Alli and Eric flew to the Greek island of Santorini from Canada last September for their dream destination wedding. They had a touching first look against the stunning backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea and Santorini cliffs before walking to their ceremony location on Skaros rock. Their intimate celebration was attended solely by their closest friends- even the officiant who wed them was a friend from back home. Their happy day was captured by the talented Anna Sulte, and don’t miss Alli’s sage advice about wedding stress below, and why her meltdown was actually one of her favourite parts of the day!

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THE PROPOSAL

“Eric surprised me Montreal at the Sofitel. He made up a fake priceline.com receipt to pretend he got an amazing deal so I was completely unaware. When we arrived at our room there were rose petals, champagne and fruit. It was an out of body experience- I was confused as Eric started to give his speech because it was so unusual for him to be so romantic! He proposed standing to signify that we are equals standing together. I hugged him until the shock wore off and said “yes”.

DECIDING ON THE DESTINATION

After deciding to elope and have a private ceremony, we decided on southern Europe for its history, culture, and great weather. We always said we wanted to honeymoon in Greece- instead we were married in Greece and honeymooned in Italy. We chose the path to Skaros Rock on the Island of Thira (Santorini) in Greece for our ceremony. I pictured us standing on the edge of water with an open expanse of nature as the backdrop to our vows, and it worked out beautifully.

CHALLENGES

Logistics for the ceremony were the main challenges. There are no road signs on Santorini and the path to Skaros Rock is not marked- it is a maze of walkways through the town to the start of the stairs down to the path. The groom and best man scouted out the location in the morning, then we decided the men would head over first (as I was likely to be running late, which I did, I finished my hair and putting on my dress in five minutes then ran out the door). The fact that there were not one but two Jimmy’s Rental places a block apart also caused confused on the day itself!

PLANNING

We didn’t use a planner: to get married in Greece or Italy was at least €500 for the most basic package I could find through extensive research, which did not include translation of documents. It was more than we wanted to shell out, particularly since none of the locations available on Santorini spoke to me. While googling things to do I found pictures of Skaros Rock and envisioned us marrying along the path. So we scrapped the wedding planner idea and had a civil ceremony at City Hall in Ottawa, Canada the week before we left for Santorini. We asked our good friend to officiate the wedding in Santorini where we exchanged our vows and rings. For our reception, we asked the owner of our hotel Allure Suites to book us a good restaurant to watch the sunset. He chose Pirouni for the location, service and food. It was amazing; our table looked out on to the gorgeous Santorini sunset.

WEDDING STRESS

I started to have headaches two days before the day which turned into a melt down on the day-of. I had always dreamed of my wedding day. The stress of one day after 30 years of life looking forward to it was too much for my head to handle! After having breakfast with Eric I practiced yoga on the patio overlooking Skaros Rock. By the time Eric was back to get ready I was in tears. He talked me through the emotions I was suppressing until I was ready to get ready. My master planner and problem solver best friend came over to iron my dress while I got ready, then the other two girls arrived. I felt really bad I hadn’t spent more time with the girls getting ready, but it was what my body and soul needed, and I wouldn’t trade it for a second because the melt down is one of my favourite moments of the day with Eric. His support, understanding and way of joking a smile out of me was a reminder of why I love him and am spending the rest of my life with him.

ADVICE

If you’re getting married somewhere hot, don’t forget fans! We had brought some but forgot all but one when we set out on the day, so that one fan ended up being shared by seven of us. The pictures do not show it but we are sweating to death even at sunset!

Our best decision was staying the course with how we envisioned our wedding (intimate, outside, on the edge of nature with a wonderful backdrop of water). We wanted to keep our wedding a surprise but the cat got out of the bag and we decided to tell the immediate family two months before. They were hurt that the wedding we were planning a year later was actually going to be the reception. I’m not sure whether telling them beforehand or keeping it a surprise would have hurt our families less or if I should have told them all along. I know we thought the surprise would be fun and would help us stay true to ourselves without influence, guilt or persuasion to make changes. In the end we were happy we started out marital life being true to ourselves. It was a truly memorable trip and we then shared the whole experience with family and close friends real time through an Iphone Shared Folder.”

Photography: Anna Sulte | Ceremony Location: Skaros Rock Path | Reception Venue: Pirouni | Accommodation Venue: Allure Suites | Bride’s Gown: Truvelle from The Handmade Bride | Bride’s Shoes: Nine West | Jewellery: Bride’s Mother | Groom’s Suit: Handmade in Thailand

One Response

  1. Anna

    It was a pleasure to be part of this wedding, thank you so much Alli and Eric!
    and thank you FlyAwayBride- you are amazing!

    Reply

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