The always anticipated Leanne Marshall debuted her Autumn / Winter 2021 Leanne Marshall Bridal collection this week in New York, NY and brought romantic elegance with a hint of edginess.
Leanne Marshall Bridal stunned on social media with a preview of some of the pieces on Tuesday October 6th, but the full collection consisted of gowns, separates, capes, sleeved and sleeveless gowns. Standout pieces included 2 hand dyed gowns with hues of purple, blue, vibrant orange, blush, and of course traditional whites.
When speaking about her AW2021 collection on Instagram Leanne said:
“(To be honest), I didn’t think I wanted to do (a collection this season) with all that’s going on this year. I didn’t feel inspired. Eventually, I kicked my (butt) into gear to create just a “few” new things. And then those few gave birth to more ideas and it felt good to create. And then I ended up with a rather full new collection. Which, I’m quite pleased that I pushed through and did it despite hesitation.”
This vibrant and beautiful collection came during a time when some have found it difficult to find inspiration, creativity and beauty in the world. Leanne Marshall pushed through the darkness to give us one of her most beautifully crafted and inspired collections to date.
Leanne Marshall’s sophisticated designs are known for their light, flowing lines, feminine details and timeless elegance. With touches of classic and modern, sophistication, Leanne Marshall has captured an effortless grace and timeless elegance in her collections.
Do your wedding photos bring you joy and maybe a little bit of tears in your eyes every time you see them? But how many time do you really get to see them?
If your wedding photos are stored on some hard drive somewhere in your computer, you might want to think of printing them and arranging them in a beautiful album for everyone to enjoy! Have you ever caught yourself flipping through your old family albums? Surely you have heard your mother or grandmother say that the only photos they see are the printed ones. But what about your Wedding Photos?
If your wedding has already happen, you can always take those gorgeous wedding photos and display them for everyone to see!
On the other hand however,
if you are planning your wedding now, you should plan ahead
You’ve been dreaming of this day for so long, and now it’s finally coming to be. You’ve painstakingly planned every last detail to be the perfect reflection of your style as a couple. From the uniquely-you dress to the suit that you searched the world-over to find. And all the way to the carefully selected hors d’oeuvres, craft cocktails, dinner menu and custom cake you will be enjoying with your guests in a most amazing location. You’ve chosen the color palettes and linens that best tie-in with your floral fantasy. You’ve decided on your hairstyles, the manicure, the jewellery, the shoes…and you’ve hired an amazing photographer to document it all.
When your special day arrives and it’s time to say “I do” to the love of your life, it will be but a brief moment in time that passes in the blink of an eye. Therefore, deciding to preserve those most precious memories in a way you can reflect on over the years and pass down to new generations becomes one of the most important decisions that you and your spouse will make when planning your wedding.
The dress will only be worn once, and dinner will be served and gone, along with our special guests. Some of whom we might not see again, or maybe not for a very long time. The flowers will fade, as will some of the color of your memories over time. That is why investing in a professionally printed wedding album will bring you that joy and remind you of the love you share each time you open it.
Your Wedding Photos will be Preserved and Easily Accesible
A wedding album is a lasting testament to your love. It is a physical manifestation of all that hard work and planning that went into creating your dream wedding. A Wedding Album documents the details that often go forgotten amidst all the excitement. It allows you to experience little moments you might have missed – the first look, a tender glance, a teary eye. A wedding album allows you to share the story of your day in vivid color. With all your friends and family, at any time, regardless of the technology of the day. That is to say, an album doesn’t require a card reader or cords or adaptors. It isn’t affected by corrupted files or failed hard drives. And it certainly doesn’t get lost in a junk drawer somewhere.
Stop and ask yourself when was the last time you printed your digital photos? Technology is constantly evolving. Accessing our digital photos and documents in the future might not just be unpredictable, but it might become impossible someday. Printing your photos is not only the failsafe for that eventuality, but it’s something that you can enjoy now and your children and grandchildren will cherish in the future as it becomes even more important and valuable over time.
Your Wedding Photos deserve to be preserved with quality and style
QTALBUMS understand that your unique memories are super important to you. And you want to preserve them in a way that honors that and also provides a vessel that is reflective of your taste and personality. We are a group of expert printers and artisans who have for years been hand-crafting custom photo albums for professional photographers worldwide. And now, we want to share that expertise and love of print with you! That is how you can choose the best photo album for your signature style.
Each QT album is handmade using only the finest quality materials. That makes it worthy of housing your most cherished memories and can be customised to suit any taste. Luxurious linens, sultry silks, fine leather, velvet and vegan options are all available in a rainbow of hues.
Beautiful memories call for exquisite detail and vibrant color. The archival pigment inks and museum quality fine art papers available in QT’s ArtBook line are the crème de la crème. The subtle texture of matte cotton rag paper and option for hand-torn and softly feathered deckled edges are as luxurious as it gets.
For a timeless, classic look, the AriaBook series by QtAlbums provides true photographic prints. Choose between lustre or silk finishes. The seamless, edge-to-edge page configuration allows your story to flow uninterrupted.
Finally, being a lab reserved for professionals only, you need to request a QT album from your photographer. Your photographer will create the dramatic story of the vision they captured and bring it to life in a way that can’t happen with loose images on a drive, and they will help you navigate the various options and place the order for you. Or, if you’ve simply been given files and a signed print release, you might contact our support team for solutions. Don’t leave your memories imprisoned in a desk drawer. When you invest in a professionally crafted album by QTALBUMS you are making an investment that will last far beyond your wedding day and grow in value into the future.
All images provided by the QtAlbums.com
This PR article was written by Jamie Westman for QtAlbums
Vassilis Stratigos is a Fashion Hairstylist from Athens Greece. With applied arts and industrial design background, Vassilis studied professional hairstyling in Italy and Greece. As a fashion hairstylist, Vassilis was the Official Hairstylist of L’Oreal Paris in Greece for 3 years and is now also the hairstylist of a local TV presenter. He has worked on multiple cover shoots for magazines such as Vogue, Grazia, Madame Figaro, and many others. Vassilis will also be the main hairstylist at our retreat for photographers and cinematographers ALCHIMEIA!
But now, he will give us some tips, on how to keep your hair looking like from a magazine in this exclusive interview for Ellwed!
So let’s dive right into it and get to know Vassilis Stratigos, Fashion Hairstylist!
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is certainly creativity. I believe that creativity is the best boost at any job. It never makes you bored, instead it always makes you passionate about what you are doing.
You are also working with many celebrities but mainly as a fashion hairstylist. However, if someone wants to hire you for their wedding can you serve them as well?
My main field was, is and always will be fashion. In a small market like the Greek market is unavoidable to become a hairstylist for celebrities as well when working in fashion hairstyling. Which is fine because it gives you publicity and a chance to grow your business. All that leads to be requested from brides as well. I’m very, very happy to serve them! It’s always a pleasure, fun and an honour to style bride’s hair.
What hairstyles do you suggest for summer destination brides? Should they be considering having their hair up or more relaxed and flowy?
Summer is the season of freedom. Bridal hair should reflect that feeling as well. I love a relaxed and flowy hair for summer destination brides. The only factor that could make me go for an updo is the wind!
What trends do you see picking up in the world of hairstyling in Greece?
Greece has the same trends in every season as all modern countries. Only colors of hair should be adapted to person’s natural or tanned skin tones. They should prefer more warm tones for their hair either they are brunettes or blonds. Long or short bobs are in the front line and loose waves are the “it” hairstyle along with “do-it-yourself” updos and ponytails.
How is this pandemic affecting you and how are you currently dealing with this process?
The pandemic was a strange situation for all of us and has affected every working person. Personally I’m always optimistic and I tried to stay calm during this period. Fortunately hairstyling is always in demand. In that case there is still plenty of work for me. I’m doing my best to protect myself, my clients and my colleagues of course. The use of a mask and visor as well as sterilization of my tools and personal hygiene are a must!!!
Is there something all women who are visiting hairdressers should pay attention to in these days of Covid-19? What preventative measures do you suggest?
Of course! They should always check if their hairdressers wear their masks, visors, gloves etc. They also shouldn’t stay in a salon with more than the defined persons. Clients should also wear their masks when necessary. The most important preventative measure for me, is to be responsible for ourselves. That way we can be responsible for other people as well.
What is the one thing that drives you in your line of work and where do you find inspiration?
Every day I try to spend at least half an hour watching new things about my profession to learn and grow. Being updated is very important. My inspiration can be anything. A painting, a song, a movie, a person or a vintage campaign.
And for the last question. Vassilis, as a Fashion Hairstylist what advice would you give to someone who wants to get married in Greece and will hire a hairstylist?
Greece has a lot of talented people working in weddings and events. Including hairstylists as well. One who is interested in booking a Greek hairstylist should check their social media first and their resume. Availability should be checked right away, not at the last minute. For me, personal contact is really important. It would be great if you can meet your hairstylist before the trial or the wedding. If not, one should provide them with all the details, wishes and requirements possible.
If someone wants to get in touch with you, where can they find you?
This real couple decided to celebrate their engagement lovestory and use it as practice for their big day!
Fate lead them to the perfect place, at the perfect time where John met Emily for the first time. It was in 2013 when this Make-up and Hair Artist, Emily burst through the doors of Jon’s live music bar and took his breath away. It was certainly love of first sight! In that moment a whirlwind romance was ignited and an Ios love story began. Emily was taken by John’s home island and by the end of the European summer, they were already inseparable! After six year together, Jon proposed to Emily at the exact spot he took her to on their first date.
The Isle’s design for this romantic intimate engagement shoot was artfully curated around the picturesque locations on the island of Ios. The Isle designed a preserved botanical install inspired by Ios’ landscape which hung behind the bar at Ios Club. Emily and Jon enjoyed a glass of sparkling as they celebrated being in love and newly engaged. Emily wore two dresses from an Australian designer. Naturally, she chose to do her own hair and make-up. As she owns Emily Hill Artistry, a business based in both Ios and Perth. The shoot was perfectly executed by Australian photographers, Harley and Ainsley from Bulb Creative.
From the couple:
How was your engagement lovestory shoot experience with The Isle?
The Isle organised our engagement shoot capturing intimate moments at our most treasured locations on Ios. We were a bit nervous at the start but it ended up being heaps of fun. Harley and Ainsley from bulb creative made us feel so relaxed in front of the camera. It certainly felt like hanging out with friends. Georgie from the Isle had so many good ideas for locations. As well as unique shots around the island which we would have never thought of. We didn’t have to think about anything. She was so organised and we were blown away with how the photos turned out.
These images have been the perfect for us to use throughout our wedding stationery and on our wedding website. It was also great practice for us to be in front of the camera together before we get married. That is how we know now what to expect on the big day.
What are your wedding plans? Can you tell us more about it?
We are planning to get married in Ios in September 2022. We love Ios Club and have chosen that as our reception venue, the view is amazing and we love the unique layout.
The Isle will be doing the styling and floristry and we have hired the talented Greek photographers Fanis & Jenny from ‘Days Made of Love’. We will be having around ninety guests, a lot travelling from Australia and New Zealand so we will be making it a three-day event with welcome cocktails, wedding day and a recovery bbq. We will be showing our nearest and dearest our beloved island home so we will be focusing on good food, wine and having fun!
Join us in this new episode of Ellwed Talks where we talk with Valentina Ring of The Stars Inside
Valentina is a Destination Wedding Planner and stylist based in London who loves working with couples all over the world!
She offers a comprehensive, international planning and design service, specialising in soulful elopements and unique, distinctive, intimate weddings. Celebrations that feel like home, no matter the size.
She prides herself in curating experiences that are heartfelt and authentic, where every detail is considered.
She is just as confident supporting couples with the logistical problem solving side as with their creative design. Which gives her a very comprehensive and holistic approach to wedding planning. Valentina is a strong believer in creating meaningful experiences. But also encourages her brides and grooms to be playful and to think outside the box in ways that are most personal to them.
She was featured in many of the world’s best wedding blogs. And even more excitingly, had her work published in print as well. She has contributed many expert advice pieces or expert opinion posts to many blogs and magazines. But mostly, Valentia wants to continue growing her brand while connecting with talented suppliers worldwide.
In this episode you can meet Valentina where she shares her unique inspirational story with us and what led her to become a destination wedding planner! We will also talk about Destination Weddings & Planning Tips for all couples.
Tell us a bit about your story, what lead you to your current career path?
I have a somewhat unusual background. And I love using everything I’ve learned over the years to serve my couples and colleagues in the wedding industry now. I actually started my professional life as an astrophysicist. Then trained to be a circus performer (a trapeze artist, to be precise!) and then was hired by one of the largest American investment banks as a stocks trader. During the time I was working at the bank, my husband proposed, and we started planning our wedding. We had the great joy and pleasure of working with a wedding planner. And I absolutely loved what she did for us. She helped us through so many difficulties. For instance, when our wedding venue went bankrupt and we had to start all over again with planning! She truly made it so we could enjoy and embrace the time we had, which was invaluable.
Her and I became friends and got to know each other quite well, and she was actually the one who first suggested I consider starting a business as a wedding planner. I remember so vividly the way that I felt – it was like everything just clicked! She was our rock throughout the whole wedding planning journey, and I wanted to be that person for other people. I loved the idea of supporting couples through this joyous and momentous period of their lives. Helping them grow stronger together, and also putting all my creative and analytical skills to use at the same time to bring to life new experiences.
I started doing work experience, training, preparing to launch a business. And right after our wedding, The Stars Inside was born! I quit my job at the bank and started doing this full-time. I absolutely adore what I do, and wouldn’t have it any other way now!
What inspires you in the business and daily life?
My relationship with my couples is at the very heart of the work I do, every single day. Their dreams, trust, and their stories are constantly inspiring and motivating me. It means so much to me to be invited to be a part of that. It’s an honour that I take very seriously, which is why I treat every wedding or elopement with utmost dedication and care.
I also love being inspired by my own interests! By connecting with couples and suppliers that are aligned with me, I find that very often my work can take inspiration by my favourite places, favourite books and movies, favourite genres of art, favourite colour combinations, and so on. I love being able to pay homage to beauty in all of these forms. And there is nothing more exciting than feeling that the person you’re speaking to totally “gets it”. I love looking to fashion, art, architecture, history, and pop culture when I’m brainstorming ideas.
Also, when I’m trying to recharge my brain, I like branching out to non-work related things. As I feel it gives me a fresh perspective on my inspiration. If I have some down-time, you’ll see me reaching for the latest fantasy series I’m reading. Or cozying up with my husband in our videogame cave. I use what spare time I have to nourish my creativity by travelling, visiting art and photography exhibits, creating with others, reading, and generally widening my horizons. Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unexpected of places!
What was your best experience as a wedding planner at The Stars Inside?
I wouldn’t be able to choose just one. But, invariably, my favourite moments of every wedding or elopement happen on the day itself. Seeing their faces light up when they walk into a room or atmosphere we’ve brought to life together always fills my heart so much. I also always cry when I hear them say their vows to one another!
What trend do you see picking up in the world of weddings?
I generally encourage my couples to try to step outside of trends and think about most excites them. But of course it’s also very fun to see the way ideas in fashion and design make their way into the wedding industry. And how visual inspiration has been reinventing year after year. For me the main trend at the moment is wedding days that are more intentional and curated. Couples want to do what’s right for them. They want their wedding to fit in with their values and their identities. For example, I’m seeing more and more brides turn to this new generation of bridal designers who offer looks that aren’t traditionally “bridal”. Also, wanting to wow their guests in multiple looks throughout the day.
Similarly the hair and make-up looks that my brides are choosing are natural and lighter, which I absolutely love! This paring-back is also affecting the food and flowers: couples want ingredients and florals that are locally-grown, seasonal, and sustainable. When it comes to decor, brides and grooms want personalised, experiential, and immersive options that are more about atmosphere than they are about tradition. It’s about meaningful luxuries. For me, this has meant more attention to lighting, more bespoke commissions from local artisans, and smaller guest lists that allow more attention to be focusing on each guest’s experience.
Is there one question that almost every client asks you about their wedding? What is it and what is your answer?
I’d say there are two things that I discuss with almost all my couples. The first is how much each element of their wedding costs, and why. When we first start working together, I draft a generic budget breakdown based on the couple’s initial vision and their estimated guest numbers. We will then go through this together to highlight any areas that they want to prioritise or de-prioritise. Which informs me on how best to allocate the investments into each category. I am always on hand to give them realistic and expert advice on what to expect, and how to get the best value for money. All while focusing on the things that matter most to them. It’s really important to me to be respectful of their goals, while also educating them on the value of the services they choose to invest in.
The other question I almost always get asked is: “Do we have to have/do…[insert wedding tradition here]”. Couples often worry that their wedding needs to fit certain expectations or preconceptions and will often think certain traditions have to be included. The truth is, your wedding can be whatever is right for YOU. You can choose which traditions to adopt, which ones to let go of, and which ones to reinvent in your own personal way. There are no rules, and the most important thing is that the day reflects your story and your values.
Which is your favourite location for a destination wedding in Greece and why?
I’ve had the joy of working in Oia, Santorini, and absolutely adored it! The scents, the light, the food – absolutely fantastic. I also loved the way the island was so different on the two sides. Offering such unique landscapes and photography opportunities at every turn.
Tell us a bit more about what you are currently working on at The Stars Inside?
I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few months reflecting on my brand story and my business. So I actually have a few new things I’m super excited about! I’ve just launched The Stars Inside podcast , which I had been wanting to do for AGES. And the response has been awesome. Then I’ve refreshed my website and logo. And I worked with 315 Press to create some magical new graphics and business cards for me, which I love. I’m also in the process of creating some helpful digital assets that couples can download, and also designing some mindful, organic gifts for my e-shop – cute tees and totes coming soon! I’ve also just released a magical new IG filter which I’m really excited about! Lots of little bits to modernise and grow my brand in a way that I can be proud of! 🙂
And for the last question, what advice would you give to all couples who want to have a destination wedding?
There are three main things I’d mention to anyone thinking of having a destination wedding:
There will be elements that are great value for money, but definitely don’t expect it to necessarily be cheaper. The investment will depend on what you prioritise, and also how much of your guests’ costs you want to cover yourself;
There may be more challenges involved in planning a destination wedding, but it’s 100% worth it!
Working with local, expert teams is extra important – and a wedding planner can help you navigate all the additional logistics and make sure you’re making the most of this wonderful adventure.
If someone wants to get in touch with you, where can they find you?
You can find me everywhere under The Stars Inside. The best places to connect with me and start getting to know me would be my website at and my Instagram profile. You can always reach me at my email address too, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to find out more about me and what I do, I would LOVE to hear from you!
Did you enjoy meeting Valentina of The Stars Inside? Check out more vendors on our podcast bellow or follow us on your favourite podcast platform!
If you are a bride or a pro and have a story to share, feel free get in touch at ellwed.com/podcast and we can schedule your own Ellwed Talks episode!
Welcome to the new episode of Ellwed Talks where we dive into destination wedding planning with Sarah Hatjipavlis. A wedding Celebrant of Grecian Ceremonies
Like from a movie Sheryl Valentine, Sarah came to Greece for her holidays and never left! Here, she created a life for herself and her family. 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 Ellwed blog.
You can find Sarah:
Read more on ellwed.com/podcast
Get the Ellwed magazine at ellwed.com/magazine
Follow Ellwed on socials for instant stylish inspiration from Greece at @ellwedmag
Share this episode on your social media channels and help future brides with planning their destination wedding!
Now, let’s get started!
Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/ellwed/message
This time we celebrate the Mother of the Bride or Groom! So much focus goes to the bride, however, mothers are equality important!
So, your daughter (or son) is to be married. Time to celebrate, to plan, and to reminisce about childhood moments and share in the excitement for the future. Who knows what is instore for the happy couple in the years to come?
What we do know is that now is the time to cherish every moment leading up to the wedding day. To be there for your daughter or son. To do all you can to see that their dreams of their perfect wedding will come true. For many mothers this is a bitter-sweet time. As the formalising of your child and fiancé’s love in marriage means that if you haven’t already, you are officially handing your child over to the care of another person. With whom she/he will step into the future and further from their childhood.
So your role in this celebration will forever be important and memorable. And of course, you want to be dressed, and we mean truly dressed, for the occasion. While not stealing the scene from your daughter, we understand that your dress must be just as perfect for the occasion as hers. After all, you will most likely be in the spotlight for much of the day and you will want to look your absolute best as well as being comfortable for the duration.
Factor in all the essential details
When you are deciding on your dress there are many things to factor in. Some of these include your personal style, whether you are looking for something formal or more casual. What colour, length, sleeveless or not…. It can be quite overwhelming to begin with. Luckily, there are some simply gorgeous Mother of the Bride dresses online and they come in a surprising range of fabrics, colours and designs to suit even the fussiest Mum (or Daughter!). Whether you prefer something full length or cocktail length. Traditional or chic, sequinned and sparkling or something understated with perhaps just a little lace. The choices are pretty much limitless. If you don’t mind showing a little leg, a full-length gown with an above-the-knee split can be both sexy and classy and will suit a more formal style wedding theme.
If the theme is daytime or more casual, you might want to consider a simple sleeveless, cocktail length dress with a discreet split just above the knee. We also love some of the other stunning designs from Dessey Australia. You will be impressed not only with the styles available, but with the range of colours too. These include Claret, Sapphire, Suede Rose, Cameo, Mist and Oyster. If the wedding is to be in a garden setting you must see some of the lovely floral, full skirted, ankle length dresses! These can be in soft multi-coloured florals or stunning black and white prints.
So don’t put yourself under too much pressure by traipsing from store to store trying to find the perfect dress for this momentous occasion. Rather sit back with your favourite beverage and check out Mother of the Bride dresses online. You can take your time, decide on the style and fabric that suits you. Then see the stunning range of Australian and overseas designers and choose from some simply gorgeous colours. Your dress on the day has to be something that you will feel special in and proud to be wearing! So relax and enjoy the experience! You deserve to indulge yourself on what will be in your heart and memory for the rest of your life.
Dreaming of a Greek Wedding Theme? Traditional Greek weddings are often lively affairs with an abundance of food, wine and dancing. Nowadays, couples who want a Grecian ceremony and reception usually prefer a rustic setting. This makes farm venues the ideal location for Greek-style weddings. Remember, you don’t have to be Greek to incorporate the culture into your wedding. What’s important is ensuring that you, your partner and your guests have a fabulous time on your special day.
Nuptials in this Mediterranean style is generally traditional but joyful occasions. Everything about Greece, from the food to the dancing, is a celebration of life. So here are some tips about Greek weddings that will come in handy when you tie the knot at a farm venue.
Dress up like a Grecian
In all probability, your ideal wedding dress will be a Greek-inspired outfit. However, rather than a simple toga, why not choose a gown decorated with the classic Greek colours of gold and white? With an elegant design, this type of dress will make the bride look like a 21st-century Greek goddess. In fact, most Grecian-style wedding dresses are seductive with their smooth lines, unique appearance and individual charm. They also tend to emphasise the bride’s best attributes!
Stefania and head wreaths are commonplace at Greek weddings and as an added bonus they can be made from the plants found on a farm. For instance, rosemary and beautiful dry flowers will enhance any wreath. Because of the countryside location, you will have the option of choosing the plants and flowers you prefer.
Of course, we cannot forget the wedding bouquet, a must-have for any bride. You can create an eye-catching display by using blossoms such as:
Naturally, one of your most important tasks is to book a farm or barn venue that can accommodate all your ceremony and reception requirements. There are many traditional venues in Greece to choose from. But if you love Greece and Greek culture Crockwell Farm for instance can offer you this experience outside Greece. They have barns, gardens and fields where you can plan your ideal Greek wedding.
Prepare the food
Food is an essential aspect of any Greek wedding. If you want to create an authentic Mediterranean menu, you should consider dishes that include:
traditional Greek or bread salad Dakos
fresh sea scallops
These dishes are often marinated with lemon and olive over a barley rusk to retain their flavour and juices. Greek wedding celebrations also usually have a large amount of meat on offers, such as goat, lamb or pork.
One such popular dish is youvetsi which is lamb or beef braised and marinated with orzo (a type of pasta similar to rice) and tomatoes. Traditionally, people use clay pots to cook youvetsi.
Of course, no wedding celebration is complete without alcohol. Fortunately, you will have plenty of popular Greek spirits to choose from.
Ouzo – a dry anise-flavoured drink
Metaxa – a famous Greek brandy that has been aged for decades
Mastic liqueur – a unique spirit distilled from the resin droplets of the mastic tree
Retsina – this wine originates from the Greek island of Xios and is made from pine resin
Baklava is a type of pastry with multiple layers of thin dough and various nuts. After they have finished their main course, your guests can enjoy baklava with some strong Greek coffee. Alternatively, you can serve tiropita (cheese pastry) for dessert if you top it up with honey.
You can arrange all these foods and drinks on long tables decorated with olive branches.
The Kalamatianós is an ancient dance that is often performed at Greek celebrations. On a wedding day, however, this dance carries special significance. The bride is in the centre while her maid of honour is on her left-hand side. The female guests will then hold hands and encircle them. While this dance is usually for female participants, some of the men may decide to join in.
The Zembekiko is a dance reserved for the groom, best man and all the male guests at the reception. It has a similar dance circle as the Kalamatianós. Those who don’t participate in the dance can kneel and clap along with the music.
The wedding dollar dance is a tradition that is observed even by those living outside of Greece. Here, guests throw dollar bills or money at the bride and groom while they move around the dance floor. Alternatively, people can pin the cash to the couple’s wedding attire. However, this money isn’t a substitute for a wedding gift, it’s just a light-hearted way of congratulating the newlyweds.
Hand out wedding favours
One of the most exciting features of a traditional Greek wedding is the favours, known as Bomboniere, which are usually made from almonds coated with candy. The combination of sweet and salt is a symbol of life and the favours represent hope for more sweetness than bitterness. You can put them in traditional hand-knitted pouches or even wrap them with evil-eye charms for good luck just as they do in Greece.
Guests will typically receive an odd number of almonds (usually five). This signifies the lasting power of the marriage. Each candy is a symbol of the newlywed’s hopes and dreams; for example:
Planning a Greek-style wedding will take time and effort. Fortunately, most farm venues can be viewed as a blank canvas which you can decorate it any way you wish. Farms are locations bursting with life and nature, and you could even have the ceremony and reception inside a barn or outside in a garden. What matters most is choosing a farm venue that will allow you to celebrate your perfect Greek wedding theme.
About the honeymoon
If you’ve decided on a Greek-themed wedding then it makes sense to spend your honeymoon in Greece. There are numerous beautiful islands to choose from.
Santorini. This island is ideal if you want to relax as you enjoy the sun and the beautiful beaches. If this is your first visit, you should take a trip to the big villages such as Thira and Oia. In fact, there are many stunning locations to consider. For example, you could decide to enjoy a meal and a glass of wine as you sit atop the island’s famous cliffs.
Mykonos. This island is bigger than Santorini and has beautiful sandy beaches. It is also famous for its nightclub scene and is especially trendy during the summer months.
Antiparos. This small island is perfect for honeymooners who prefer some adventure rather than the party scene. The beach is secluded and perfect for snorkelling or paddleboarding. Meanwhile, the town is host to many stylish cafés and bars.
A Greek wedding theme at a farm venue will be a joyful occasion that newlyweds will remember fondly for many years to come. Mediterranean wedding celebrations are steeped in exuberant symbolism. For example, guests will undoubtedly enjoy the delicious meals and tasty dessert menus from the Greek islands. In addition, the various traditional dances will ensure a lively and festive atmosphere. Most importantly, the wedding itself will be a promise of hope and wonderful life for the happy couple.
When Niki of Seat Next to You reached out on our Instagram, we knew we had to feature this amazing lovestory!
Nikos and Zoe, got engaged in April and decided to get married this summer. After weeks of planning and designing their destination wedding weekend, their decision was to postpone their wedding for a year.
They felt disheartened and drained, despite knowing this was the right course of action for them.
They didn’t want this time to go by without being able to celebrate this new beginning and they came up with the idea of going back to their roots. And so they hosted a ‘traditional’ engagement reception a few weeks back. As they both believe in holding onto Greek traditions and customs, no matter how outdated they may seem and have fun while doing so.
And this is what they did a few Sundays ago. Their immediate families got together at Zoe’s family home where they celebrated in the family circle. They cooked, they decorated the house, they dressed up and in their own playful retro style, they had a beautiful meal, shared memorable moments and laughed a lot. This story will show you that there is always a way! Nikos and Zoe decided to embrace the reality and traditions!
And now, dive into this interview with Niki of Seat Next to You and the couple, Nikos and Zoe to read their story!
Zoe and Nikos, would you like to share your story with us?
When did you decide to get married, when was your wedding scheduled for, and a few details regarding your plans?
To be honest, we never thought it would happen this way. In the middle of a global pandemic. But it did and we wouldn’t have it any other way. In the past few months, we grew closer to each other; more than we ever have been in the three years we’ve been together. It’s a challenging time for many couples!
Living together 24/7, having no space and time for yourself, doing absolutely everything together… You just don’t know how things will turn out. For us, time ran smoothly; gracefully. Things weren’t always easy in this restricted new reality. But it was becoming more and more evident that we love learning everything about each other! Especially the not so ‘charming’ qualities. And so, one Sunday afternoon in mid-April, as we were doing house chores, we said ‘yes’ to a life together. To a life full of courage and love that no matter what, it always goes on…and that’s how we ‘got engaged’.
We decided to get married right away. We didn’t want to wait any longer. Our plan was to get married at the end of August and host a big party in Halkidiki. The place where we both spent our summers growing up and is full of fond memories. Things moved really quickly from then on. We reached out to Niki, one of Zoe’s closest friends who is also a wedding planner and we started designing our wedding straight away. Our ceremony and venue were the first items on our agenda. Although site visits were not allowed, we leveraged the use of technology and made significant progress. In just two weeks’ following the proposal, we were ready to send out our ‘save the date’ cards. Except we didn’t.
When did you think for the very first time that you might have to postpone your wedding?
It must have been early May when we started to think that we may have to postpone our wedding. Constantly being bombarded by ‘new’ information regarding weddings this summer, speaking to vendors covering every eventuality in our communications, spending hours on the phone with our families explaining how this was going to ‘work’ left us feeling emotionally exhausted. Our families were concerned and couldn’t share our joy and excitement all this time. They were nervous, reserved and hesitant about us getting married during this crisis. All these fears and concerns started to take their toll on us too.
Very soon, we too, started to realize that non-stop dancing and singing till morning, hugging and sharing our love with our favorite people perhaps wouldn’t be feasible. We would have to restrict our guest list, implement social distancing and other measures according to the latest government guidelines. Some of our guests would not be able to attend at all. And most would have to make travel, work and family arrangements without really knowing how things will progress over the course of the summer. At the same time, people were asking us questions that we didn’t have the answers to. For example, how early did they need to book flights for? Would there be a 14-day quarantine in Greece? Are there hotels offering flexible accommodation?. Needless to say, all of the above painted a picture of a wedding that was miles away from the one we had in mind.
What made you decide to postpone your wedding in the end?
These first few weeks in May were an emotional rollercoaster for us. We took a step back, spent a few days discussing things, just the two of us. In the end, we realized that it was truly important to us to be able to celebrate our big day with our family and friends. Just the way we had imagined it from the very beginning, when the time was right, and without any discounts. And that was the true cause to postpone our wedding. However, this did not mean that we had to pause everything right now. We wholeheartedly believe that when nothing is sure, everything is possible. This became our motto and got us thinking.
What was the reaction from your family and friends?
Everyone embraced our decision to postpone and were very understanding. It was and still is a stressful and uncertain time for everyone, and now they have one less thing to worry about. Because most – if not every single one of our guests – were somewhat concerned about our plans. Some more vocal than others. But it was a shared feeling and we just did not want to prolong this nervousness any further.
How do you feel now that you have decided to postpone your wedding??
Zoe: Relieved! It was rather stressful and challenging for us having to design our dream wedding while dealing with all sorts of emotions. Mostly uncertainty, and managing travel plans for our family and friends coming from Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. We are now taking the time to re-consider some of our decisions. However, with renewed enthusiasm and passion, we will be making better and bigger plans for the future.
And so, from full wedding planning mode you decided to do something different. Tell us a bit about your idea to host a ‘traditional’ engagement reception.
Nikos: I must admit, this change of direction was a much-needed distraction. When Zoe first came up with the idea, I went silent for a minute and then we both burst out laughing – it was PERFECT. Funny, romantic, somewhat ‘silly’ maybe, a bit of out of date, but nevertheless fit for purpose. With the restrictions lifted, we were able to see our immediate families again. So we decided to host a small Sunday lunch to celebrate together in Zoe’s family home. In a beautiful balcony, overlooking the city of Thessaloniki, in a warm and relaxed environment. Our families met ‘officially’ for the very first time, with one task! To give us their blessing, like they did in the old days.
What made this day so special for you?
It was certainly a combination of things! Our mums dressed up elegantly, and everyone had their ‘Sunday’ clothes on to honor us and celebrate our reunion. The kitchen table was beautiful. With a buffet style, full of traditional filo pies and everything and anything you can imagine! From salads to loads of finger food, while in the oven Zoe’s mother was preparing a stuffed meatloaf with potatoes. My mother, on the other hand, had prepared spaghetti and meatballs (a Neapolitan favourite) and tiramisu for dessert. These are just two of her signature dishes and it was her own way of saying: ‘from Italy (where she comes from), with love’.
The veranda was so brightly colored from the various flowers and plants, it even had trees! Zoe’s family had started to look after this particular space shortly after Zoe was born and now it’s full of greenery, pretty much like a garden. A huge amount of care and thought went into making this an absolutely charming place and we loved the atmosphere; every little detail was inviting.
In this setting, which resembled more a cosy gathering than an engagement reception, our mothers, in between preparations and snacking, started to exchange life stories. And the ice broke. In a smooth and effortless way, without us even noticing it.
Zoe: Can I just add that he also brought me the most g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s bouquet with my favorite spring wildflowers? I was over the moon! Back to our story: shortly after, the real ‘stars’ of the day arrived, all dressed-up: my grandparents. It was the first time in two and a half months that they were leaving their house. And they did it just for us, to give us their blessing, and take photos with us to remember these moments. My grandmother also gave us her delicate handmade crochet doilies which she has been making for two years as my wedding favors.
We obviously ate a lot that day. Words cannot describe how amazing the food was! We even had the traditional ‘bezedes’ (meringues) as custom has it, a very exceptionally selected rose wine, as well as mouth-watering desserts that didn’t last long. Later on, my two beloved cousins also joined. We were happy to hear the snatches of conversations, news shared, glasses clicking, and giggles everywhere after this isolation period.
Looking back on that day, it was without a doubt very emotionally charged, yet comforting at the same time. All the small details played their part and what we experienced was truly unique and authentic. Amidst taking photos, drinking, eating and chatting, we managed to create a very light and relaxed mood for everyone.
In hindsight, this might have been the happy medium we were after from the moment we realized we’d have to postpone our wedding plans for a year. A close family celebration which would break the ice and lift some uncertainty and concerns for the future – all very much present while on lockdown. A Sunday fiesta full of love, laughter and our parents glancing at us, giving us their blessing. And, above all, a memorable experience for us combined with an urban family photo shoot, to capture these blessed moments in time.
From your recent experience on this, what would you advise other couples that might be in the same situation?
Nikos: My advice to other couples is to do exactly what you feel comfortable with right now; be unapologetically you and if that means to have a very intimate wedding this year, with just your family in your balcony or backyard, do simply that.
Zoe: Do not be afraid to say, ‘I want to have fun with you no matter what’ and dream beyond the difficult period we live in. You can reschedule your wedding for next year but still celebrate your decision and union with a few of your favorite people in the world this year by having an engagement party (or just party)! Open up to new ideas and do not forget to laugh.
Our dream team:
Concept, design + couple: Νίκος Ράμμος + Ζωή Θεμελή
It’s no secret that your wedding dress is possibly the highlight of your special day. If you have been searching for your ultimate wedding dress, you will already know that there are literally thousands to choose from.
Unless you already have a clear vision of what your dress is to be, the choices can be, well, overwhelming to say the least. Usually a Wedding dress is the first and often the hardest item on your list to decide upon. With so many to choose from it can be very difficult to decide on that one particular dress that says what you need it to. It must speak to you of the exact vision you have of how you want to look on the day. One tip to help you if you find that perfect design is to search the styles on a website. Choose a site like www.bridesonly.com.au that offers a broad range of gowns. This will help you narrow down the styles which appeal to you most.
Being able to view a range of styles at one time will indicate immediately whether what you have in mind is available. And from there you can begin to make decisions about the most important dress you will ever invest in. We say invest because dresses for brides are an investment, and not just a financial one. It is an investment in making your day beautiful and personalised to reflect your personality and style. And to set the tone for the theme you have chosen for your special day. Whether your budget is small or large, your ideal dress is still an investment in possibly the most important day of your life. And when you look back on your wedding album and relive some of those precious moments, you will know your dress was the one!
Each and every detail is crucial to create the exact image of how you want to look and to feel. Everything matters. The fabric, the style, classically simple or over-the-top ornate. Whether there is any beading or lace or ruffles. Whether it is off the shoulder or has shoestring straps. Deep backed or high backed, figure hugging or with a full or trailing skirt. All these factors count when you make your final choice.
You will also need to decide on whether the colour of your dress. Will it be white, vintage white, ivory or nude, or a different colour altogether. As this will factor greatly into the design you choose. We also suggest that the venue you have chosen may need to be taken into consideration. For instance, if you have planned an outdoor or beach setting it might be worth thinking along the lines of something classic and simple in design to make it easier for you to move around more freely on the day.
Think if your wedding is to be indoors or at a venue with smoother surfaces for you to walk on. Then an elaborate design will be much easier to wear and enjoy on the day. The season may also need to be considered. Although not all brides care about the temperature if their dress is everything they have dreamed of!
We hope you thoroughly enjoy indulging yourself in the journey of choosing your perfect wedding dress! Especially picturing yourself as the bride that not only draws ‘Oohs and Ahhs’ from your guests, but one that you will remember with joy and a special sentimentality that only brides know. Relax, take your time and have fun!
Have your ever thought of your destination wedding in Gytheio?
This charming town is situated in the gorgeous Peloponnese with beautiful sights and a real shipwreck on the sandy beach! And this bride and groom Maria and Peter have decided to honour their roots and plan their Big Greek Destination Wedding there!
So dive into this beautiful story
“As a Greek Canadian, I decided to get married in my ancestral home, Gytheio, a beautiful town on the eastern shore of the Mani Peninsula in the Peloponnese, and the place where my grandparents were born and where my parents met. On August 17, 2019 over 200 guests travelled from Canada to share my happiness and see my union.
My wedding day combined the glamorous North American style with traditional Greek accents, which turned my dream into reality. My parents walked me down Archontiko, the village’s main unpaved road in my Christian Louboutin heels, while accompanied by local musicians playing traditional Greek wedding tunes, to meet my husband waiting outside the church. I had my best friends by my side as bridesmaids in blush pink dresses; charger plates; and gold chivalry chairs by the beautiful scenery of a shipwrecked ship on Gytheio’s beach. The traditional koufeta table stood beside the bubbly bar. The local Greek band played Greek folk music while we danced under fireworks and bright stars until the morning hours.
It never rains in Gytheio during August. Unexpectedly, it rained on my wedding day while we were enjoying dinner. We all run under the porch laughing while I was nervous. I could not believe it was happening. But in Mani we have a saying that if it rains on your wedding day, it means that the bride has the upper hand. And the rain passed, and we danced, and hugged, and loved every moment of it.”