Honestly – how cold can it get?! It’s at times like these (note: from November to May in England!) when I find myself tempted to blog weddings from around the world. While English Wedding Blog usually features real weddings from England with the odd trip up to Scotland, across to Wales and Ireland and down to France, today we’re sun seeking and sharing Christine and Alex’s rustic wedding all the way from Greece.
We need warm sunshine and smiles to brighten up what promises to be another chilly and damp week! So how does 30 degrees in the sunshine sound?… and a long table covered in candles… a vintage white VW Beetle convertible with the roof down…
Sounds perfect to me, and when you see the lovely images by wedding photographer Benjamin Toms I know you’ll agree! Today’s gorgeous bride is Christine, and she and Alex have both shared their memories of the wedding day with you. Congratulations to you both – you make a stunning couple! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful day with us. Claire xxx
A rustic wedding in Greece! Christine and Alex
Villa Cecilia in Pelekas, Corfu – www.kastamonitis.com
Benjamin Toms Photography – www.benjamintomsphotography.co.uk
How would you describe your wedding style?
A little about the wedding ceremony:
A Greek Orthodox service in Theotokos Odigitria Greek Orthodox Church in Pelekas Village in Corfu, Greece. It’s a beautiful small church in the centre of the village with lots of Orthodox icons on the walls.
The service is rather unique because the bride and groom do not make vows to each other; instead is abundant with symbols and actions that reflect marriage: love, mutual respect, equality and sacrifice. There is no separation of the guests into guests of the bride and guests of the groom: everyone sits / stands together.
The service was held in ancient Greek, with lots of chanting by the priest, so we created a wedding booklet describing the different parts of the service, so everyone could follow what was going on up front.
Tell us a little about your wedding venue styling and details:
Alex is half Greek and we have been holidaying there together since 2003. His family bought a holiday house on Corfu in 2005 and we both have fallen in love with the island, the locals, the food and especially the scenic west coast over the last 7 years.
Being South African, I love the hot weather and we wanted to celebrate our wedding here, so all our friends and family could experience Corfu as we do (and we didn’t have to worry about a rainy day).
The wedding reception was held at Villa Cecilia in Pelekas Village, Corfu. The villa itself has a stunning old mansion feel with lots of natural elements, rustic stone and neutral colour schemes.
Judith Hoevenaar, an interior designer and the villa owner, decorated and styled the wedding reception for us. We wanted to keep in with a natural Greek theme and used lots of greenery from the island to decorate the venue.
We used fresh olive branches, grapes and peppercorn vines from the garden and I kept my flowers simple using white roses – Avalanche, Akito and White Spray.
To give everything a romantic feel we had lots and lots of candle light on the table and around the garden, with lanterns, hurricane lamps, tealights, etc.
We placed different shaped glass wine decanters on the table, holding different styles of red, including New Zealand Pinot Noirs, South African Shiraz, Spanish Rioja’s and Toro’s and Greek Red blends. A close friend created the luggage tags for the decanters.
We bought glass vase name place holders from White Company and got a professional calligrapher to write our guest names in English on 1 side and Greek script on the other, on heavy handmade cotton paper placecards.
We used ornate white framed blackboards for our menu and wine list and rested them on artist easels.
With the weather being so amazing, we could hold our entire wedding reception outside. Our champagne reception was around the pool with views of the sea, and then moved to the long covered terrace next to the garden for dinner.
I wanted our friends and family to experience a traditional Greek banquet style meal, so we sat all our guests at 1 long table and served a selection of Greek mezze and local Corfoit Greek dishes made by Thomas and Vasso Siriotis who own O’Foros Taverna in Old Perithia. The meal was amazing and lasted 3 hours before the speeches actually started.
Invitations and reception stationery:
Our wedding invites were by Artcadia Stationery Co. – www.artcadia.co.uk, our wedding map by Cute Maps – www.cutemaps.co.uk, and we bought the place cards from Cox & Cox – http://www.coxandcox.co.uk/hand-made-placecards and got The Calligraphy Studio – www.calligraphystudio.co.uk to professionally write our guest names in English on 1 side of the card and Greek on the other. All the remaining reception stationery was made by myself along with the help from my friends.
Wedding music and entertainment:
Our DJ was Alekos Mouzakitis – http://corfudj.com/
What did you wear?
Knowing that it was going to be a 30 degree day we opted for cooler outfits with a relaxed style to suit the weather and location.
Dress: Augusta Jones Wedding Dress (Carli Style) from Lara B Bridal in Newmarket
Shoes: Jimmy Choo India Champagne Sandals
Earrings: “Something Borrowed” from my bridesmaid
Bridesmaids: Dresses from Coast Stores UK
Suit: Moss Bros Bespoke Black Linen Suit
Shirt: White shirt from Charles Tyrwhitt
Tie: Black Silk tie from Thomas Pink
Cufflinks: Wedding gift from Christine from Nikos Jewellery & Sculpture in Corfu – http://www.nikosjewellery.com/
Memorable wedding day moments:
- Standing hand in hand at the altar and realising our day had finally arrived
- The wedding speeches – very amusing and had everyone in fits of laughter
- Bridesmaid blowing out the “candle of life” with her wedding fan in the middle of the religious ceremony… and a very panicked best man frantically trying to find a lighter to re-light it.
- Having the best night on the dancefloor and looking around realising that our closest family and friends had travelled from across the globe (South Africa, Australia, UK, Ireland & Greece) to share our day with us – it had been a very long time since we were all in the same country / place at the same time.
- Ending up in the pool at the end of the night suited and booted
- Christine turning up late at the church
- The choir during the ceremony – Amazing!!
- Best man forgetting the rings and running back to car to get them whilst Christine was getting out of the wedding car and about to walk down the aisle
Wedding day advice:
Enjoy every moment, the day passes by so quickly.
Recommended wedding suppliers:
Wedding Video – Shoot it Yourself – www.shoot-it-yourself.co.uk