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Adam and Jacqueline’s sunny and romantic destination wedding in Crete!

Aren’t you glad it’s Friday?! I’m excited to be heading over to the north east to see my sister tomorrow – and also, to crack on with some Christmas shopping! Oooh – and I must remember to share the news that Not On The High Street are having a ONE DAY sale today, so you can grab 15% off any order of £50 or more (like my calligraphy family tree!), until midnight today! Just quote HAPPY15 when you order!

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Can I bring a dose of sunshine to your screen this morning? Because I have the loveliest destination wedding to share with you today. Gorgeous couple Jacqueline and Adam were married in Crete, and their day is a blissful celebration of love in the June sunshine – and with a party in the village taverna it is just perfect! I really hope you love this as much as I do! I’ll let our beautiful bride tell you all about their day. Happy Friday everyone!

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“After meeting at the airport in Crete and then working on the island we always knew we would come back here to get married and  have our wedding in a traditional Greek setting. The moment our wedding planner took us to the village of Spilia outside Chania we knew it was the one. The area outside the church was just gorgeous but it was the Taverna in the middle of the village that stole our hearts. Cobbled stone floor and rustic wooden tables underneath an array of tree branches – it was breathtaking. We knew they could cater for large parties but they hadn’t had an english wedding before – we loved that we would be unique. The brothers who own the Taverna were so hospitable and couldn’t have done more to make everything amazing. The whole village were so helpful. We wanted traditional Greek food for the wedding breakfast and it was incredible – and we’ve never seen so much food – it just kept coming! Lots of the produce was local from the brothers farm -their mum even made us a traditional Cretan Wedding dessert “xerotigana”!

We wanted somewhere beautiful and that our guest could have fun well into the night – dancing under the stars!

Our guests were truly blown away by the setting.

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Wedding Photographer

https://www.amarkakis.com/

Once we had found our wonderful Wedding Planners ‘Crete for Love’ and the perfect venue, we started to think about a photographer. We knew we wanted someone local who knew the area and was used to photographing in bright sunlight. After attending so many friends weddings, and getting their advice 🙂 we had a really good idea of what we did and didn’t want. It was really important the photographs were natural but that we also got some beautiful family portraits. Our Wedding Planners recommended some photographers and we started to look at their portfolios. Andreas stood out immediately -his photographs were just beautiful, really natural and they had such a gorgeous bright tone. We’d seen a lot of quite dark wedding photos and that definitely isn’t us! They also weren’t your ‘standard’ wedding poses but all important elements of the day had been captured. We also liked that he didn’t just do weddings so he could bring his lifestyle photography creativity to our day as well. HIs website was really professional and his great response to our initial enquiries made us feel very confident he was the right choice. Andreas is actually our Wedding Planners husband but at no point did we feel obliged to go with him – however we now knew we had the dream team working on our wedding! 🙂

Andreas was amazing and he genuinely cared about capturing our big day perfectly as much as we did! We first met him for a coffee in Chania harbour on one of our pre planning trips before the wedding. We chatted for ages getting to know each other and for him to really understand us as a couple. He also told us about how he likes to work and the standards he sets; and helped us decide on what package was right for us. Whilst at the harbour he took some shots of us which was really fun. We were quite nervous at first as neither of us likes posing but he made us feel so relaxed.

On the day of the wedding Andreas and his team were amazing. They were so friendly and welcoming to all our guests which was so lovely. And they could not have worked harder – they were literally moving everywhere to ensure they captured everything – but in a really discreet manner so you also didn’t really know they were there. We had so much fun with Andreas and managed to take some beautiful more posed Bride and Groom shots. I was nervous about these but I’m so pleased he helped us find the confidence now -they look amazing! 🙂

Nothing was ever too much trouble for Andreas or his team. Our guests commented on how great they were -and that they wished they lived in the UK so they could photograph for them! 🙂 The perfect balance of maintaining professionalism but also feeling like your friends.

I must also note that Andreas very kindly sent a photographer and videographer from his team to our Pre Wedding Beach Party the night before.

Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time…

I think I shrieked with excitement! They were just amazing! We couldn’t get over how well they captured the day and the amazing colours. The blue sky and the flowers just looked gorgeous! We sent the links to our families immediately and both our mums cried! Over the next few weeks everyone kept messaging us saying how gorgeous they were and changing their mind on which was their favorite 🙂

Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?

Fun, relaxed, sunny, rustic, personal, romantic with a Greek twist!

Your wedding style or theme

Our theme was very much based around Crete so predominantly Greek 🙂  We used some of the Greek traditions such as Wedding Crowns ‘Stefana’, and served Greek food and drink. Blue was a dominant colour but amongst a more english wedding pale pink and cream. Olives leaves also featured heavily. We wanted a day that was really relaxed and fun but very personal to us. We asked the registrar to keep the ceremony humorous and we both kept making jokes throughout.

Guests sat down to eat but the plentiful food was served to share – we love the Mediterranean style of eating and wanted to recreate this at our breakfast. The wedding in Mamma Mia was a real inspiration! 🙂

Where did you find your suppliers?

To be honest lots of our suppliers came through our Wedding Planner -she sent lots of different options and we picked which one was right for us in terms of price and style. I read all the magazines and attended lots of wedding fayres in the UK but these were more for fun and general research. I got some good ideas from UK based companies but when you’re getting married abroad you are really reliant on local knowledge. I needed to make sure we got suppliers we could trust – not a DJ who wouldn’t turn up on the day! 🙂 So using local suppliers who our planners had already worked with was the best bet – but thankfully there was enough variety so we felt like we were making our own choice.

Your top tips for saving money

Think about the previous weddings you’ve been to and what you remembered – what genuinely mattered. In most cases as long as guests are fed, watered and can have a dance they’re pretty ok. If you want to spend money on intricate fine details as it makes you happy then do but how many will actually be noticed. I found it was all these little add ons that could keep pushing the cost up and they wouldn’t really make any difference to the overall look and feel of the day.

And which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?

Having the Pre Wedding Beach Party was an additional cost and we spent a while looking at ways of getting all our guests together more cheaply. However this was the first impression they were going to have of our wedding so we wanted it to be perfect. Thankfully we got lots of comments on the stunning setting 🙂 and it was great to have everyone meet before the big day.

I found asking your guests to come abroad means you feel you want to do a lot for them. We spent a lot of money on drinks and having a free bar – we even created bespoke cocktails! 🙂 We also spent more on lighting for the Taverna as I love fairy lights so wanted all the big old trees covered in them. It really did look beautiful! And we had the most gorgeous garland around the door of the church building which was such a stunning feature and provided the perfect backdrop for the ceremony.

We met a number of wedding planners in Crete before deciding on Crete for Love. They weren’t the cheapest but you get what you pay for. They were amazing throughout our whole year of planning  and incredible at the pre party and on the day itself. We 100% could not have done it without them – every penny was worth it.

I did however spend a little too much on all my outfits for our time in Crete! 🙂

Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery?

An artist friend designed my wedding stationery as I wanted something unique that reflected the theme of my wedding. I used the designs for the Save The Date Cards, Wedding day stationery, through to the Thank You Cards. I chose Printed.com to print everything, the website is super easy to use. It was definitely a labour of love and an important part of the story of my wedding, and I have the original artwork to frame as a keepsake!

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

100% – I’d been told by fellow brides that when you try on the one you just know, but to be honest I was pretty skeptical – I’m a rather indecisive person! 🙂 I knew I wanted a boho style relaxed dress so had whittled it down to a few designers and showrooms.

As soon as I tried on the ‘Florence’ dress from Grace Loves Lace I knew it was the one! I just felt like a bride -and I did actually cry when they put the veil on! 🙂 The stylist Amy gave me the best piece of advice – “Be the best version of you” And that’s exactly how I felt in my dress -totally me, totally my style but me as a beautiful bride. I felt confident, comfortable and incredibly special.

Wedding Dress designer and Bridal boutique

Grace Loves Lace – Shoreditch showroom

Tell us about your accessories

I borrowed some diamond earrings from my mum and pinned my grandmas brooch to the inside of my dress. I struggled for a while to find shoes that matched the dress and would be appropriate for the cobbles and Greek dancing. I eventually settled on a pair of gold flat sandals from River Island. The hardest thing was trying to shoes that had a gold trim all the way round and to the edges of the sole – I wanted to see a nice flash of gold poking out from under the dress 🙂

I didn’t have any other accessories as I wanted to keep it simple – the setting had enough going on 🙂

I also knew we would be putting on the gold wedding crowns during the ceremony so I didn’t want any accessories that would jar with them. However I did have 3 little cream flowers in my hair.

What did the groom wear?

The Groom and Groomsmens outfits were all from M&S. The Groom wore a navy shirt with pale blue linen trousers. We were originally going to go with shorts but thought these would look too casual against my dress and the ceremony setting. We loved the idea of blue trousers to go with the Greek theme -we looked at some cream options  but we kept going back to the blue 🙂

Beautiful Bridesmaids

The bridesmaids wore dusky pink silky dresses from & Other Stories – they had a real Grecian feel which was perfect. My sister the Maid of Honour was 7 months pregnant so she wore a navy silky maternity bridesmaid dress from ASOS. I was conscious it was going to be hot so I wanted to put the girls in something lightweight and flowing.

My little Bridesmaid isn’t really into dresses so she wore a white crochet Playsuit from Jigsaw – she looked gorgeous and the most stylish of all of us!

Hair and Make Up

I had a local Greek make up artist and hair stylist. Again the wedding planner gave me some portfolios to chose from. It was important to me that they had done English weddings before so the hair and make up would be more the style I’m used to. I wanted to be able to relax on the morning knowing my hair and make up was being taken care of 🙂

Describe your flowers

Again a local florist. The colour theme was white, blush pink, baby blue & olive green. We had Peonies, Roses, Olive twigs and Eucalyptus leaves. We had a huge display of flowers either side of the church doors – these looked incredible. We also had cream flowers in the table settings.

The colours of the flowers were brighter than I had imagined on the day but I’m so pleased they were as the colours look so gorgeous in the pics!

General venue styling

The setting really spoke for itself so we didn’t want to do too much. We put fairy lights in the trees and had olive leaves, candles and cream roses as the table settings. We also had big vases with candles and olive leaves inside lining the stairs to the ceremony area.  We had a bespoke Taverna sign made reading ‘Mr & Mrs England’s Taverna” which we revealed once we were pronounced as man and wife.

We had pale blue and pink ribbon with olive leaves tied to chairs at the end of each aisle.

We moved the flower displays lining the doors to an entrance arch of the Taverna for the reception -they were too beautiful not to make more of and use throughout the wedding.

Cake

I love cakes, but really simple sweet ones. So we had a one layer maderia sponge cake with vanilla frosted icing. It was decorated with a greek flag on the top and our names in Greek. I’d say the cake also matched our vibe of relaxed and fun 🙂

Entertainment

We had an amazing Greek band playing as I walked through the village, throughout the ceremony and start of the reception. As a surprise for our guests we had 6 traditional Greek dancers who got everyone up dancing  – it was amazing and so much fun! Then we had a DJ to take the party into the night. We had the same DJ for both the pre wedding beach party and the wedding – DJ Giorgos was fab and worked on the play lists with us prior.

Words of wisdom

Firstly, it’s all about you so make sure your wedding has some personal touches that are unique to you as a couple. Everyone’s there because they love you and want to celebrate your relationship so let them into your world.

Secondly although it is all about you; everyone wants their guests to have a great time! Do really think about what’s important to them. Don’t fixate on the little things and miss something big like not having enough bar staff so it takes ages to get a drink. If you’re guests are relaxed and having a great time you will be too!

Thirdly, as hard as it may be at times, try and keep things in perspective – you’re incredibly lucky to be marrying the person you love – everything else is a bonus 🙂

What’s the best thing about being married?

Referring to them as your husband and hearing them refer to you as their wife!  It just feels really special. I think just feeling more of a team, more connected now – you know whatever happens you’ll be right by each other’s sides. And feeling excited about everything to come in your marriage – what will the next 20, 30, 40 years bring!

Supplier links

Wedding planner – https://www.creteforlove.com/
Photographer & videographer – https://www.amarkakis.com/
Flowers – https://www.facebook.com/Kentro.Louloudiou/
Mobile bar – http://www.dashndrops.com/
Wedding dress – www.graceloveslace.com.au
Shoes – www.office.co.uk
Suit – www.marksandspencer.com
Bridesmaids dresses – www.stories.com
Wedding rings – www.fraserhart.co.uk
Wedding crown – www.lakaluka.com

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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