Brighten up your morning with this gorgeous beach wedding on the island of Crete! If you envision yourself marrying on a white sandy beach with the blue sea as your backdrop, you won’t want to miss reading all about this stunning celebration…
Our beautiful bride Sophie had always dreamed of marrying on the beach and when her other half Luke shared the same vision, the plans were put in to place and the countdown began!
On the 15th of September 2017, they said their I do’s and became Mr and Mrs Ellis on the stunning Rethymno Beach.
Sophie has since shared with us her best memories from their special day, with some advice for future couples planning their overseas wedding, enjoy x
Why did you choose to get married in Crete, Rethymno Beach in particular?
Ever since I was a little girl I had always wanted to get married on a beach and fortunately for me, my now husband was more than happy to get married abroad. Knowing that we wanted a beach wedding, we had a look around at lots of different countries, venues and beaches but ultimately we chose our location based on the fact that we wanted The Bridal Consultant to plan our beach wedding! We made the decision that we wanted The Bridal consultant to plan our wedding based on the outstanding job they did on a family members wedding the year prior. We had never actually been to Crete which was a big gamble for us but having visited several Greek islands between us and having seen the beautiful pictures of the weddings on Rethymno Beach it just seemed like the perfect choice.
How long in advance did you book your wedding?
We booked our wedding about 14 months in advance.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding and how many accepted and attended?
We had originally invited about 27/28 guests to our wedding day – we are quite private people and wanted to keep our wedding small and intimate with those we cared for most. Our wedding day itself was a day full of celebrations (my birthday, my father in laws birthday, my in-laws wedding anniversary) and it was only right that we shared it with those who are special to us. Unfortunately not all guests were able to attend our wedding for various reasons but we had about 21 attend in total. Fortunately, we had a reception in the UK once we got back for all of those who couldn’t attend our wedding day so we still got to celebrate our special occasion with all friends and family.
Your dress is stunning! What make was this and why did you choose it for your wedding?
My dress was by designer Kitty Chen – it had a real wow factor about it and sparkled beautifully in the sunlight on the beach. It did take me quite a while to find my perfect dress, I think I visited 4 or 5 dress shops before I found my dress in a little shop local to my home town. I think it took me quite a while to find “The One” because I had an idea in my head of what i wanted and I just couldn’t seem to find it. I had always been the quiet one and I wanted a real ‘wow’ dress for my wedding day, something that people were not expecting. The moment I put the dress on I knew that it was perfect and I didn’t want to take it off. I found my dress on my birthday, exactly one year before we got married.
What about your shoes and accessories, what did you choose and why?
I wanted to have my feet in the sand for our wedding ceremony so I chose to buy some barefoot sandals rather than shoes. I managed to find a lovely selection on Etsy and ultimately chose the pair I wore because they were subtle with a little bit of sparkle to tie in with the dress.
My something blue was a bracelet, I again got this from a seller off Etsy and it was beautiful – it fitted in with my dress perfectly. We chose to buy the Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom the same bracelet (with Mother of … on) so that we all matched and were connected on the day.
My bracelet and necklace were from Swarovski – i fell in love with them the moment I tried them on and although they were slightly over budget I just had to have them, they worked wonderfully with my dress and they sparkled in the sunlight. I also chose to have a head band, this was a decision which I kept going back to as I wasn’t sure if it would be a bit too much – I am so happy that I made the decision to wear the headband on the wedding day as it pulled my dress and accessories together and just finished the look off.
Luke’s attire is perfect for a beach wedding! What made him choose this look?
The groom purchased his attire for the wedding day. He didn’t go for the typical 3 piece suit choice as that’s just not him, he wanted more of a casual laid back look. I didn’t get to see the attire until I was walking down the aisle on the day of our wedding so it was a lovely surprise – I loved how he had kept it casual for comfort but still looked smart and the color was perfect for a beach wedding.
We love the off the shoulder bridesmaids dresses! Where were these from?
The bridesmaid dresses were one of the biggest problems we had when planning our wedding, we had originally gone to a dress shop and found the perfect dresses for the girls but were told that they were not in stock and that they would be back in the next 6 weeks. We phoned continually and at 6 weeks were told that the dresses we had chosen were not being brought back into stock! This really threw everything as we had very limited time at this point to sort something else. It just so happened I had a look around and found 3 alternatives for the girls to choose from, they all ended up saying that they loved the same dress and I ordered them straight way for the girls to try – they were even better in person and the color was perfect! The bridesmaids all wore the same dress and we purchased them from ASOS.
Your bouquet is stunning! Were you happy with the result?
With my bouquet I didn’t really have anything in particular in mind but I knew that I wanted roses incorporated into it. I said to the planners that I wanted roses and to then use whatever local flowers to create a soft pink and white look with the odd dark pink “pop” – they did a fantastic job and i was really pleased with results – this idea was then used across all flower decor in our wedding.
Did you theme your wedding?
We didn’t have a theme as such to our wedding day, we just went with what we loved and we wanted a very soft pink “Beachy” feel. We just wanted all the ceremony decor to be light and floaty so that it didn’t take away from the natural beauty of the beach itself. We then had candles during dinner and as our wedding favors to really set the romantic mood.
How important were the smaller details to you? We’d love to hear more about how you personalised your day!
The smaller details of the day couldn’t have been more perfect! Everything from the cake to the personalized menus worked together beautifully.
The wedding cake was exactly as we had asked, we chose to go with a top tier and then cupcakes for the convenience of our guests to be able to grab and go with a cupcake whilst dancing the night away at the surprise midnight beach party. We opted for the top tier of the cake to be white and then the cupcakes to be iced in light pink in a wavy style.
The food was absolutely incredible! Anyone you ask could not stop going on about how good the food was and just how much there was! All three courses were served in a help yourself kind of way on platters which was great as the guests to help themselves to what they wanted rather than ending up with food on their plates they wouldn’t eat. With the starters and desserts, we chose the ones that we felt would be most popular with our guests rather than asking them all what they would like in particular – this was a very easy way of doing it and went down really well, everyone loved the chosen options. With the main we went with a mixed grill option as we know that would be a winner and the guests were not disappointed.
The personalized menus were such a lovely touch! It made a wonderful keepsake and all of the guests loved being able to pick up the menu and see what food would be served to them!
The table decor itself was beautiful, we had the pale pink runners with flowers, mirrored plates and candles – we couldn’t have imagined it to look any better and in the setting of the palm garden worked amazingly!
We chose to bring our own wedding favors and went with personalized candles in a coconut and lime scent – we wanted candles as they fitted with the table decor and kept with romantic/intimate feel of the dinner. We also got the guest personalized names which they kept.
We opted to have the deluxe firework package (surprise to the guests) that was amazing and really got the party started as we used them to kick off the midnight beach party.
How did you find the planning experience from booking to the big day?
The whole experience itself was really easy and simple, its been designed so that its broken down stage by stage which allows you to know exactly what is happening and deal with one thing at a time. Don’t get me wrong, it was very stressful at times because it’s the one event you want to know is going to be perfect and it’s hard having very little control of certain aspects but you don’t need to worry, The Bridal Consultant is amazing and will make it more than you could have imagined!
What’s your best memory from the day?
Its so hard to pick the best memory of the day as the whole thing was just perfect! If i had to choose I would say that my best memory of the day for me was walking down the aisle, barefoot in the sand seeing my now husband waiting at the end with the waves in the background. It had been my dream since I was a little girl and in that moment it had all come true – we were surrounded by our loved ones and it couldn’t have been more beautiful.
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?
For me, a wedding abroad stands out from a wedding in the UK because I feel that weddings today have become more of a “show” and about making sure that everyone else is happy whereas a wedding abroad is intimate, it’s about you and your partner. The locations are key too, if you choose to go abroad you have so much more on offer to you.
What advice would you give to future brides and grooms who are getting married abroad?
My advice for future brides and grooms is to just trust in The Bridal Consultant – they do this all the time and though it can be hard to relax when you have very little control they will make your day more than you could ever imagine. Just go with the flow and it will all be perfect.
Are you dreaming of a beach wedding abroad? Leave your thoughts in the box below and don’t forget to share!
Wedding Venue – Rethymno Beach, Crete | Wedding Planner – The Bridal Consultant | Bride’s Dress – Kitty Chen | Bride’s Barefoot Sandals – EEtsy | Bride’s necklace and bracelet – Swarovski| Bridesmaid’s Dresses – Asos | Photographer –Hanna Monika