Fotoula "Toula" Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) is going through an early midlife crisis. At thirty, she is the only woman in her family who has "failed". Her family expects her to "marry a Greek boy, make Greek babies, and feed everyone until the day she dies." Instead, Toula is stuck working in the family business, a restaurant, "Dancing Zorba's". In contrast to her "perfect" sister, Athena (Stavroula Logothetis), Toula is frumpy and cynical. She fears she's doomed to be stuck with her life as it is.
At the restaurant, she briefly sees Ian Miller, a handsome school teacher. This event, combined with an argument with her overly-patriotic father, Gus - who merely wants his daughter to marry and settle down rather than pursue a career - motivates her to begin taking computer classes at a local college. She also gets contact lenses, wears her hair curly, and begins to use makeup. Maria, her mother, and her aunt Voula (Andrea Martin) then contrive a way to get Gus to allow her to work at Voula's travel agency.
Toula feels much better in her new job, especially when she notices Ian hanging around looking at her through the window. They finally introduce themselves and begin dating. Toula keeps the relationship secret from her family until some weeks later when Gus finds out. He throws a fit because Ian is not Greek and orders Toula to end the relationship, but Ian and Toula continue to see each other against Gus's wishes. Ian proposes marriage to her, she accepts. Gus is hurt and infuriated, feeling his daughter has betrayed him, and Ian agrees to be baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church and speak fluent Greek to be worthy of her family.
As the year passes, the wedding planning hits snag after snag as Toula's numerous relatives "helpfully" interfere. Her father insists on inviting the entire church to the ceremony, her mother orders the invitations but misspells Ian's parents' names, and Toula's cousin Nikki (Gia Carides) orders tacky bridesmaids' dresses. Toula...
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