Destination I Do
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Destination Wedding Greece: A Santorini Soirée

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Meredith Hanafi Photography

When William and Chikage couldn’t find a wedding venue to suit their taste in their current home, Japan, or the groom’s home state, North Carolina, they saw the opportunity to do something really fun. While looking through destination wedding magazines, the couple discovered Santorini and immediately knew that this was it. “We chose the island because of its natural beauty and sense of adventure (neither of us had been to Greece before),” says the couple.

Due to their adventurous spirit and love of travel, the couple’s guests weren’t surprised to discover a destination wedding was in the works. “They knew that we were both travelers and knew that one day they would be asked to make a trip to some far off place to come to our wedding, so there was little surprise,” says the bride and groom. “There was no negative reaction and we found that most people welcome the opportunity to travel.”

Thankfully, the guests were along for the ride and had a relatively smooth trek to the Mediterranean Sea. The biggest adjustment was for the couple, who knew what they wanted and were anxious to be an integral part of the planning process. “The biggest issue we faced was adjusting from a faster Tokyo pace of lifestyle to the laid-back southern European approach to event planning,” says the couple. “We learned very quickly that things don’t happen as quickly as we would have liked them to and communication was difficult at times. We had to learn to be patient and trusting which paid off in the end.”

Their patience certainly did pay off. William and Chikage don’t regret a thing about their destination wedding and took full advantage of their gorgeous Greek location. “For the decorations we relied on the beautiful views and we’re happy we did because they were spectacular,” recall the bride and groom. “There is a special bond that one develops with friends through travel and we developed that with our guests. We don’t think that would have been possible if we had a normal wedding at home.”

The couple has some final words of advice for other future brides and grooms looking to host a wedding away, “Travel far and wide and put your faith into the experience itself!”

Photographer: Meredith Hanafi Photogaphy
Ceremony/Reception Site: Dana Villas
Groom’s Clothing Designer: Emporio Armani
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Designer: Banana Republic

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