Vardalos was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on September 24, 1962. She is the daughter of Greek Canadian parents Doreen Christakis, a bookkeeper and homemaker, and Constantine "Gus" Vardalos, a land developer. She attended St. George School and Shaftesbury High School in Winnipeg and Ryerson University in Toronto. She married American actor Ian Gomez on September 5, 1993. Gomez converted to Greek Orthodoxy prior to marrying her. She became a U. S. citizen in 1999. In 2008, they adopted a daughter whom they named Ilaria. She posted an advice column about the adoption process at The Huffington Post. It was announced on July 3, 2018 that Vardalos had filed for divorce from Gomez after 23 years of marriage, due to irreconcilable differences. The divorce was finalized in December 2018.