardalos at the helm, we’re pretty much up to another masterpiece of the franchise.
Release Date: Opa! It’s Finally Here
After much anticipation, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 made its grand entrance into theatres on 8 September 2023 by Focus Features. Fans of the franchise rejoiced as they reunited with their favourite characters and indulged in the humour, love, and cultural exchange that made the original film a worldwide phenomenon.
What Are the My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 Filming Locations?
In a move that’s been two decades in the making, the Portokalos family finally returns to their ancestral homeland in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3. While the first two films were set in Chicago but filmed in Toronto, Greece takes centre stage this time, adding an authentic and picturesque touch to the beloved franchise. Even though the storyline includes events in both Chicago and Greece, the entire filming occurred in Greece.
The production took place from June to August 2022. Throughout the production, the cast and crew fully immersed themselves in the local culture and engaged with the welcoming Greek locals. Tourists and locals alike eagerly joined in the excitement, often taking photos with the cast as they explored the charming villages and tavernas. This shared enthusiasm for the film created a palpable sense of unity and warmth, mirroring the film’s own themes of family and connection.
What Was the Essence That the Crew Was Looking for in the Filming Locations?
Nia Vardalos envisioned showcasing a side of Greece that hadn’t been widely seen in films. The result is a movie that goes beyond the typical white-and-blue postcard-perfect imagery, offering a fresh perspective on this beautiful country. Giannis Nikoletos, the movie’s location manager, embarked on a quest to find filming locations that resonated with Nia’s vision, places that epitomised “neoclassical”, told a compelling story, and reflected the spirit of Greece.
If it were for Nia, she wished she could have shot all of Greece into the camera lens. However, they finally settled on Athens, Corfu, and some coastline views of some Greek islands, Crete, Paros, Hydra, and Santorini. From the neoclassical architecture and bustling streets of Athens to the lush landscapes and serene beauty of Corfu’s villages and coastlines, the film succeeded in capturing the essence of Greece and the Portokalos family’s deep-rooted connection to their homeland.
A Closer Glimpse into the Filming Locations
The allure of visiting real-life filming locations has always had a magnetic pull on movie buffs. There’s something enchanting about stepping into the shoes of our favourite characters and reliving iconic scenes. So come along, and let’s venture into the beauty of Greece and take a closer look at the filming locations of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3.
The capital city of Athens served as a significant filming location for My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3. The film’s crew ingeniously transformed the Athens airport into a replica of Chicago’s O’Hare airport. They also found the ideal interior location for the Portokalos family home in a wealthy suburban area of Athens.
The historic Plaka neighbourhood in Athens, which is the main shopping area in the city, known for its narrow streets, neoclassical architecture, vibrant bougainvillaea, and quaint ambience, provided the backdrop for several scenes, adding to the film’s genuine Greek flavour.
Why Should Athens Be on Your Greek Bucket List?
You simply can’t experience Greece without going to Athens. It’s not only the capital; it’s a city steeped in history, civilisation, culture, and art—it’s like walking through an open-air museum that spans over 3,400 years. Start at the city’s heart, where the Acropolis reigns supreme with its iconic Parthenon temple. Hop into the city’s bustling markets like Monastiraki and meander through the charming Plaka district to taste the blend between the past and the present. Indulge in grilled-to-perfection mouthwatering souvlaki, the traditional Greek dish Aunt Voula was sharing on the plane in one of the movie scenes.
Check out Connolly Cove’s guides to know everything you can do in Athens.
- A 7-Day Holiday in Greece: The Best Guide for First-Time Visitors
- 13 Top Places To Visit In Beautiful Athens
- The New Acropolis Museum, Athens (Top 9 Tips)
The Greek adventure in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 didn’t stop in Athens. The cast and crew also journeyed to the breathtaking island of Corfu, where they filmed in the neoclassical village of Varipatades at the tip-top of a mountain, as well as Bouas Village in Danilia. Corfu’s stunning castles made a striking appearance in the film, adding a touch of historical grandeur to the scenes.
Why Was Corfu an Ideal Filming Location?
Nia aimed to showcase neoclassical architecture in the movie, emphasising the film’s overarching theme that immigrants often leave their homelands not out of their own choice but necessity, as was the case with Toula’s dad. Her father left Greece because he faced a lack of food despite living in a beautiful village. The film’s message revolves around global migration driven by factors like wars and famine, highlighting the inherent beauty of the places immigrants leave behind.
Having that in mind, to find the perfect village, the location team scouted out various regions in Greece, including Mount Pelion and the Peloponnese. But it was in Corfu, within the Ionian Islands region, that they discovered the ideal setting.
In the picturesque Corfu, the team stumbled upon the Bouas Village in Danilia, a meticulously recreated 1930s-era Greek village. This charming village became the main setting for the Portokalos family’s paternal village, enriching the film with its historic charm. The faded grandeur of the village, with most of its residents having moved out over the years due to Greek emigration to the US in the mid-20th century, perfectly aligned with the narrative of the film.
Corfu was also the perfect filming location due to its harmonious blend of clean lines, geometric aesthetics, soft colour palettes, and remarkable natural beauty. This unbelievably beautiful island had it all, from charming villages to vast olive groves and mountainous areas juxtaposed with pristine, crystal-clear beaches.
In Corfu, the crew also found a sailboat dock in Benitses village that, with creative camera angles and adjustments, was transformed into multiple scenes, effectively concealing the repetition of the location.
Why Should Corfu Be on Your Greek Bucket List?
Corfu, also famous as the emerald island of Greece, is a must-visit island escape for anyone seeking a blend of rich history, natural beauty, and a sprinkle of Mediterranean charm. Nestled in the Ionian Sea, this picture-perfect island boasts a rich heritage shaped by Venetian, British, and French influences, evident in its stunning architecture, palaces, fortresses, and historic Catholic churches alongside Orthodox ones.
Corfu, united with Greece in 1864, offers a unique, more historic vibe compared to other Greek locales, complemented by its lush greenery and captivating landscapes. The island’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town showcases beautifully preserved Venetian culture and architecture.
If you’re a fan of outdoor adventures, Corfu has hiking trails through scenic countryside, sandy beaches to get sun-kissed, and a variety of water sports to satiate the thrill-seeker in you. Don’t forget to explore the hidden caves along the rugged coastlines and savour the local cuisine.
Plus, it’s not just an excellent spot for tourists; it’s also a favourite of filmmakers, featured in popular TV series like The Durrells in Corfu and Maestro in Blue.
To know more about Corfu’s history, what to do there, and where to stay, check out Connolly Cove’s guide: Corfu Island: The Stunning Heart of Greece.
The Greek Islands in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 also features coastline views of other Greek islands, including Crete, Paros, and Hydra, and a mesmerising night wedding scene in Santorini.
Golden sandy beaches and charming old town—that’s Crete, Greece’s largest island, in a nutshell! If you’re a history buff looking for crumbly old towns steeped in history, a nature lover, or just seeking some fun in the sun, Crete has definitely got you covered.
If you’re into energetic vibes and vibrant cities, head to Chania in the west, the liveliest corner of the island. There, you can savour sun-drenched days and delectable seafood and immerse yourself in Venetian and Byzantine architecture. But if peaceful coves and dreamy beaches are more your style, make your way to Sitia in the east—it’s like a postcard IRL!
Now, let’s talk nature. Have you ever heard of Europe’s longest gorge? It’s called Samaria, and you can hike through it! And for the culture vultures, there are ancient Minoan-era palaces, world-class museums, and UNESCO Heritage historical sites scattered all over the island.
Crete is like a mixtape of landscapes: sandy shores stretching along its coasts, towering mountains, and olive tree-covered countryside. The cities buzz with life, while quiet villages invite you to sip coffee at charming, quaint cafés.
So, whether you’re relaxing on the pink sandy beach of Elafonisi or exploring ancient fortresses, Crete has the perfect blend of tradition, nature, and excitement—like a big, warm Greek hug!
Visiting Paros is like stepping into a dream where every moment feels like a postcard-worthy scene — and trust us, you won’t want to wake up! Nestled in the heart of the Aegean Sea, Paros is a paradise where whitewashed buildings and cobalt-blue seas create a picture-perfect backdrop for your dream vacation.
Paros boasts some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches; you’ll have your pick! There’s a beach for every mood, whether you’re up for windsurfing adventures or simply want to laze by the crystal-clear waters, sink your toes into soft, golden sands and soak up the Mediterranean sun.
But Paros is more than just its stunning beaches. Wander through charming villages where narrow alleys lead you to quaint taverns serving mouthwatering Greek delicacies. Explore medieval ruins that murmur tales of civilisations long past, or simply savour the island’s relaxed pace of life.
For those seeking a touch of adventure, hiking trails take you through rugged landscapes and reward you with breathtaking views. At night, the island gets alive with parties and lively nightlife. Some say Paros is like the party island Mykonos without the crowds and expensive touristy prices, making it an even better party destination.
Journey back in time to Greece’s romantic past in Hydra. Tucked away in the Saronic Gulf, this enchanting island beckons with its timeless charm. Hydra’s beaches are splendid. Whether you’re basking on the pebbled shores or exploring hidden coves accessible only by boat, the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean will leave you spellbound.
But what truly sets Hydra apart is its serene atmosphere. You won’t find noisy scooters, cars, or bustling crowds here. Instead, it’s a place to savour life’s simple pleasures, losing track of time in quaint art galleries, strolling through winding cobblestone streets with colourful bougainvillaea draped over whitewashed walls, and revelling in the island’s preserved architectural beauty and artistic spirit.
Why should Santorini be on your Greek bucket list? Because it’s a place where reality becomes even better than your wildest expectations.
Santorini is the Greece on the postcards and Pinterest—iconic sun-drenched whitewashed buildings perched atop cliffs overlooking the infinite blue of the Aegean Sea. And the Santorini sunset! We’ll leave that magic for you to experience yourself.
Bask on the striking red and black sand beaches, dive into the cerulean waters of the caldera, and stroll through the winding alleys of Oia. And the food? Freshly caught seafood, juicy tomatoes, and creamy feta cheese—Santorini’s cuisine is a love letter to your taste buds.
To know more about what to do, see, eat, and where to stay in Santorini, check out our detailed guides:
- A 7-Day Holiday in Greece: The Best Guide for First-Time Visitors
- Exploring the Magical Land of Santorini
- Santorini: 5 Facts about the Fascinating Island Where Time Stops
Let’s Join the Greek Reunion
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 takes us on a heartwarming and side-splitting journey to Greece. With a stellar cast and the creative genius of Nia Vardalos, this film captures the original movie’s spirit while adding a touch of Greek magic.
So, book your movie tickets and join the Portokalos family as they add more family members to the already big family, navigate the challenges of a Greek reunion, and, of course, celebrate another big fat Greek wedding. Opa!