Magical Fairy Lit Outdoor Wedding in Greece

Greece Destination Wedding Elena Popa Photography

Now that autumn’s on the way, there’s no better time to warm up as we take a look at Jenny and Basil’s gorgeous Greek wedding, which took place on the 27th May 2018. Their ceremony was held outside the most stunning Greek Orthodox Church overlooking the sea – hello romantic vibes!

Guests then travelled along the beautiful coastline to the reception venue, the Island Club where a magical fairy lit and candlelit supper awaited them. A completely al fresco meal is often out of the question in the UK so these Greek nuptials are a real dream to share with you today.

With the help of the venue’s wedding coordinator, Jenny and Basil created some really lovely touches, with simple Mediterranean colours and lots of white. The order of the day and flowers were kept simple with the lighting doing the rest!

Jenny and Basil were lucky enough to be close friends with their photographer Elena Popa and commented on how at ease she made them feel. This really shines through in the wonderful couple portraits, which I think you’re going to love. Thanks for sharing with us Elena.

Greece Destination Wedding Elena Popa Photography

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The Proposal

The proposal was a real surprise. We went on a short holiday with our parents as we usually celebrate Jenny and her father’s birthdays together, they are just one day apart. This time we celebrated in a mountainous area in the alps close to Schloss Neuschwanstein, which Jenny has visited annually since childhood and has always been one of her favourite places. Basil proposed one day before her birthday in the countryside on a lonely walk, and on the way back our parents were waiting to congratulate with champagne.

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The Vision

Due to Basil’s heritage and our love for Greece, there was no debate where to celebrate our wedding, and we knew we found our venue as soon as we saw it. Many of our families and friends who live in different countries (Jenny is originally from Germany and Basil’s family is located in the UK, Greece and Cyprus, with guests also coming from the US) planned to stay for a long weekend or even combined our wedding with a holiday. As such, we wanted to give our guests many opportunities to get to know each other, and therefore planned several dinners, get-togethers and days at the beach before and after the wedding, which made our long weekend feel like a wedding and a buddymoon all at once.

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The Planning Process

Although we were based in London and the wedding took place near Athens in Greece, we managed to visit plenty of times to meet with the wedding organiser, venue staff and priest over the one year planning period. We also went to Greece a week in advance to our wedding to sort out last minute hiccups. At the same time we confirmed the venue, we also met with our wedding organiser who shared our vision of the day, and decorated the church and the venue with a lot of attention to detail. Our wedding stationery was developed by a London based company. Basil’s father was kind enough to drive all stationery bought in the UK to Greece, and also stopped in Germany to load up Jenny’s wedding dress. We had several guests arriving days before our actual wedding, including most of our families, so on top of organising the wedding we also organised dinners and get-togethers for our guests to get to know each other.

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Budget

Having a wedding in Greece is generally cheaper than having one in England, but no matter where you have it, costs can easily spiral out of control. We stayed in budget for our wedding by making tweaks to reduce our decorations and only using flowers that were in season and locally sourced. It helped that Bail’s family had been going to that part of Greece every year so they had a lot of local contacts, who we could use for advice and for friendly discounts. We also printed and wrote our own on the day material, such as orders of service.

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The Venue

The wedding ceremony was held at Agios Nikolaos church in Anavyssos, outside a pretty little white church elevated on a peninsula with panoramic views of the beach. From there, we took our guests on a 15-minute drive along the Athenian coast to our reception venue, Residence at The Island, in Vouliagmeni. The Residence is one of several function venues located close to the Island Club, and is equipped with catering facilities, private room with bathroom for the newlyweds, dancefloor, DJ equipment, waiters, bartenders and a buffet area. Although some of the furniture was provided by the venue, we decided to change the chairs, add another bar and also have several lounging opportunities scattered around the area.

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Your Outfits and Accessories

Jenny’s dress was from Rosa Clara 2018 Collection. Accessories were a diamond bracelet, which was a gift on the day from her mother in law, earrings from Liberty in Love, and shoes from Unisa. A little blue evil eye, which belonged to Basil, was sewn into the inside of Jenny’s dress, serving as “something blue”, something borrowed and to protect against evil.

Basil’s suit was a tailor made Wilvorst suite in dark grey/blue, a structured silver Wilvorst waistcoat with matching tie and pocket square. Shoes were from Ted Baker. Basil was also wearing a new watch that was a gift from his father in law.

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Bridesmaids

Jenny’s bridesmaids, both her best friends from childhood and uni days, were wearing light green dresses from ASOS.

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Beauty

Jenny brought with her from London the hairdresser, Emma, and trials were done in London just before we flew out. Jenny’s hair was partially braided and then came down on one side. A golden hairpiece with diamond flowers was used in the braid. The make-up artist Jenny found was local from Athens, and she had one trial with her the year before. The make-up was light and due to many days spent on the beach beforehand, we decided on the day to change the look from the trial and go for a more bronzy look, with a champagne eyeshadow matching the champagne under layer of the wedding dress and the gold of the hairpiece.

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Groomsmen

The groomsmen, Basil’s best friend and brother, wore dark blue suits and matching silver blue waistcoats and ties from Wilvorst, whereas the ushers wore matching silver ties and pocket squares.

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Your Photographer

We had the pleasure of having a wonderful photographer by our sides who is also a close friend. She had also photographed the best man’s wedding a few years before so we knew just how talented she was and that we were in great hands. Elena made us feel incredibly comfortable throughout the day, and captured our wedding in the most beautiful way. We cannot recommend her enough.

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The Readings and Music

For the reading, we asked one of the ushers, Johnny, to choose and read a poem. He chose a verse from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin,  and we couldn’t have been happier with his choice. We walked down the aisle to Jackson Five’s “I’ll be there”, and cut the cake to Bob Marley’s “Is this love”.

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The Details and Décor

We felt the surroundings of our venue were so beautiful that we didn’t need many extras, so we kept flower arrangements etc to a minimum, and agreed to stick to the classic Mediterranean colours blue, green and white and symbols such as olive leaves, which were also used for the bonbonierres (favours for our guests) and the wedding stationery. However, due to the open-air setting and because our wedding took place relatively late in the day, we decided to fill the entire place with fairy lights, candles and hanging tree lanterns to create a romantic atmosphere without having to use spotlights to illuminate the tables and lounge area. Our fox/olive branch logo (Jenny’s maiden name was Fox) was carried through all stationery from the invitation to a little booklet explaining the Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony, the table plan and any other signage. We also gave all our guests little welcome bags with a programme of the wedding day and our plans leading up to it, as well as some Greek olive oil and olive soap.

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The Cake

The plain white cake was provided by the venue, and our wedding organiser decorated it on the day with real olive branches. Jenny’s father also bought a wedding sparkler, which was lit as the cake was brought out before the fireworks started.

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Memorable Moments

We had several memorable moments, including walking into our reception area, a glass of Aperol in our hands, with all our friends and family cheering and blowing soap bubbles, which my bridesmaids surprised us with. We also love thinking back to our ceremony when we walked around the table with the crowns on our heads and our guests throwing flowers at us, symbolising our first steps as husband and wife, which was celebrated in a such a beautiful and traditional way.

Greece Destination Wedding Elena Popa Photography

The Honeymoon

Instead of going on a long honeymoon we decided to divide the joy and go on several short holidays. Our first destination was Zakynthos in Greece straight after our wedding, where we stayed in the beautiful Lesante Blu with a view of Kefalonia. Next on the list will be a week in the Maldives at Naladhu Private Island Maldives, and for next year we will combine a wedding in Mexico with a few days in the Carribbean.

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Advice For Other Couples

The best advice we got from friends and relatives who also recently got married, was to take some time for ourselves straight after the ceremony. We therefore stayed behind our guests and drove back to our venue in a separate car, giving us 15 minutes to recapitulate what just happened and breathe before the reception and pictures started.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Photographer
Elena Popa Photography

Venue
Island Club, Vouliagmeni, Greece

Furniture
Stylebox, Athens

Wedding Organiser/Florist Who Also Prepared The Bonbonieres & Cake
Sophia Pasalidou

Wedding Stationery
Ruth Kaye Design

Make Up
Dimitra Giatrakou

Table Numbers
Etsy

Jenny and Basil, what a magical day! Thank you so much for sharing the Greek gorgeousness with us! Rachel x

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