Can you believe that it’s November already? Two more months and the famous year of 2020 is over! We cannot believe how fast this time has passed, although it might feel for some of you like never ending! Especially battling all the postponements and new lockdowns that we are facing again. Yes, 2020 was far from perfect!
However, we are all waiting for the New Year, which was promised to be better, right? Well fingers crossed! But in the meantime, if you are facing the lockdown this winter, you can always celebrate at home with your family or loved ones! Don’t let this season to pass you by without the final celebrations! Go all out and have the dinner of your lifetime! If you haven’t already, it’s still time to celebrate your Halloween, although it might not feel like it this time… Honestly, we are still sunbathing in Greece and it does not feel like fall at all!
So here are some ideas from this fall’s Hey Pumpkin Autumn Dinner Inspirational shoot from Athens Greece. And this inspirational shoot by SenSyle Events is bold, with all the appropriate autumn colours and lots of dreamy pumpkins all around!
For your dinner table think of small bites and fun sweets. Think of small individual servings to keep everyone safe. But if you are celebrating with your family make sure to do it in style! Use autumn coloured leaves and lots of lush florals to impress your guest and charm them with fun and magical accessories. You can always, however use this inspiration for your fall wedding dinner setup, even if your guest list had to be downsized.
Some little ideas you can incorporate to spice up your event:
Personalised pumpkin name tags
Fun sugar confetti poppers
Themed deserts like a chestnut cake and fun decorated cake pops
Filled vol-au-vent or finger food as appetizers
Themed and personalized menus
Fun gifts and customized tea for the ultimate tea party
Don’t forget the fall inspired centrepiece and décor
If you are a lover of cheese, this is the perfect season for a cheese cake! And we are not talking about the New York Style Cheesecake! But a cake made of variety of cheeses! If you make it cheesy enough, it will be the talk of the party! Consider having a cheese carving station combined with some fruits and cold cuts! How French is that!?
Hello and Welcome to Ellwed Talks – the first podcast about destination weddings in Greece! My name is Sanya, the founder of Ellwed magazine and I will be your host today. Join me in this new episode where we talk with Sarah Hatjipavlis, a Wedding Celebrant of Grecian Ceremonies.
Like from a movie, Sarah came to Greece for her vacations and never left! That is when she created a life for herself and her family. And so, after many years of working in different sectors, she started in the wedding industry as a wedding celebrant, travelling all over Greece.
In this episode you can get to know Sarah, her work and her story. We touch on some important things which are part of your wedding planning process.
We also talk about the ultimate guide on how to get married in Greece, which she prepared for us. And we hope it will help you plan your dream wedding! You can find the full guide on our blog.
Now, let’s get started!
The ultimate guide on how to get married in Greece
Greece is a wonderful choice for any couple looking for a venue for a destination wedding. As a wedding celebrant in Greece, I have seen many couples tie the knot over the years so here is my ultimate guide on how to get married in Greece.
Where to get married in Greece
Mainland or the Islands?
Greece has so many options and a vast range of venues for your special day.
Athens and the Athenian Riviera
There are so many great reasons to choose Athens for your wedding and yes you could consider a winter wedding in Greece!
Direct flights 12 months of the year.
Fantastic villa and resort style venues on the coast.
A vast range of luxury hotels in central Athens.
You and your guests can combine a wedding with all the history that only a city like Athens can offer. Visit the Acropolis with its unforgettable Parthenon, the Acropolis museum and get out for the day to visit Delphi, Mycenae or Epidaurus. Go and see the amazing sunset views at Cape Sounion.
Less cost and a great choice for your guests, as they only need to get to Athens and don’t have to go to the additional expense of flights or ferries to the Greek Islands
Greece has so many Islands to choose from for your special day.
So, how to choose which Greek Island is best for your destination wedding?
Look at local information and choose an Island that suits you.
Are you looking for family activities?
Does the Island have to have an airport or are you happy to make your way there via ferry?
Are sandy beaches important to you?
Is nightlife important?
Are you set on a very popular Island?
Are you looking for an Island off the beaten track?
What type of budget are you working with? Santorini and Mykonos are the most famous wedding islands in Greece, frequented by A listers, but this can also require a substantial budget, and they can be very crowded during the high season summer months.
Smaller Islands will be more budget friendly. Often they must be reached by ferry as there are no airports, and the nightlife may be a drink and dinner at a local bar or taverna, perfect for some who are looking to elope or have a wonderful Greek wedding experience.
Do you want to visit archaeological sites? If history is your thing, then choose an Island with plenty of it! Rhodes has its Mediaeval City, one of the oldest inhabited Old Cities in Europe, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Crete has Knossos which was the centre of Minoan civilisation and the capital of Minoan Crete. These are just a couple of examples of Islands with famous sites there are many others to choose from!
Child friendly venues. Greeks are known for their sense of family, so kids are welcome everywhere in Greece. If you are looking for kid friendly activities, choose an Island with plenty going on for them.
Shopping. Many Islands have plenty of shops but there are some smaller rocks where shops are few and far between. An advantage for some and a disadvantage for others!
How to get married in Greece
There are 3 ways to get married in Greece
Greek Orthodox religious wedding-for couples who are of Greek Orthodox faith (there are few exceptions). Held in a Greek Orthodox church, officiated by the local priest, in Greek. Paperwork requirements vary from place to place.
The standard civil wedding*-led by the local registrar. You must submit all the official paperwork, translated into Greek and officially stamped. Legal requirements vary from place to place. Ceremony will take about 10 minutes, like any other civil ceremony it is short and sweet and will be in Greek, but your wedding planner can arrange to have someone there to translate it into your language. You will sign the local register on the day and do the official paperwork a couple of days later at the local town hall. Venues for a civil ceremony are limited.
A symbolic wedding-No legal paperwork done on the day. Couples will do the official paperwork in their home country if they want a legal marriage and this frees them up to have a symbolic wedding in Greece. Definitely the way to go for LGBTQ couples choosing Greece for their special day. (Greece still sadly lacks the local legislation for legal LGBTQ marriage)
Led by the local registrar- the ceremony is as above*, very similar to the civil ceremony and the venues are limited.
Led by a celebrant, the symbolic ceremony will be written just for you. No venue restrictions, no time limits, your ceremony your way in Greece. Perfect for couples who wish to add some faith or traditions to their ceremony and really for any couple who feels that the ceremony is the most important part of their day. Will the ceremony feel symbolic? Definitely not!
Type of venue, exclusive or not
There are wedding venues in Greece that hold ceremonies all day long, back to back. Most of these will give you a slot of about an hour, for your guests to arrive and be seated, for the wedding ceremony and a celebratory drink for everyone present afterwards.
If you would prefer an exclusive venue, choose a villa style property, or take over a beach bar or taverna exclusively where you will have the venue to yourselves. You will not have to worry about any time restrictions and there will not be a crowd of people waiting outside the entrance for the next wedding to start.
Wedding planners in Greece
Once you have chosen the area and the type of venue, the next step is to find a wedding planner to assist you with planning and organising your destination wedding in Greece. There are so many options of wedding planners who are either based in Greece, or in your own country but working with suppliers in Greece. So, find someone who suits you, who communicates well, and who can work with your budget.
A wedding planner is a must, it is a false economy to try to do everything yourself, a planner will know the local area, will have experience with the local suppliers, and will be able to give you all the advice you need and you will be able to relax and enjoy your wedding day knowing that everything has been taken care of. If you do decide to plan your own wedding then definitely hire a wedding coordinator for the day, you really don’t want to be dealing with any last-minute problems!
Time of year and time of day
Athens is open for visitors 12 months of the year. If you are set on a beach setting then you should choose the months of May though until October, but if you are looking for a mild climate and love the idea of off season, then choose one of the winter months for your destination wedding in Greece.
The Greek Islands are open for weddings for the summer season months of April till end of October and direct flights will be available during these months. You definitely could have a winter wedding on a Greek Island, research Crete or Rhodes as they are both very mild year round with over 300 days of sunshine a year, however you would have to fly in via Athens.
Time of day
Low season April, May, October
A ceremony 14.00-15.00 would be the best, the days are shorter, and the evenings cooler.
Mid-season June, September
A ceremony 16.00 and later
High season July, August
Try for after 17.00 due to the heat. Many couples love to have a sunset photo shoot so this is definitely something to take in to account when planning the ceremony time.
If due to lack of availability, your ceremony is quite early during the high season months, make sure you choose somewhere with shade for your guests, and ensure that there is plenty of bottled water on hand.
Confetti at your destination wedding in Greece
Natural petals are the way to go. They are a must 99% of the time. Limited confetti at nonexclusive venues as everything must be cleared up in between wedding ceremonies.
What to wear
Sounds obvious right, but you do have to consider the heat. Cottons and linens are great for the heat. Bermuda style shorts are a great choice any gentlemen attending. For ladies, open backed dresses, straps, side slits will all help. For any beach venue, warn your guests, so that they wear suitable footwear. Often couples will choose to be barefoot at their beach ceremony!
Wedding trends in Greece
Micro weddings and elopements are very popular these days. Often chosen by couples who are going to combine their wedding with their honeymoon. They will tie the knot in Greece and then at a later date enjoy a family party back home to celebrate!
Venues that are trending for micro weddings and elopement weddings.
On board a yacht.
A traditional olive grove with stunning mountain views.
In your favourite Greek village.
At the local taverna.
On the beach at the water’s edge.
At sunset overlooking the Caldera.
For couples choosing an elopement style wedding, it is all about the ceremony!
TOP TIP Consider having a live stream of your ceremony to family and close friends back home! You may be eloping in Greece, but they will definitely want to be a part of such a special day!
Local wedding suppliers for your destination wedding in Greece
There are so many great suppliers to choose from such as photographers, videographers, wedding musicians, florists, caterers, wedding cake maker, make-up artists, hair stylists, entertainers, DJs, wedding coordinators and venue decorator, celebrants, transport companies and others.
These days many couples do their own research online. My advice is to select as many local suppliers as you can. These people will have all the expertise you require for your special day. They speak the language and they know the local area. It really is an obvious choice.
Why choose Greece for your destination wedding?
Wonderful weather, an amazing choice of places and venues, fabulous flavours, stunning blue waters and of course you will be surrounded by the love and friendliness of the Greek people themselves.
Greece has been my home for many years and as a modern-day wedding celebrant in Greece I spend my time writing and officiating unique wedding, elopement, commitment and vow renewal ceremonies. This ultimate guide on how to get married in Greece is based on my years of experience and I hope it will be of use to any couple planning a destination wedding in Greece sometime in the future.
This ultimate guide on how to get married in Greece was written byGrecian Ceremonies-Sarah Hatjipavlis-Celebrant in Greece.
In this episode of Ellwed Talks – the first podcast about destination weddings in Greece, we talk with Anthi Moraloglou
Anthi is one part of “Husband and wife” family run business MIXMIX Sound and Light. A company that rents sound and light equipment for all kinds of events.
Their company follows all the latest trends in technology when it comes to their equipment in order to make sure to provide everything needed for an excellent outcome. They both love getting to know the couples that they work with, to understand their wedding party wishes and making their dream come true.
Anthi started her career in the retail industry where she developed a customer-centric approach at everything that she does. Owning her own store for more than 10 years has made her an extremely organised person with an eye for details. This experience has proven to be been very helpful in her new career path with approaching the bride-to-be and helping with details in organising their perfect wedding reception.
In this episode you can get to know Anthi of MIXMIX Sound and Light and why you should consider hiring a sound and light expert for your wedding! Stick to the end and find out how important is to have a well-balanced sound and light which can make or break your event!
Find MIXMIX Sound and Light:
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Share this episode on your social media channels and help future brides with planning their destination wedding!
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Oh what a week! Yes, we actually spent five days on the magical island of Milos to set up this gorgeous Lunar Elopement Cover Shoot!
After many many months of planning we can finally share this gorgeous Cover Shoot with you. This Lunar Elopement Cover Shoot was actually a bit different from the rest. We teamed up with an international team of vendors all living and working in Greece. But what was difference about this one is this gorgeous and unique up-and-coming jetsetters location on the island of Milos. See more about Milos and our luxury hotel Milos Cove in the Autumn 2019 Ellwed Magazine issue!
And with Elopements and Micro Weddings taking over the world right now, let’s hear it from the team:
More and more, adventurous couples are opting to profess their vows against a wanderlust backdrop surrounded by their nearest and dearest. These intimate, destination elopements satisfy everyone’s travel itch. Greece often tops the bucket list, so it’s no wonder that “destination wedding” and “Greece” have become nearly synonymous in recent years.
While the sunsets of Santorini and the vibrancy of Mykonos never fail to impress, all too often these islands overshadow the many other breath-taking landscapes that this Mediterranean gem offers. One of our favourites is a secluded, chalky white beach hidden on the small but exclusive island of Milos. The stark volcanic rock formation mimics a lunar terrain and dazzles against the deep azure and turquoise shades of the Aegean Sea. Which is why we chose it for this Lunar Elopement Cover Shoot!
Our objectives of both creating an inspiration cover for Ellwed magazine and further promoting Greece’s amazing diversity as one of the top wedding and elopement destinations for modern couples in Europe. The shoot took place at the otherworldly place known as Sarakiniko Beach which served as both the main inspiration and canvass for our celestial shoot. With the combined vision and experience of wedding planner Lily of the Valley and destination experts Shefari, all artfully captured by destination wedding & elopement photographer Adrian Wood using luxury professional film stock and medium format cameras, we recreated the stars and the moon here on earth. From the difficulty of execution to the ethereal light on the beach at dawn, this experience left us speechless.
The theme consisted of incorporating astral elements with a bohemian chic undertone.
With the goal of contrasting bold and unique with soft and organic, all the elements of the editorial revolved around the sun and its light, much like everything else. The colour palette of warm peach, coral and blush tones danced with cool hues of silvers, greys, and golds. The palette was chosen to further depict the contrast between celestial and earthly, day and night, noise and silence.
In a similar vein, the flowers used were a calculated mix of classic choices such as garden roses and orchids versus dried flowers, leaves, and pampas. The ethereal ceremony was held against a cosmic backdrop of rounded arches, skilfully crafted by Studio 7 and reminiscent of the different lunar phases. Red and yellow smoke bombs put on an epic show of dreamy clouds and a vivid burst of colours. A divine crescent moon arrangement, hanging over the dinner table completed the interstellar mood. A delicate silver tablecloth and a blush runner was covering the reception table. Glossy silver napkins and gleaming tableware consisting of gold cutlery and shimmering glasses as well as pink and glitter dinner plates on top of iridescent charger plates harmonised the celestial mood.
Star-shaped sun catchers hanging from the end of the crescent moon sparkled in the morning light. Black and pink geodes enhanced the styling’s volcanic nuances. Pillar and taper candles adornments added a bohemian romantic effect. Glitter, stone grey and moon-shaped envelopes were used to display a modern and sparkly stationery. The stone-like cake with gold streaks streaming down its multiple tiers perfectly complemented the moonscape vibes.
Behold the masterpiece bridal gown
Designed by Celia Kritharioti an internationally renowned Greek designer. This stunning airy grey gown with modern design was a tribute to local talents and vendors. Embellished with star motifs that complimented perfectly our central theme. Accessorised with the sparkly shoes by Bella Belle and star-shaped jewellery customised especially for the editorial by Mindy Lam. The groom’s slate and white outfit paired perfectly with the fairytale gown.
Natural light played an essential role in the shoot. We were up and ready hours before dawn. At sunrise we captured the sun’s array of warm colours, varying from glowing yellow to burning orange and red. This stunning palette juxtaposed the cold white moonscapes of Sarakiniko, creating light nuances especially noticeable in the bride’s portraits.
Our bride is an homage to women and all their beautiful disparities, just as nature has in perfect balance. We wanted to celebrate her uniqueness and many facets. Te potential to be a caring mother, a supportive partner, and a powerhouse entrepreneur all in a day.
An elopement is more than a ceremony
The statement that she is bold enough to reinterpret traditions and walk to the beat of her own drum. The moon is a metaphor representing the phases of the divine female, changing but harmonious. This is a celebration of the modern woman: simultaneously vulnerable and strong, romantic and bold, emotional and logical.
My goodness! This fun and colorful modern island wedding is all you need to see right now! Filled with happiness and modern design, this Greek-Afghan destination wedding on the small island of Ios will bring you joy!
Let’s hear the details from the wedding planners, Soo Events:
Nowadays, there is so much information online for the brides-to-be and, yet, most of them end up choosing white or pastel color palettes for their wedding design. And, please, don’t get me wrong. We love white weddings and we definitely adore pastels. But there is something about bold and bright colors palettes that we find really exciting. Truth be told, when we get the chance to work alongside a couple who is bold enough to let us create inspired by a beautiful multi-color palette, we actually do a little “happy dance” in the office!
Case in point, this oh-so-gorgeous couple travelled from California to exchange vows of eternal love and devotion among their family and friends on the lovely island of Ios in Greece. Sossan is from Afghanistan and Nikos is from Greece. So we had a lot of cultural background to incorporate into their special day. In order to make the best of both worlds, we decided to blend the bright colors of an Afghan wedding, with the blue of the water and the fuchsia of the Bougainvillea. Which is considered a trademark flower of the Greek islands.
Since first impressions always count, we had this colorful palette integrated into the invitation suite design, so that the guests would get an idea of the style of the wedding as soon as they received them. Bold colors and brush stroked used by the talented Love Me Do created a very artistic and modern wedding invitation. As well as vow booklets, menu cards etc.
The ceremony took place in one of Ios’ most iconic villas, overlooking the Aegean Sea. The bride wore a stunning Rita Vinieris gown. She was so radiant and happy in it, that even the strong wind didn’t seem to worry her one bit! The groom chose a blue and grey 3-piece suit, that came with little boats design on the inside, along with a beautiful saying to his bride-to-be. The guests arrived at the villa around 5pm, where they were welcomed with favors. Wooden fans, panama hats and parasols, for instance, made them feel more comfortable during the warm day.
The groom waited in front of a wooden frame, decorated with bougainvillea, peach and pink David Austin roses and other colorful flowers, while his bride walked down the aisle next to her father. After the ceremony, the guests congratulated the newlyweds and had some refreshments before leaving for the reception.
The reception venue is an iconic restaurant with an amazing view of the island. Which is certainly known for its gorgeous sunset view. The same color palette was our inspiration for the setup of the reception. White tables, pink and petrol blue dinner plates and colorful centrepieces, others on tables and others hanging, were the main elements of the reception design. The custom made wooden and plexiglass table numbers in different colors, must be some of our favorite items of the wedding décor. The favors were waiting for the guests on their place setting. We chose the traditional worry beads, also known as kompoloi, in yellow, blue and orange. Kompoloi is also a very traditional Greek gift, usually commonly used by men.
At the end
The couple entered the reception venue around sunset time and were welcomed by a very enthusiastic crowd. After having dinner under the fairy light sky that we created for them, they cut their orange and coral brush stroke decorated wedding cake and danced until the morning hours with their friends.