Destination I Do

Santorini, Greece

Words by Jennifer Stein

Santorini, Greece

By: Kate Darnell
Photography by: Jonathan Thrasher,

What’s more romantic than meeting the love of your life in Rockefeller center?

Getting married in Greece, that’s what.

Fotini Marcopulos and Jay Franco had quite the start. First they met while working in the Time Life building in Rockefeller Center for the Book-of-the-Month Club and according to Jay, “Fotini would venture across the floor toward the much better coffee room in my office.  It was our love of coffee (and obviously books) that brought us together.”

Next, (after 5 years of living together) was a proposal during a romantic picnic.  And finally – the wedding in Santorini Greece.  

Since they were looking for something a little different, Greece provided the perfect unique backdrop they desired.  “Fotini and I had been to dozens of typical weddings so we really wanted to do something different, and Santorini is definitely different. We had vacationed in Greece together in 2003 and 2005 and as our relationship moved happily along - we both decided if we ever got married we should do it on an island in Greece.” Jay admits.

Once they announced their plans, they were delighted to learn that friends and family were excited about their decision to have the wedding in Greece.  “Some people told us they looked at it as an opportunity of a lifetime…especially amongst our friends, who figured, ‘When are we ever going to get a chance to go to Greece?’” , recalls Fotini. Almost 50 people attended from New York alone – and the total guest list came to 75.

The couple did their best to plan from afar using magazines and internet searches to get ideas and inspiration – but they did end up hiring a wedding planner. “Once we decided on Santorini the next step was to find a planner. After a phone interview I realized that Helena from Yasena Weddings was the best fit for us.  I found our photographer (Jonathan Thrasher) from  We loved his creativity, and he was really easy to work with.” says Fotini.

Through it all, they kept their guests at the top of the priority list.  Welcome bags, pre-wedding activities and a beach day in lieu of the traditional rehearsal dinner, they meant as a “thank you” for all the guests who made the long trip. “Everyone swam and enjoyed the beautiful beach, then we all walked up to the Notos Seaside lounge for their incredible food. It worked out amazingly well.” says Jay.

The ceremony, held in a Greek Orthodox Church, went off without a hitch. And after the couple said their destination “I do’s” the guests were shuttled to the reception on a chartered bus.

Jay recalls - “The reception was at a newly renovated site called NRG, nestled atop the cliffs on the island in the town of Pyrgos. We arrived from the church as the sun was setting for the most spectacular sunset. It was amazing. No one could get over the view.” The party continued until about 3am and as Jay remembers, “It was the perfect wedding party.” Such a great party in fact that Fotini even had to change into flip flops to continue dancing.

 After the event was over, Fotini and Jay made their way to Italy for the honeymoon of a lifetime to top off their destination wedding of a lifetime.

Wedding Planner: Helena Han-Papakonstantinou‎ from Yasena weddings,
Photographer: Jonathan Thrasher,
Gown by: Monique Lhuillier
Groom’s Attire:  Suit by Calvin Klein and shirt by Ben Sherman

Reception Site: Suites of the Gods

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