I have been so excited to share this beautiful beach wedding in Crete with you all and today is the day! Last month Christina and John jetted off to the Greek island of Crete to exchange their vows on Rethymno Beach in front of all their loved ones and they had the most perfect day. Not only do I have a selection of stunning photos to share with you but I have been chatting to the bride herself to find out all the details of her special day.
Why did you choose to get married in Crete, Rethymno Beach in particular?
We were quite adventurous as neither of us had visited any of the Greek Islands which was a risk in itself. I actually read up on all the islands and went with Crete as it is such a beautiful island, but also it’s the island which has the most days of sun throughout the year. Therefore the idea of getting married on the beach really appealed to us.
How long in advance did you book your wedding?
We booked our first appointment with Lisa in January 2013, the office was amazing and homely we knew we were in safe hands from the very beginning. Even though we hadn’t booked the holiday as the travel operators didn’t release the brochure until April, we knew the month we had in mind and once we booked a provisional date the fun began and our save the dates went out.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding and how many accepted and attended?
It was mainly family and our closest friends who were invited, we were so overwhelmed with the amount of people who joined us out in Crete we had over 50 guests in total, which was a huge difference as we thought we would have 35 guests at a push.
The bride’s dress, what make was your dress and how long did it take to find the perfect one?!
My dress was made by Amy Hamilton which was purchased from Berketex in Nottingham, it was such a great and remarkable experience. I did not know what type of dress I was after and tried on all different styles and kept a clear mind. I ended up choosing the first dress I tried on that day, I think I tried around 20 dresses on in total but knew that was the one straight away. It was the only dress where my mum cried every time she saw me in it, and I tried it on 3 times in one day to make sure it was the ONE, there was just no doubt about it.
Can you tell us about your shoes and accessories where were they from?
My main accessory was my head band, I purchased this from Mia Sposa a bridal shop in Nottingham. The head band was really important to me as I chose not to wear a veil; it was made up of Swarovski crystals and was so elegant I just had to have it.
The bridal shoes were ivory and had a pretty bow on the front with a small number of diamanté studs on the side, they were by designer Jenny Packham from Debenhams. I did customise the shoes with the words I do on the sole, which was a nice little touch.
The Grooms suit, did the groom purchase or hire a suit?
The grooms suit was purchased from Next, which consisted of trousers, waistcoat, shirt and a cravat. We decided against a suit jacket as it would of been too hot. John likes to dress up smart for occasions so it only seemed right for him to get dressed up and be the impressionable groom. For the men we incorporated the coral colour through the use of cravats and ties.
What about the bridesmaid dresses? What colour were they and where did you find them?
After previous experiences with bridesmaid dresses from bridal shops, I decided to purchase my bridesmaid dresses from a high street retailer as I believe they provide a better fit and require less alterations. I wanted the dresses to have a Grecian style to them so I chose a one shoulder maxi dress in coral, which were from New Look. I got amazing responses from all my bridesmaids when they tried them on which was a huge relief (as there is usually one you can’t please).
Your bouquet, what flowers did you choose and why?
After doing some research on the internet it made my decision a lot easier as I don’t have much knowledge of flowers and decided on a mixture of coral roses and gerbera’s. I was so happy with the flowers and how they blended so well with the coral theme, I had lots of lovely comments.
What was your wedding theme? And why did you choose this?
We didn’t really have a theme, but we chose coral as our colour, if anything I would say perhaps a chic theme, what we really wanted from the day was a fun vibe and to do that we brought miniature games for each table for the adults and made little activity packs for the children all age groups were kept entertained.
What about the smaller details of the day? What was your wedding cake like? Your menu choice? Your favours and tables and did you have any entertainment?
John and myself wanted to incorporate things that we like into our favours, which I’m sure is the aim of most brides and grooms. We chose miniature cubes of retro sweets with a personal sticker on them, also miniature board games were included on each table for a little fun at dinner.
The wedding cake consisted of lots of cupcakes with a small cake topper which incorporated our coral theme, they were absolutely beautiful.
It’s always tricky to try and please all the guests when it comes to food so we tried to pick a menu with plenty of choice. The menu included breads and oils, cold and hot appetisers, salad, mixed grill with potatoes and vegetables for the main and a lovely desert. There was so much choice and the food was very traditional Greek which was great.
As a family we all love music so this played a key factor in the day, I got guests to send song requests to me before flying out to ensure they could get up and dance to at least one song of their choosing. The Dj was great and would accommodate guests requests we couldn’t have asked for more, the beach party was such a memorable experience.
How did you find the planning experience from booking to the big day?
The planning experience was great and so easy. Any questions I had were responded to in a timely manner by Lisa and Matt which was very reassuring, the day of our dreams would not of been possible without the help of The Bridal Consultans, so thank you for making it happen. When it came to the final planning stages, the attention to detail was paramount which was clear, I did not feel stressed at any point and wondered if I should of been, everyone was commenting on how calm I was. Upon arriving in Crete our wedding planner was fantastic we ran through the finer details such as timings for the day, I could contact her at any point which was great.
What’s your best memory from the day?
There were so many great memories, we kept certain aspects of the wedding as a surprise for our guests, such as the train journey to the ceremony and the fireworks. Seeing everyone’s expression and hearing such great comments was fantastic. The day overall is our best memory and we have some fantastic photos to remind us of it.
How much did you spend overall on your big day? Was it on budget or over budget?
With planning so far in advance it gave us the opportunity to buy bits as we saw them, which helped us spread the cost out and buy little bits at a time, and as such the budget went out of the window. I did find myself looking for inspiration on the internet and coming across some great ideas such as glow sticks for the beach party which were additional costs, but well worth it.
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?
The weather plays a massive factor as you cannot count on the British weather. For me the wedding isn’t a one day occasion when you get married abroad, as everyone is on their holiday you have such an incredible build up. The fact you can have so many family members together and they can get to know one another before hand makes the atmosphere so much more comfortable and natural. The day that we had would not of been possible in the UK and that’s what sold it for us, I would love to do it all again and I would not change a thing, our day was perfect!
Steal the brides look:
If you love this romantic beach wedding or know someone who would, then don’t forget to share!
Keep your eyes peeled for more gorgeous photos coming later this year!
Venue – Rethymno Beach | Planners – The Bridal Consultant | Photographer – Hanna Monika | Brides dress – Amy Hamilton | Brides shoes – Jenny Packham | Brides Headband – Mia Sposa | Grooms suit – Next | Bridesmaid dresses – New Look |