It feels so good to be back posting after the Christmas break! It seemed like we hadn’t been online in absolutely forever but as Amy already mentioned, we are away shooting our next inspiration shoot and to give you an idea of just how crazy Christmas was  – lets just say there were a few nights there where we were found going to bed at 7am (no, not after a night out celebrating) after a long looong nights work! But, totally worth it and would we have done it any other way? Nah! If you got engaged over the Christmas break (Wahey!!) and happened to miss our post yesterday, take a look here. We will be posting lots of useful information over the next few weeks  to help you on your way but for today, we are thrilled to have such a beautiful real destination wedding in Greece to share with you to remind you what it’s all about. The wedding of Aimee and Max took place on the beautiful Greek island of Santorini and I can’t think of a better way to start our wedding inspiration for 2013. I have major couple crush and if you are suffering from the January blues then you are about to snap right out of it right…. now!

Destination wedding in Greece

Aimee, originally from Scotland moved to the States when she was 14 and Max is from England so as ever we were itching to know how they ended up getting married in Greece but our beautiful bride (honestly, could they be a better looking duo?) filled in the gaps.

“We met in island of Ios, Greece, which is neighboring island to Santorini in 2007.  We both met while Max was travelling Greece and Aimee was working in Ios as a bartender at the hostel Francescos. Max walked into the bar, and asked if my name was ‘Aimee’, it was a case of mistaken identity, as he thought I was someone he had already met, but we hadn’t…. we spent hours talking and that was it… he ended up staying in Ios with me and my friend for 4 days until Max had to get on flight back to UK (was supposed to be one night). We continued to talk via email while Aimee was still backpacking through Greece, and eventually I ended up working in Windsor England, which was only 2hrs from Max’s home. We continued to see each other, ended up travelling Thailand in February together in 2008, then it was my turn to return back to US (I was on gap year), Max followed me and that was it… we’ve been living in US together now with our dog for 5yrs. I think we fell in love straight away and have shared everything ever since.”

Destination Wedding in Greece

Destination Wedding in Greece (Part 1)

“My  favorite movie is ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, since Max had no idea what shops to go to, or where to buy rings in the US, he knew of Tiffany’s and decided on taking me there. It was perfect. We had planned to go into Boston to go see the architecture of a new building (I was a design major). Meanwhile Max had secretly plotted a walking route from the building directly to Tiffany’s. It was in Oct 2008, about a year after we had met. I thought we were just walking around Boston, we grabbed some coffee, then all of a sudden we were outside of Tiffany’s in Copley Plaza Boston. I was utterly shocked that he got this one past me! He took me into Tiffany’s, we picked out a ring together, and then he proposed right on street outside in Copley Plaza.”

Destination Wedding in Greece (Part 1)

“We picked Santorini, as it was close to the island that we originally met on. I think the most difficult obstacle was trying to orchestrate a wedding that was accessible to our family and friends, since we had a variety of age groups and people travelling from USA, Croatia, Scotland and England. The best bet was Santorini, since everyone could fly in directly from Athens without having to get on ferrys. Another challenge was scouting locations for people to stay. The US people had to book flights/hotels separately, while those in UK had it easy and were able to book package holidays. We all ended up staying in Perissa and Perivolos beach area, which had great atmosphere, was easily accessible for walking and was family oriented (few of family members had children, but we needed somewhere that had enough excitement for 20-35yr crowd). I created a website for everyone with every detail you could imagine. I think it really helped our guests. I also sent out Save the Dates one year before the wedding to allow sufficient time for people to save money, take vacation time and make arrangements. Scouting for locations was also quite difficult. We didn’t choose our wedding planner until we had thoroughly researched the island and found enough places for venues. Our wedding planner was Shirley Chiarolanzio’s of Santorini Wedding Planner. She was amazing. We didn’t want to have the typical wedding where they roll out red carpet, usher you on, and finish up the ceremony while the next wedding party is waiting. We wanted something completely unique and customizable. Every last detail was impeccably and coordinated & managed by Shirley and her team. She even got us a vintage suitcase, as I had made pics of everyone for place seating cards, and a vintage Moroccan tea set for decoration purposes.”

Destination Wedding in Greece (Part 1)

Aimee and Max made some key decisions at the beginning of the planning process that led to this unique wedding day.

“Hiring Anna Roussos as photographer and Xavier as our videographer was one of our best decisions. Boy are they amazing. I was hesitant to splurge on the extra money for the video, but given the quality and moments they captured, nothing will ever compare. They made us feel so at ease. I was a picky picky bride when it came to artistic touches, and I couldn’t have found anyone better than Anna & Xavier. Also, instead of having all of our pics done that day, we focused on group pics, since our ceremony was at sunset and we wanted everyone to get to reception as quick as possible. We didn’t want to hold up reception or our guest eating, so Anna worked with Max and I the next day on a separate photo shoot, so we had the entire next day (starting at 2pm ish) to shoot and go to different locations to take our pics. We walked around Oia, Red Beach, Immerovigli – we just couldn’t have done this had we done this on day of wedding. It allowed us plenty of time to relax and take great pics. Hiring Shirley from SWP was another great decision  as she was so meticulous with her coordination and didn’t miss a beat. Not one thing in our wedding wasn’t unique.

Another decision was to go to dancing lessons. We danced to Red Hot Chili Peppers ‘Hard to Concentrate’. If anyone is planning a wedding, I strongly suggest going to dancing lessons, it was a treat for everyone, completely unexpected and got the crowd going. It was an extra little something just as a thank you for our guests. I think they thoroughly enjoyed all the work we put into the wedding, which made it all the more special.”

Destination Wedding in Greece (Part 1)

Destination Wedding in Greece (Part 1)

“Our vision was an elegant, upscale lounge atmosphere, with lots of fun, laughter, chill lounge music and dancing. I really wanted it to have a bohemian type feel, so we ended up going with a Moroccan feel to the wedding and colors were matched accordingly. All bridesmaids and flowers were in jewel tones. We had Moroccan hookah pipes in middle of table, adorned with jewel tone flower and accented with golden sashes and ribbon chair- backs. Chinese lanterns lit the pagoda of Theros in burnt oranges, fuschias, purples, violets and aquas. Our ringbearer carried in a genie lamp on top of Moroccan plate that I had adorned with jewels. We didn’t want a traditional wedding cake, so we opted for a small ganache chocolate cake with flower adorned on top, we then had assortment of pastries and cakes chosen by max and me from the bakeries in Santorini (Tiramisu, Baklava etc) for our guests to feast on.

Shirley also suggested we use a decoration team rather than just a florist. Fabio Zardi was hired for the occasion as florist and decoration team. They brought in Moroccan pillows, lanterns, hookah pipes etc. We also had Shirley recommend a belly dancer for us (Sophia), instead of typical Greek Dancers or band. It just heightened the atmosphere and got everyone going. The DJ played until the wee hours in the morning. My sister even sang her speech, which had everyone in stitches and awe. It was very personal. Since, I am a design major, I insisted on making all paper items/stationary for the wedding. This also helped significantly on cost, as I designed & printed our Save the Dates, Invitation Suite (which was boarding pass), the programs (fan shaped, since it was hot), dinner menus, and table numbers. Everything was completely unique. The table numbers were constellations, which tied in to Greek mythology. The stars on these were hole-punched and I put flameless candles underneath each of them so that they would flicker in moonlight.”

Destination Wedding in Greece (Part 1)

Destination Wedding in Greece (Part 1)

Destination Wedding in Greece (Part 1)

Planning a destination wedding is no mean feat and when you are so creative and want to personalise and design it to your own taste, it can be a rather daunting and expensive task, especially when you are not familiar with the area or local language. This is an area where Max and Aimee clearly triumphed so for those of you considering a destination wedding and want the look without it costing an arm and a leg, read on as Aimee explains exactly how they managed it.

“Our wedding was very personal. Since I am a design major, I insisted on making all paper items/stationary for the wedding. This also helped significantly on cost, as I designed & printed our Save the Dates, Invitation Suite (which was boarding pass), the programs (fan shaped, since it was hot), dinner menus, and table numbers. Everything was completely unique. The table numbers were constellations, which tied in to Greek mythology. The stars on these were hole-punched and I put flameless candles underneath each of them so that they would flicker in moonlight. Although the entire wedding was completely customized, we save a bunch by buying or bringing a lot of our own stuff, and it was so easy to do. We saved so much, that we were able to do things like hire extra transport, do the boat excursion, able to get premium open bar for everyone, as well as most expensive food from caterer.

✈ We made and brought all paper items & stationary above.

✈ The ribbons for chairs was going to cost something like 8euro per chair. Instead I went into local craft store, picked up 40 rolls of ribbon and cut each into desired lengths. I got them all on sale for 50c a piece (aqua’s, purples, fuchsia etc)

✈ For the food for the pre-wedding day activity we went to supermarket and had more than enough for everyone at fraction of cost for dinner on board.

✈ Bridal bouquet was made from combination of vintage brooches, family brooches and some that were bought by friends. My sister made the bouquet for me and combined with flowers bought from market & ribbon I’d bought from craft store.

✈ We bought all the paper lanterns for Fabio Zardi, instead of renting them, I think I got all 40 lanterns in unique sizes colors for $100 online

We bought bracelets and bangles from Forever21 that looked Moroccan. They were something like $5 for a set of 10, I bought about $40 worth and used them to decorate tables, the vintage suitcase etc.

✈ We handmade beach-totes for women guests and made vintage travel tags for men. All made by me. Friend has a metal shop, and asked him to fashion 50 luggage size tag pieces of metal, adorned them with vintage travel pics.

Everything was brought with us in large suitcase, and really saved us a bunch.”

Destination Wedding in Greece (Part 1)

Wedding in Greece (Part 1)

Destination Wedding in Santorini

Destination Wedding in Greece (Part 1)

Those lanterns make such a huge impact don’t you think? This wedding makes me want to start planning a party and once again, we have the amazingly talented Anna Roussos Photography to thank, we are always so thrilled to feature her work. Disappointed that the post is over? Us too, that’s why on Thursday we will be featuring their lovely wedding video and some more amazing advice by our super destination bride, Aimee! Tomorrow we have an opportunity not to be missed, especially if you are newly engaged and haven’t yet booked your wedding photographer. Don’t miss our amazing competition on tomorrow’s wishlist. Until then, check out Anna’s blog for more wedding goodness to get you through the working week and if you are in need for some wedding stationary, check out Aimee’s etsy shop, Lazy Little Sunday.

 

Photographer and Videographer; Anna Roussos Photography and Xavier | Wedding Planners; Santorini Wedding Planners – Shirley Chialoranzio | Reception Venue;  Theros Wave Bar | Catering;  Spicy Bites Catering | Ceremony Venue; La Maltese Estate | Wedding Dress; Evan Rund | Wedding Shoes; Betsey Johnson | Decorations; Fabio Zardi | Groomsmen Suits; Express | Stationary; Lazy Little Sunday | Bridesmaid Dresses; 125 Bridal (Styles by Alfred Sung, Bari Jay, Alfred Angelo) | Cocktail Dress; Cache

We met in island of Ios, Greece, which is neighboring island to Santorini in 2007. Aimee is originally
from Scotland, but immigrated to US when she was 14. Max is from England. We both met while Max
was travelling Greece and Aimee was working in Ios as a bartender at the hostel Francescos. Max
walked into the bar, and asked if my name was ‘Aimee’, it was a case of mistaken identity, as he thought
I was someone he had already met, but we hadn’t…. we spent hours talking and that was it… he ended
up staying in Ios with me and my friend for 4 days until Max had to get on flight back to UK (was
supposed to be one night). We continued to talk via email while Aimee was still backpacking through
Greece, and eventually I ended up working in Windsor England, which was only 2hrs from Max’s
home. We continued to see each other, ended up travelling Thailand in February together in 2008, then
it was Aimee’s turn to return back to US (was on gap year), Max followed me and that was it… we’ve
been living in US together now with our dog for 5yrs. I think we fell in love straight away and have
shared everything ever since.Aimee’s favorite movie is ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, since Max had no idea what shops to go to, or where
to buy rings in the US, he knew of Tiffany’s and decided on taking me there. It was perfect. We had
planned to go into Boston to go see the architecture of a new building (aimee was design major), all the
while, Max had secretly plotted a walking route from the building directly to Tiffany’s. It was in Oct
2008, about a yr after we had met. I thought we were just walking around Boston, we grabbed some
coffee, then all of a sudden we were outside of Tiffany’s in Copley Plaza Boston. I was utterly shocked
that he got this one past me, I usually know everything…. He took me into Tiffany’s, we picked out a
ring together, and then he proposed right on street outside in Copley Plaza.3. Your Wedding Destination: We would love to hear about your wedding destination, why did you
pick your destination, what made it special to you? Did you have a wedding planner? What was
the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your destination wedding? The more
information and advice you could give for brides to be the better. For local weddings, we would
love to hear about how you found your wedding suppliers, why they were so amazing and useful
tips and local knowledge to pass on to our readers planning their destination wedding in the same
area.We picked Santorini, as it was close to the island that we originally met on. I think the most difficult
obstacle was trying to orchestrate a wedding that was accessible to our family and friends, since we
had a variety of age groups and people travelling from USA, Croatia, Scotland and England. The best
bet was Santorini, since everyone could fly in directly from Athens without having to get on ferry’s.
Another challenge was scouting locations for people to stay. The US people had to book flights/hotels
separately, while those in UK had it easy and were able to book package holidays. We all ended up
staying in Perissa and Perivolos beach area, which had great atmosphere, was easily accessible for
walking and was family oriented (few of family members had children, but we needed somewhere
that had enough excitement for 20-35yr crowd). I created a website for everyone with every detail you
could imagine. I think it really helped our guests. I also sent out Save the Dates one year before the
wedding to allow sufficient time for people to save money, take vacation time and make arrangements.
Scouting for locations was also quite difficult. We didn’t choose our wedding planner until we had
thoroughly researched the island and found enough places for venues. Our wedding planner was Shirley
Chiarolanzio’s of Santorini Wedding Planner. She was amazing… We didn’t want to have the typical
wedding where they roll out red carpet, usher you on, finish up ceremony, while the next wedding partyis standing outside waiting for their turn. We wanted something completely unique and customizable.
Every last detail was impeccably and coordinated & managed by Shirley and her team. She even got us
a vintage suitcase, as I had made pics of everyone for place seating cards, and a vintage Moroccan tea
set for decoration purposes.

Have some kind of design in mind and then research the hell out of it… choose vendors that you think
will help bring your idea to life and then work with your coordinator to fine tune all your ideas, because
I’m sure you’ll have many. Don’t ever think you can’t afford something, stick to a budget and make as
many things as possible. Order things from online if you can’t afford to rent. There is always ways to
get the things you want (see below for examples). Don’t cheap out on photographer or videographer and
do not go with a coordinator if they will not customize a wedding that will suit you. Try to do a post
wedding shoot for the couple if you are having a night wedding, so much less stress on day of to capture
those perfect moments.

4. Your Wedding: We’d love to hear about your vision. What unique touches did you include in the
wedding in order to make it more personal? What was the best decision you made?

Best Decisions:

– Hiring Anna Roussos as photographer and Xavier as our videographer, boy are they amazing. I was
hesitant to splurge on the extra $ for the video, but given the quality and moments they captured, nothing
will ever compare. They made us feel so at ease. I am a picky picky bride when it came to artistic
touches, and I couldn’t have found anyone better than Anna & Xavier. Also, instead of having all of our
pics done that day, we instead focused on group pics, since our ceremony was at sunset and we wanted
everyone to get to reception as quick as possible. We didn’t want to hold up reception or our guest
eating, so Anna worked with Max and I the next day on a separate photo shoot, so we had the entire
next day (starting at 2pm ish) to shoot and go to different locations to take our pics. We walked around
Oia, Red Beach, Immerovigli – we just couldn’t have done this had we done this on day of wedding. It
allowed us plenty of time to relax and take great pics.

– Hiring Shirley from SWP, as she was so meticulous with her coordination and didn’t miss a beat. Not
one thing in our wedding wasn’t unique.

– Going to dancing lessons and creating a one of a kind dance. $175 for 5 dancing lessons was more than
worth it for the smiles we saw from our guests. An extra special little treat and excitement for them and
for us, we had a blast & only took us 1 ½ wk to learn our dance.

– Arranging a get together for our guests the day before the wedding to meet & mingle. Was pricey
to just go for standard rehersal dinner, had we done so, we would have been able to afford taking the
wedding party. Instead we opted for a sunset cruise around Santorini island and volcano with swim
in sulphur springs on the Pegasus, a traditional schooner. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this extra
little treat, it was only 1000E for all 60 of our guests to join. We improvised by going to supermarket
ourselves and buying breads, meats, cheeses, fruits, veg and sodas for everyone and brining on board
(150E). This was perfect for snacks and kept everyone well fed until supper that night and didn’t costs
us the typical 30/45E pp for dinner on board. Capt and crew were great. Drinks were BYOB on board or
bought from the small bar.

– Transportation: so glad Shirley suggested this. It made everything so much more organized and
relaxed, especially given the fact we had older people and people with families and all guest were
staying at numerous locations (not all in same hotel). I think our guest thoroughly enjoyed the fact they
were told when/where they’d be picked up/dropped off and didn’t have to worry about getting to any
location, paying for taxi’s etc. All in all, the prices were extremely reasonable, much more reasonable
than I thought for transport. We even opted for the luxury BMW busses for wedding parties and still
came out under budget 1100E for transport costs (pre-wedding day excursion to port and back, &
wedding day from each hotel to ceremony, ceremony to reception and then back to hotels on wedding
night).

– Dress and headdress: I really love colors and did not want to step out in something not colorful, so I
decided to have my dress altered so that you could see the petticoat at all times, which was dyed aqua by
my mum. Best decision ever, as it gave my dress that extra little ooph that I really wanted & I received
so many compliments on it, that I know it was a great decision. Also, the headdress, was almost as much
as the dress ($800, was $1400 for dress) but was a one of a kind & completely unique, adorned with
Swarovski crystals. The compliments I received on both dress and headdress was astounding.

– Changing into a small cocktail dress: It was just too hot to keep all of that dress on, plus I wanted it
to look fresh for our photoshoot the next day. Also I did my dance in sneakers, everyone was surprised
when I showed them off after our first dance, and it helped me feel so much more relaxed while trying to
do our first dance, which was pretty fast.

From our research we already knew the reception venue, Theros Wave Bar. We wanted a lounge
atmosphere, and although Shirley had lots of other suggestions and went out of her way to scout
other locations, nothing came close to Theros. It is beautiful at night-time. Only problem, is
that we wanted to take advantage of that beautiful sunset in Santorini and let our guest enjoy
this while at the ceremony. Theros was on other side of island, which didn’t see the sunset
during September, so we opted to have ceremony and reception at 2 locations. La Maltese Estate
was where ceremony took place. You can read all about the two locations from information
compiled in wedding website: http://www.weddingwire.com/wedding/UserViewWebsite?
wid=3f3d04fbf61d2a98&themeCode=5033&flash=skip

Our vision was an elegant, upscale lounge atmosphere, with lots of fun, laughter, chill lounge music
and dancing. I really wanted it to have a bohemian type feel, so we ended up going with a Moroccan
feel to the wedding and colors were matched accordingly. All bridesmaids and flowers were in jewel
tones. We had Moroccan hookah pipes in middle of table, adorned with jewel tone flower and accented
with golden sashes and ribbon chair- backs. Chinese lanterns lit the pagoda of Theros in burnt oranges,
fuschias, purples, violets and aquas. Our ringbearer carried in a genie lamp on top of Moroccan plate
that I had adorned with jewels.

We didn’t want a traditional wedding cake, so we opted for a small ganache chocolate cake with flower
adorned on top, we then had assortment of pastries and cakes chosen by max and me from the bakeries
in Santorini (Tiramisu, Baklava etc) for our guests to feast on.

Shirley also suggested we use a decoration team rather than just a florist. Fabio Zardi was hired for the
occasion as florist and decoration team. They brought in Moroccan pillows, lanterns, hookah pipes etc.
We also had Shirley recommend a belly dancer for us (Sophia), instead of typical Greek Dancers or
band. It just heightened the atmosphere and got everyone going. The DJ played until the wee hours in
the morning. My sister even sang her speech, which had everyone in stitches and awe.

It was very personal. Since, I am a design major, I insisted on making all paper items/stationary for the
wedding. This also helped significantly on cost, as I designed & printed our Save the Dates, Invitation
Suite (which was boarding pass), the programs (fan shaped, since it was hot), dinner menus, and table
numbers. Everything was completely unique. The table numbers were constellations, which tied in to
Greek mythology. The stars on these were hole-punched and I put flameless candles underneath each of
them so that they would flicker in moonlight.

Another decision was to go to dancing lessons. We danced to Red Hot Chili Peppers ‘Hard to
Concentrate’. If anyone is planning a wedding, I strongly suggest going to dancing lessons, it was a treat
for everyone, completely unexpected and got the crowd going. It was an extra little something just as a
thank you for our guests. I think they thoroughly enjoyed all the work we put into the wedding, which
made it all the more special.

Although the entire wedding was completely customized, we save a bunch by buying or brining a lot of
our own stuff, and it was so easy to do. We saved so much, that we were able to do things like hire extra
transport, do the boat excursion, able to get premium open bar for everyone, as well as most expensive

food from caterer:

– made and brought all paper items & stationary above

– ribbons for chairs, was going to cost something like 8E per chair. Instead I went into local craft store,
picked up 40 rolls of ribbon and cut each into desired lengths. I got them all on sale for 50c a piece
(aqua’s, purples, fuchsia etc)

– food for pre-wedding day activity (went to supermarket and had more than enough for everyone at
fraction of cost for dinner on board).

– Bride bouquet was made from combination of vintage brooches, family brooches and some that were
bought by friends. My sister made the bouquet for me and combined with flowers bought from market &
ribbon I’d bought from craft store.

– Bought all the paper lanterns for Fabio Zardi, instead of renting, I think I got all 40 lanterns in unique
sizes colors for $100 from online

– bought bracelets and bangles from Forever21, which looked Moroccan. They were something like 5
for a set of 10, I bought about $40 worth and used them to decorate tables, the vintage suitcase etc.

-Handmade beach-totes for women guests and made vintage travel tags for men. All made by me. Friend
has a metal shop, and asked him to fashion 50 luggage size tag pieces of metal, adorned them with
vintage travel pics.

Everything was brought with us in large suitcase, and really saved us a bunch.

Wedding Video: http://vimeo.com/52671398

5. Your Vendors: Please list all applicable vendors that you would like us to credited eg. bridal dress,
bridal shoes, grooms suit, bridesmaid dresses and shoes, jewellery, grooms-men’s suits, hair, makeup,
stationary, flowers, centerpieces, tableware etc. We must have a photography credit to consider your
wedding for publication

1. Santorini Wedding Planners (Shirley Chialoranzio)

2. Anna Roussos Photography & Xavier J

3. Theros Wave Bar (reception – provided DJ, lanterns, barstaff and set-up, everything was included in
cost, approx 1500E, not including open bar)

4. Spicy Bites Catering

5. La Maltese Estate (ceremony)

6. Dress – Evan Rand

7. Shoes – Betsey Johnson

8. Decoration – Fabio Zardi (centerpieces, reception and ceremony decoration, flowers etc).

9. Groomsmen Suits – ordered all from Express.com at fraction of cost of renting a tux

10. Stationary – Lazy Little Sunday on Etsy (aimee shop)

11. All bridesmaid dresses were from 125 Bridal in Plaistow NH, combination of styles from Alfred
Sung, Bari Jay, Alfred Angelo

12. Cocktail Dress – Cache

4 Responses

    • Lindsay

      No, thank you! Was such a great way for us to start the new year! Keep them coming Anna! x

      Reply

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