If you have read the post I wrote a few weeks ago, you will know that Mik and I got married last May in Santorini. They say that your wedding day is one of the best days of your life and I can safely say that was the case for me! We had the most amazing wedding day and honeymoon, so I thought I would share how we organised it from another country, just in case anyone is thinking about doing it.
Planning the Wedding
Neither of us wanted a traditional wedding, so right from the start we thought about getting married abroad. Santorini was the obvious destination for us as we were there on holiday two years before and absolutely loved it. It’s a stunning place with delicious food and friendly people. To be honest, we didn’t even consider going anywhere else!
We used wedding planners Elena and Michael at Weddings Santorini after reading good reviews and spotting some packages on their website which looked perfect for us. I was a little nervous about trusting something as important as our wedding to people I’d never met but it was 100% the right choice for us. We didn’t really have any strong ideas for the wedding, other than wanting a relaxing day with good food and our close family. I know some people have planned their dream wedding in detail by the age of 12 but that just wasn’t us. Having the wedding planners took all of the stress out of organising the big day. They had the local contacts and arranged all the practicalities, leaving us with the easy bits – deciding on food, the cake flavour, sorting out the seating plan, picking the flowers etc.
We settled on a basic package which included a venue, transport to the venue, the ceremony, photographer, cake and flowers. Then we got to choose our venue. Elena sent through a list of venues and we settled on the Santorini Princess which, according to reviews, is well know for it’s great views and delicious local food. We both love to eat, so food was high up on our list of priorities making the Santorini Princess the obvious option for us. It was also in our preferred village of Imerovigli which is where we stayed during our first holiday to the island.
Everything was organised before we arrived in Santorini and the day before the wedding, Michael picked us up from our hotel to take us to the Santorini Princess for a pre-wedding meeting. We were a little nervous that the venue might not be what we wanted but we really had nothing to worry about. The hotel is perched on the top of the cliffs overlooking the caldera and the room and private terrace we had for our wedding day took full advantage of the view. At the meeting, we talked through the timings for the next day, ran through our vows, handed over the place settings and cake topper I’d brought with us and met the manager of the Santorini Princess. We left feeling so excited for the next day.
The Big Day
The wedding day itself couldn’t have gone better. The morning was a bit overcast but lovely and warm and by mid afternoon the sun had broken through. We had a lazy breakfast on our balcony and at around midday, Mik left to get changed at his brother’s apartment and my mum and sisters came over to help me get ready. It was nice having time for a few drinks and lunch with them before we started getting ready.
The ceremony started at 4.30pm so the others were picked up half hour before and my dad and I waited for our car separately. When we arrived at the Santorini Princess, the wedding planners were there to meet us and guide us in the right direction. Following my sisters, I walked up a flight of stairs with dad and then all of a sudden we were on the terrace where Mik was waiting. There wasn’t really an aisle as such to walk down but walking across the terrace was magical.
The ceremony had to be performed in both Greek and English to make it legal. The ceremony was short and afterwards we all had a glass of prosecco in the sunshine while signing the register and having some casual photos.
The photographer did some more formal group shots with everyone and then took me and Mik off on our own for some couply ones. Neither of us enjoy being in front of the camera but Dimitris was great at putting us at ease and we ended up with some beautiful shots. Dimitris left around an hour after the ceremony so after that we just relied on our own cameras for photos of the rest of the day. We opted to have a videographer for the ceremony as well so that we could show our extended family and friends who weren’t in Santorini.
We had booked a pianist to play for an hour while we were chatting on the terrace and getting photos before we all sat down for dinner. The table was set up inside in a U shape which meant that everyone could talk without anyone missing out on the view through the floor to ceiling windows – you get a view almost as good as from the terrace. The food was spectacular, even better than we had imagined. We had four courses and everyone was stuffed by the end. The staff at the Santorini Princess seemed to know when to give us a bit longer between courses so the meal was lovely and relaxed. We had a couple of informal toasts during the meal and had a small break to go outside to watch the sunset. It really was perfect.
Just when we thought we couldn’t eat any more, it was time to cut the cake. I had debated about ordering a fancy decorated cake but seeing as there were only 16 of us we decided it probably wasn’t worth it. Instead we used the cake included in our package and added a cake topper to personalise it. We chose a lemon cake and it was divine! We were all so full from dinner that most of the cake was portioned up for people to take back to their hotels and enjoy the next day. The rest of the evening was spent over drinks in the hotel. It gets a bit breezy up on the cliff once the sun has gone down so we were thankful that we weren’t outside all night and had the private room.
I was so happy with our wedding planners who couldn’t have been more helpful and always answered my questions within a day or so. The Santorini Princess staff were wonderful as well and were on hand the entire day for anything we wanted. The food was incredible and the setting couldn’t be any better. It really was the best day of our lives and we are so grateful to all those in Santorini who helped it come together.
A Little Extra
As a side note, just to prove how friendly the Santorini locals are – we contacted our favourite restaurant La Maison from our previous holiday to ask about booking a table for the entire wedding party the day after our wedding. Unfortunately, they were not able to fit us all in but they offered us a table for two instead. The day after we’d eaten a fabulous meal there, I had an email saying they had made a mistake and inviting us back again. When we went back, they told us that they wanted to give us the taster menu and drinks on them as a wedding gift. It was so kind of them, especially as the restaurant was busy every night we walked past. The food there is something else and is made even more special by the wonderful view. We will always remember the meals we had there and will definitely eat there again when we go back to Santorini.