At first, Damla and Alex couldn’t decide where to get married: Alex is from the US and Damla from Istanbul, and what they really wanted was a beach wedding. Eventually they decided to celebrate in Bodrum, a seaside city on Turkey’s southwest coast. We love this beautifully elegant beach celebration, the orange and turquoise “sun and sea” theme, and the gorgeous photography by Yeliz Atici that captures it all so well.

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HOW THEY MET

“We worked together at the same bank but were just friends until I left to go work elsewhere. Alex came to my leaving drinks and we found the chance to chat a little bit longer after everyone left. During my three month’s gardening leave I travelled around Europe and Alex never lost touch with me.  By the time I was back to London to resart to work, we already had a really good bond. Alex proposed in Rome- a couple of weeks before left, he emailed me plane tickets saying he found a deal. We landed at Malpenza airport and a guard escorted us to an exit without going through the queue. Our car was waiting at the door. While I was thinking Italians are the most efficient people in airports, Alex was sweating cold rehearsing his proposal speech. We arrived at the hotel and were offered some some champage at the reception. It was a fantastic hotel with an amazing view.  When we walked in to the room, the bed was covered by roses and chocolates. Alex went down on his knee and proposed. It was a huge surprise and a fantastic weekend. We spent the whole weekend exploring the sites, dining at excellent restaurants and of course having lots of gelato!!

DECIDING ON THE DESTINATION

We couldn’t decide where to get married, which is why we had two weddings. One in Saratoga where Alex is from and one in Turkey- in Bodrum. I am actually from Istanbul but I really wanted to have a beach wedding so we picked Bodrum. We aspired that our London, Istanbul and NY friends could have a relaxing and fun long weekend, so decided to have a three day event rather than a single day ceremony. We had a boat tour on Friday with lots of food and drinks, then Saturday was the party and Sunday the relaxing beach day. Our wedding theme was “sun and sea”- hence the reason that everything was orange and turquoise. We used a lot of seashells and fishnets for decoration. All decorations were those two colors, even the tableclothes and candles.. maybe I was a little over-obsessed with the harmony!

CHALLENGES

There’s no question that planning a wedding far from where you live is tough. I had to travel many times. My family and friends helped me but it was still quite challenging. Also, some people who really wanted to be with us couldn’t make it because of the distance and travelling involved; that was really heartbreaking but we still had a 200 person wedding out of 250 invitees- quite a good ratio I thought for a destination wedding. We used a wedding planner based in Bodrum that was really helpful too.

BEST DECISION

The band and percussion team were really good decisions, as well as having a beach wedding. We had waiters who were serving shots to dance floor all niight long. I never saw people dancing so happily and who were so in the mood by the sea, singing and hugging- it was unforgettable! We have no regrets. Having regrets would be a regret! It’s your day, let it go.”

Photography: Yeliz Atici Photography | Wedding Planner: Nilyum Event Organisation | Videography: Dugme Film | Venue: Flamm Golturkbuku | Bridal Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Groom’s Attire: La Misura | Flowers: Ege Soley | Cake: Vanilya Bodrum | Stationery: Bellacolor, Istanbul | Music DJ: Pixus Muzik | Jewellery: Earrings: Tiffany & Co, Rings: Roberto Coin, Cufflinks: Vakko

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