Efrosini and George picked the Greek island of Andros for their destination wedding because of the island’s proximity to Athens (two hours by ferry) as well as its beautiful scenery and incredible food. We love several things abut this wedding: firstly that their chosen venue, the Aneroussa Beach Hotel, has a built in amphitheater where the couple had their ceremony. Secondly, that they included the brilliant Greek tradition of the groom serenading the bride as she got ready (along with quite a crowd- see the photo below). We also love that Efrosini and George’s bohemian celebration was shot exclusively on film by the talented Katharine Peachey. Finally, we are head over heels for this wedding because it just looks like an incredibly fun day.
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HOW THEY MET

“We met through a common friend who was the bride’s classmate in school and the groom’s buddy in University. It took us about two years to realise that the two of us actually had so much more in common than each one of us probably had with our common friend. And yet, we still decided to make him the best man! George proposed… in bed. Enough said.

DECIDING ON THE DESTINATION

We chose to get married in Andros at the Aneroussa Beach Hotel, because it is a picturesque setting, and the weather is warm but mild in June when we had the wedding. Andros is one of the quieter islands in the Cyclades, but still easy to get to and with the right hint of cosmopolitanism, so we thought that most people would like it as a holiday destination anyway. It’s only two hours by ferry from Athens, combining impressive nature with beautiful villages and incredible food. The Aneroussa Beach Hotel has its own stone-built amphitheatre, where we had the ceremony, and is set above a beach, where we held our reception and party – in fact, we arrived at the beach on a boat after our guests had been seated, which was a specially memorable moment for us all. Plus, from the Aneroussa Beach Hotel, you get one of the best sunsets you will see in your life! The hotel team is friendly and approachable, and they were keen to cater for our needs and those of our guests.

CHALLENGES

As with any destination wedding, one of the biggest challenges was trying to organise a wedding abroad while keeping with our busy lives in London. Some decisions and planning could happen from afar- and thankfully we have family and friends in Greece who could make some arrangements for us in advance- but most of it we had to do on location. So we visited a couple of times in advance and met with locals to arrange catering, DJ, photographers, hair and make-up artists at the location. The hotel team also had many contacts, which helped a lot, so finding a venue that will support in such a way is key.

PLANNING 

We didn’t use a planner, even though this would have probably made the whole experience less tiring for us, we did actually enjoy planning all the details with friends and family. We weren’t aiming for something overly stylised anyway, and most of the local people who helped us actually appreciated having direct contact with us.

The most important thing for us was to create a buzz for our guests prior to the wedding, to give them all information they needed in order to plan their trip, and to keep them informed during the week of the wedding and later on. So we created a blog where guests could find out more about the location, schedule of the day, activities organised before/after the wedding. It was a great and simple way to share information, impressions and photographs with guests before and after. See our blog here.  

STYLE & THEME

We didn’t opt for a super stylised situation, but a rather relaxed island chic look, which would make our guests feel comfortable. The most important thing for us was to foreground the beauty of the landscape and the natural setting, to include some traditional Greek elements, and to make everyone feel comfortable. Almost everything was handmade, bespoke or DIY. We customised almost everything we were offered by vendors (from the dress to the food), which is why we hope we made it unique and true to who we really are.

There was a bit of humour too, so we offered our guests a pin badge with our faces on it, as sketched by the brother of the bride, and used a decorated buggy to leave the reception, with its ‘just married’ sign and everything, before returning on a boat with David Bowie’s ‘Absolute Beginners’ in the background! We also offered our guests some traditional sweets of Andros and Cefalonia (where the groom comes from), and some printed photos and a ‘thank you’ card after the wedding.

BEST DECISION

Our best decision was the choice of location, which made our friends from abroad want to come and celebrate with us. With the variety of settings within the Aneroussa Beach Hotel premises- the amphitheatre for the ceremony, the gardens for drinks, the beach bar and restaurant area for the dinner, and the beach for the party- we were able to create a memorable event for everyone which lasted from early evening until dawn… And Katharine Peachy captured all the stages of the event brilliantly. We will never forget our arrival with the boat and the moment after our first dance when we invited everyone to join us on the beach- we literally felt a flood of people on the decked dance floor, everyone ready to bust their best moves, some even throwing their shoes away! If we were to do it all again, the only thing we’d change is not stress so much but rest more the days immediately prior to the wedding.”

Photography: Peachey Photography | Venue: Aneroussa Beach Hotel | Bride’s Dress: Vivienne Westwood | Bride’s Shoes: Tsakiris Mallas | Bride’s Headpiece: Vasiliki Syrma | Bride’s Earrings: Mother of the Bride | Groom’s Suit: Charles Tyrwhitt | Groom’s Tie: Hawes and Curtis | Groom’s Shoes: Paul Smith | Stationery: Design: Loukas Protopapas (loukprot@gmail.com) Printing: Typoekfrasi | Makeup: Fontini Hatzis | Catering: Punta Playa | Cake: Zairis | Buggy: Dinos Rent A Bike | Flowers: Aneroussa Beach Hotel

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