A stunning Santorini wedding
Updated: 5 days ago
Even if you’ve never been to Santorini you will, of course, recognise it immediately! It's traditional painted stone houses built into the cliffs, it's deep blue, clear waters and the famous white buildings topped with bright blue roofs, makes it one of the most photographed islands in the Aegean Sea.
Once you set foot on the island, you will feel that you are stepping into a heavenly world full of romance which offers the most dramatic sea views you have ever seen.
The highlight of your visit will definitely be the spectacular sunsets over the caldera from Oia, from where you will watch in awe at the most spectacular sight of the sun sinking below the horizon as it turns the sky from orange to red before disappearing into the sea.
Nothing can prepare you for the beauty you will find on this magical island.
Which is why Hannah and Justine decided that this was the place they would get married. They had been to Santorini a few times before and wanted to share their love for the island with family and their closest friends.
On one of those visits, back in 2019, they Island hopped across to Mykonos and this is where Hannah “popped the question”. Dancing together under the stars, barefoot on the sand at Scorpios, was where their dream of a destination wedding started to become a reality.
Location and venue search
I accompanied Hannah and Justine on an intensive but exciting three day trip to Santorini. I pre arranged venue visits and menu tastings and we spent the entire time we were there, checking out all each venue had to offer, eating some incredibly delicious food and being spoilt by the fabulous people that worked at each location. The hospitality was amazing and we had a wonderful time.
We arrived back in the UK exhausted but happy and the girls had managed to narrow down their choice of wedding venue to just two final options. I knew they loved both and it would be a difficult choice for them to make.
After a week of waiting, I finally got the news I was waiting for, they had decided on their wedding venue!!
Their decision was Buddha Bar in Imerovigli. On our visit we had been shown the upper terrace which is where the wedding ceremony would take place and the views up there just absolutely took our breath away.
It’s located at the highest point of Imerovigli village and has 360 degree panoramic views of the island and out to the Aegean sea. As well as this, the venue is on the smaller side compared to others that we visited so the girls felt this was perfect for their intimate wedding, of around 40 guests.
The final winner, was that even though Buddha Bar is a hotel, restaurant and bar and gets extremely booked up, you can pay extra for exclusivity on your wedding day and this is exactly what Hannah and Justine did.
This was going to be a family friendly event with some young children as part of it so doing this added an extra level of safety and meant their guests could relax that little bit more.
The next stage was to get all their favourite suppliers booked in and deposits paid and once this was done, they could send out their wedding invitations.
These beautiful and bespoke passport invitations made by paperandinc.co.uk were a huge hit with the couples guests! The travel theme really drummed up the excitement for their destination wedding and the subtle coral was a big hint of the girls chosen colour scheme.
Wedding Budget Allocation
One of the first conversations I have with my couples is about budget allocation and I always advise that they make a list, starting with the most important elements they want to include in their wedding.
During the next couple of meetings we had, it became clear that high on their priorities list was locking in their chosen photographer.
Hannah and Justine, of course, wanted to make sure that they had their precious moments captured forever but also needed someone they felt comfortable with and felt a connection to.
Their minds were made up, REBECCA CARPENTER (!) was shooting their wedding and now the countdown was well and truly on.
Their guests having the time of their lives was so important to this couple so naturally the food, the music and the DJ were all, also, a top priority.
These girls LOVE a party (they first met in a cocktail bar where Hannah worked... that much is trueeeeee) and they really wanted to, above all, have loads of fun with their guests.
Words of Wisdom from the couple
Hannah and Justine say...
"Hire a videographer!! It seems that a lot of couples have choosing their photographer at the very top of their list of priorities, with the videography either being a bit of an after thought, or, something they don’t end up having at all. This was us too!
Luckily, we realised we wanted a wedding film in plenty of time and asked our photographer, who we booked way in advance (she was one of our non negotiables!) if she recommended any.
She was SUPER helpful and sent us a whole list. Abigail and Luke jumped out to us massively and now having seen our wedding film we are SO grateful they were there.
Your photos will be beautiful and something you can treasure forever but a film, an actual film with music and sound will transport you back to those magical moments and allow you to relive them.
Photography and videography are as important as each other and if you can find suppliers that have worked together before… You will have yourselves the ultimate dream team. Just like we did"
Wedding week details
The week of the wedding arrived and myself and the couple arrived in Santorini a few days before the wedding.
The hotel I had chosen to stay in was the most fabulous boutique hotel situated in Kamari, right at the beach and close to all the restaurants and nightlife.
This is actually where Hannah and Justine decided to do their bridal prep on the wedding day, but a bit more on that later.
Kalya Suites serve the most delicious breakfast, delivered to your room every morning and their hospitality is sublime. Being located so close to the beach makes it ideal for families and the pool on site is wonderful.
Thursday was a busy day with final meetings at the venue and last minute checks with the DJ and florist.
Romantic sunrise couple photo shoot
Then it was off for an early dinner and drinks as Hannah and Justine were up at silly o‘clock on Friday morning for their pre wedding sunrise shoot with their photographer Rebecca and videographers, Abigail & Luke.
The early rise was more than worth it though and they had the absolute BEST time. The shoot location was up in Oia which is at the top of the island and the girls got to see it in a way they never thought they would.
Going so early meant hardly anyone else was around and in the stillness, peace and quiet of it all, Oia was more astounding than ever before.
Their dream team not only knew exactly where to go to get the most stunning shots, they also had a such a knack for making Hannah and Justine feel at ease, confident and beautiful.
Whilst they still had some nerves for their big day the following day, any around being photographed were now gone.
Hannah who is a PT and Justine who works in the aesthetics industry say ...
"It goes without saying that you want to look your absolute best on the most important day of your life but this is not the time to change anything too drastically.
Don’t try any new skincare products or treatments, too close to the big day, just in case you have a bad reaction and the same goes for your workout regime, if you’re not a runner, don’t suddenly take up running! The very last thing you want to do is injure yourself.
The final months to the big day is the perfect time to lock in your skincare and exercise routine but find what works for you in plenty of time and stick to that. Wedding prep can be very stressful so be sure to take care of your mind, body and soul."
Wedding Day Morning
The morning of the wedding was one that was organised which meant it was super chilled. The girls had decided to get ready at the same venue a few of their closest family members were staying in.
This allowed them to spend a bit more time with them before they departed for their honeymoon and also meant they could have a room each to get into their dresses, ahead of the big reveal.
So the entire bridal party arrived bright and early at kalyasuites.com, where the staff had beautifully prepared two rooms for the preparations. The girls spent the morning together getting their hair and make up done and then seperated for the final touches to be made.
After much discussion and deliberating, Hannah and Justine eventually decided that they were walking down the aisle together, so they wanted to do a first look before going to the wedding venue.
They anticipated there would be a few tears (they were right!) so doing their first look privately meant they were free to let those out and it also made it possible for the pair to travel to the wedding together.
They were a little nervous so being able to hold each others hand en route and share one last moment alone, before walking down the aisle together, was something they had voiced to me so I made certain that it was able to happen.
Here we go... Showtime! Hannah and Justine had put a lot of thought into their ceremony, they wanted to keep it light hearted and just as they had told me right at the start of the planning process, having fun had to be at the forefront of it all...
Enter - The flower men. First to walk down the aisle, the brief from the brides was for them to set the tone of the wedding. Wearing Ray Bans and tossing their flower petals "with feeling" to the Top Gun theme tune, they fully understood their mission and broke the ice beautifully. They had even grown moustaches for the part! Now, that's dedication for you!!
They were closely followed by Hannah's gorgeous Nephew who was ring bearer for the day. He was almost a mini flower man, wearing the same as the guys but with a coral bow tie instead of a tie and shorts instead of trousers. He walked the aisle solo and everyone looked on with so much admiration and pride for the little guy. He was just perfect.
Then the whole mood shifted as the Top Gun music faded out and the live strings kicked in, playing Coldplay’s Sky Full of Stars for Hannah’s Best Man, then the two Maids of Honour who looked amazing in long, floaty coral dresses and lastly the flower girls to walk down to.
Of course the tiny adorable flower girls stole the show for a brief moment…
… But only until the two Brides made their entrance. Walking down the aisle, hand in hand, to THEIR song, played beautifully on strings by a gorgeous string duo local to Santorini
Hannah slayed in Alexandra Rose by Grace Loves Lace, she paired the elegant high neckline of the dress with a classy and neat up do and chose a natural make up look.
The beautiful open back allowed her to show off her killer tan and the slit at the front was a subtle hint to her pro dancer days and meant she could kill it on the floor at the reception (A slut drop or two may have gone down!!)
Justine truly dazzled in the body hugging silhouette of Nisha, by Enzoani with an alluring, plunging V-neckline and body-contouring, illusion side cut-outs. Delicately beaded straps matched the shimmering beading along the front and back necklines. Made from Venice lace, Chantilly lace and tulle, she truly looked exquisite.
Fun fact! Hannah's final dress choice was the 4th she tried. Justine's final choice... Her 4th too. Could 4 be their lucky number? I suppose only time will tell.
"Hannah... My little ray of sunshine..."
The ceremony was simply stunning. The backdrop was breath taking and it all got very emotional. Hannah & Justine had written personal vows which were so very heartfelt and meaningful and had everybody in bits.
The emotion in their voices, which occasionally cracked a little, was abundantly evident and their love had spilled out onto the page and into their beautiful promises to each other. It was honestly, such a joy to witness and like something straight out of a movie.
Once the vows were made and the ceremony was over, the couple made their way back down the aisle to the sound of their guests clapping and cheering whilst being showered with bright and colourful confetti.
Down we all went to the slightly lower terrace where more live music from the string duo was taking place and for a very welcomed cocktail.
Cocktail hour and sunset photo shoot
Whilst being serenaded, we sipped on a delicious cocktail and mingled, while the happy couple went off with their photographer and videographers for their portrait session in the streets of Santorini.
Just like at their sunrise shoot, the girls had the most amazing experience. As they walked along the cobbles, making their way down to Skaros Rock, so many people stopped to say congratulations, many were applauding and cheering and another couple even stopped and asked to have a photo taken with them. Incredible memories made that they'll cherish for life!
Table decor and floral details
Hannah and Justine were very clear in their designs for their wedding. They wanted light and airy and for absolutely nothing to detract from the stunning view over the caldera.
The meal was planned to start just as the sun was setting, so they asked for loads of candlelight and lanterns to light the terrace
In keeping with their chosen colours of coral and gold, they opted for gold charger plates, cutlery & napkins and had gorgeous place cards made which were a stunning shade of bright coral.
They matched the guys ties and the maids of honour dresses to absolute perfection... It really is the little things.
The wedding reception
As the sun went down the guests took their places at the table ready for the return of the happy couple
As they danced their way in to the sound of the Spice Girls blasting out "Spice Up Your Life" the guests stood, cheered and twirled their napkins round and round.
WHAT a song choice, what an entrance and what a way to kick off the speeches!
The evening got going with hilarious speeches, loads of delicious food, plenty of drink and the wonderful sound of laughing, happy guests
Once the meal had finished, the happy couple lit up the night sky with their first dance.
The evening party started with a bang and lasted long into the night.
Finishing the evening off with a sparkler send off for the newly weds
If this sounds like your kind of wedding, get in touch! Let's chat and see how I can help you.
Getting ready venue
Hair and make up
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