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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Greece Wedding Inspiration

Words by Lauren Marshall


Greece is known for its breathtaking views, black, sandy beaches and a place to let go and appreciate the light, land and sea. Getting inspired by this landscape is easy, but with so many choices when planning your destination wedding, we thought we’d provide you with some direction to find your ideal destination wedding in Greece. Combining all we know about weddings in Greece from our photo shoot, advice from a destination wedding planner, real bride advice from past Greece destination wedding brides and Pinterest, you’ll be on your way to the perfect W-Day!

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Greece Destination Wedding Fashion Inspiration

Inspired by Light

“As we reached our destination of Amorgos, the magic of the island came to life and really began telling the story,” says photographer Amanda Julca. Dramatic sunflower centerpieces by HeatherLily Inc. add contrast to the dreamy setting and enhance the destination’s natural luminosity. Traditional, formal linens by La Tavola are the perfect background for an organic mix of china patterns. The torn-edged stationery by Momental Designs is the perfect balance of rustic and refined.

Inspired by Land

Heather Thomas of HeatherLily Inc.took inspiration from the land in her floral designs. This vibrant table setting takes its cues from the fuchsia bougainvillea found throughout Amorgos and the green hills of this cliffside town. The centerpieces and floral runner by HeatherLily Inc. pack a punch against the neutral linen by La Tavola. Gilded chargers, courtesy of All Occasions, put a Renaissance twist on this vivid set-up, and handpainted paper menus by Momental Designs add a customized and cultured element.

Inspired by Sea

Shades of blue and turquoise weave their way into this décor concept in the form of florals by HeatherLily Inc. and marble-like stationery by Coral Pheasant. Our couple was captured in various locations around Amorgos and the Aegialis Hotel & Spa.

Vendors: Photography & Concept: Amanda Julca, Planning & Event Design: Kasey Conyers of Bliss Wedding & Event Design, Photo Shoot Location: Amorgos, Greece, Floral Design: Heather Thomas of HeatherLily Inc., Hair Stylist: Vera Joyce, Make-Up Artist: Anthie with Aegialis Hotel & Spa, Bridal Gowns: Jenny Packham/Judd Waddell/Ulla-Maija Couture/Kirribilla/Lazaro each courtesy of La Jeune Mariee Collection via Big Rock Bridal Atelier, Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale/Kirribilla/Alfred Sung Dupioni each courtesy of La Jeune Mariee Maids, Jewelry: Haute Bride/Toni Federici/PARIS Inc./Sara Gabriel each courtesy of La Jeune MarieeCollection, Men’s Accessories: Beau Ties Ltd., Paper Items/Stationery: Momental Designs & Coral Pheasant, Favors: Local Amorgos Olive Oil Bottles, Linens: La Tavola, latavolalinen.com, Charger Plates: All Occasions, China Plates: Private Collection of Aegialis Hotel & Spa Owner, Food/Catering & Hotel Accommodations: Aegialis Hotel & Spa, Videography: William Scott and Steve & Kyle Muza of Little Tree Studios, Local Transportation: Blue Star Ferries Lines and the Aegialis Hotel & Spa, Models (Locals to Amorgos, Greece): Kaliovi – bride, Kalia – bridesmaid & Stavros - groom

The above photo shoot first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2015 issue. You can order a copy here.

Destination Wedding Professional's Greece Advice

Ali Phillips from Engaging Events by Ali brings her professional advice and first-hand experience into play to tell you how to pick what city in Greece to be married in! 

Greece is a famous hot spot for destination weddings. Couples are lured by the dreams of gorgeous sunsets on the cliffs of Santorini and the beautiful Greek setting, food and wine and friendly and welcoming service. Since I was a teenager I have wanted to experience Greece, so my husband and I traveled to Greece last year to celebrate our 15-year wedding anniversary and renew our vows! Here are some great ideas for a Greek itinerary and some wedding tips.

Summer (June to end of August) are the busiest months to travel to Greece. so we chose to travel the week after Labor Day and really enjoyed this time of year. It was less crowded and perfect weather during the day (not too hot) and the evenings were perfect (I carried a light sweater with me at night). Once the middle of October arrives, most of the hotels and restaurants in the islands close until early April when it starts warming up again. So, when planning your wedding in Greece, bear in mind these down months where things are not open.

 Athens

Your guests will most likely fly in to Athens, so what better place to start your itinerary? Begin your trip by exploring the history of Athens. We stayed at The King George in Syntagma Square and really loved this location as we could walk just about anywhere. It also sits next to its sister property, the Hotel Bretagna. We loved wandering around the Old City (Palaka) for restaurants and shopping and ate some of the most wonderful Greek dishes.

First stop? The Acropolis and The Parthenon. I recommend getting up early and being there right when the doors open so that you beat the larger crowds and buses, but also it can get very warm on top of The Parthenon. Being there early will ensure less crowds and cooler temperatures. Athens can get HOT! Following the tour of the Parthenon we visited the Acropolis Museum, which I found to be fascinating with all the history and worth a visit.

The rest of our time in Athens was spent wandering the streets, stopping for shopping and eating wonderful food and drinking good Greek wine. Do not miss the Shoe Poet’s Shop (who made sandals for me while I waited)!

We spent two full days in Athens, which was a perfect amount of time before we headed to the islands.

Mykonos

It is a short 35-minute flight from Athens to Mykonos and once we landed I knew I would love this island. Known for the parties and the nightlife, this island also has amazing beaches and beach clubs and restaurants. This island can offer your wedding guests just about everything. The town goes from sleepy during the day to really hopping into the wee hours of the night. The famous windmills can be a perfect backdrop for your wedding ceremony and wedding photos and there are so many great hotels and restaurants to choose from for your wedding reception. While we were traveling in Mykonos we saw about six weddings taking place in three days.

Mykonos is definitely the perfect island to consider when thinking about your Greek wedding for those that like to sleep in, hit the beach and then dance until the sun comes up! We hit the famous Skandanavian Bar in Mykonos town, which does not really even get busy until 2 a.m.! We also enjoyed a day at the Scorpios Beach Club and got a cabana for the day and had lunch and sunset cocktails there. We loved our stay at the chic Hotel Boheme in Mykonos. We could walk back and forth to town (but far enough away we did not hear the late night music) and we were close to all the other areas to see in Mykonos. Make sure to rent a car for the day or two days to really explore the island!

And be sure not to miss Kiki’s Tavern for lunch. The wait can seem long, but we brought our swim suits, swam at the little beach called Agios Sostis by the restaurant and enjoyed the free wine and company of those waiting with us. We ate the prepared sales they had, octopus and shared one of the best pork chops I have ever eaten.

Santorini

Famous for it’s sunsets and their cliffside towns along the Caldera, Santorini is one of the most photographed places in the world! There is no flight directly from Mkyonos to Santorini, so we took the high-speed ferry, which was a fun trip and took about two hours. Make sure to have your hotel arrange a pick up for you at the port, as it is one of the busiest ports with thousands arriving at a time.

For your wedding, think of your ceremony on the white cliffs of Santorni with the beautiful blue rooftops and ocean in the distance. Things are a bit slower in Santorini, so your guests will enjoy a slower paced day and service. We renewed our wedding vows for our 15 year anniversary at the hotel we stayed at called Petit Palace. We loved this small boutique hotel on the edge of the Caldera in Fira and they arranged the dinner and the person to conduct our ceremony. We renewed our vows as the sunset behind us went from yellow to gorgeous amber and then once the sun was down the sky became more and more magical.

I researched online and on Instagram and found our photographer, Kimonas of Santorini Photography. He took us to all the iconic spots in Santorini for photos and even convinced me to walk out on the top of one of the buildings in town.

Something your guests will find the most memorable in Santorini is watching the sunset from Oia or any of the towns along the Caldera. Hundreds of people gather at these towns to enjoy a cocktail, listen to music and watch the sun go down. I have seen a lot of sunsets in all of my travels, but nothing is like the beauty of a sunset in Santorini. It really took our breath away the three nights we were there.  

A great trip for you and your guests in Santorini would be to book a boat thru Sunset Oia Sailing. We did a half-day trip and really enjoyed our time on the water and stopping at the hot springs, red beach and white beach.

Or, take the day by enjoying the wineries of Santorini and go wine tasting. We made an afternoon of it and visited three wineries. For this, we did a little research before we arrived.

Get Ready

Traveling to Greece for your destination wedding, vow renewal or honeymoon will be one of the most romantic trips you will ever experience. The friendly Greek service, wonderful Greek food, superb wine and most especially the amazing history, culture and scenic spots will keep you dreaming of Greece long after you have returned. Just last week we went to Greek Town in Chicago to feel a little bit of Greek hospitality to brighten up our long winter in Chicago.

Greece also has so many other wonderful islands to explore like Naxos, Crete, Corfu, Paros and Hydra. There are over 150 inhabited islands in Greece to choose from!

Mentioned Vendors: King George Athens, Shoe Poet: Stavros Melissinos, Skandanavian Bar, Scorpios Mykonos, Hotel Boheme Mykonos, Petite Palace Santorini, Sailing: Sunset Oia Santorini, Photography: Kimonas Patiniotis, Winery Tour: Santorini Secrets

Greece Destination Wedding Brides' Advice

“I would recommend to any couple planning a destination wedding to research reputable wedding planners in the area and enlist their help – don’t do it alone.” ~ Michelle, Santorini destination wedding bride 

“Greece is an ideal wedding destination because it offers very high standards of luxury and one of the most delicious cuisines you can imagine at quite the reasonable cost. We would never have been able to have a wedding right on the sea with perfect weather and an amazing view [at home in Switzerland].” ~ Elina, Athens destination wedding bride 

“The norm for weddings in Santorini (at least from our perspective) is VERY different than the process we would have experienced had we planned our wedding at home. Our wedding planner did a fabulous job outlining all the documents we would need – not only that, she went an extra step further and offered to take the marriage license to the courthouse following our wedding so we could get straight to enjoying our honeymoon.” ~ Alexandria, Santorini destination wedding bride 

“[Before the] ceremony there was a flower bar where guests had the chance to pick their preferred flowers and wear wreaths, boutonnieres and corsages prepared on the spot. Also, we put together a three-step ‘toss confetti bar’ outside the church where guests could prepare their cones according to their preferences (confetti, lavender or rose petals).” ~ Ingrid, Mykonos destination wedding bride 

“To be honest, it was picked to be the location because Michael and I had always wanted to travel there,” says the bride. “We thought it would make a great backdrop for pictures – we were totally right!” ~ Taylor, Santorini destination wedding bride

Destination: Greece Pinterest Board

Finally, begin or add to your Greece wedding Pinterest board with some of our favorite pins from fashion to ceremony setups. Click here to explore!

If you're new to our Destination: Greece week, be sure to check out this Destination: X week’s previous posts: Greece Destination Wedding, A Romantic Tour of Greece and Greece Wedding Resources.


Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Amanda Julca (1st through 20th), Santorini Photography (21st through 23rd), Ali Phillips (24th through 30th), Anna Roussos (31st), Nikos Gogas Photography  (32nd), Aaron and Jillian Photography (33rd), George Pahountis (34th), Megan Saul Photography (35th)

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