Real Santorini Wedding – Elinor and James 2014

This morning we’re sharing with you a beautiful wedding on the Greek Island of Santorini!

On the 16th August 2014 Elinor and James said their I ‘do’s at The Rocabella Hotel surrounded by friends and family. Today I’m catching up with our Santorini bride herself to hear all about her special day!

Why did you choose to get married in Santorini, The Rocabella Hotel in particular?

Initially we didn’t mind where the wedding was, we knew we wanted the Greek Islands because it was a perfect distance, being far away enough to be hot and beautiful and not so far away we couldn’t have any guests! The main choice for the wedding location was actually finding a company I was happy to entrust with planning our wedding! I contacted a few people but Lisa gave me the best ‘feeling’ so we decided to go with The Bridal Consultant and the rest would fall into place! We had loads of options given but Santorini definitely looked the most spectacular and also neither James nor I had visited which made it really special. The Rocabella came about due to it having space for all the guests we wanted, we didn’t want to leave venues on the day so the hotel was perfect as it was able to accommodate all of the things that were on our list, especially the option to party into the night! I don’t know where on earth it would be possible to top the hotel it was absolutely stunning with the most amazing views EVER!

How long in advance did you book your wedding?

After we got engaged I think we had booked about 14 months in advance, one to make sure we had the wedding we wanted and two to give our friends and family a set place and time so they could start saving and planning for holiday time.

How many guests did you invite to your wedding and how many accepted and attended?

This was tricky! We did decide that if people are willing to travel all the way to Santorini for our wedding… we want them there! So we invited about 110 people including kids in total and we were very lucky to have 73 guests on our special day. There was no one there we didn’t know or love so that was fab!

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We love your dress! Who was it by and long did it take you to find your dream dress?!

I bought my dress on the first day I went shopping! I am not a shopper and was very lucky to find my ‘dream’ dress very quickly at Laura May Bridal in Cardiff, it was called Mikaela.

Can you tell us about your shoes and accessories, where were they from?

I wore flip flops which were footless called Arianna Lola crystal and pearl barefoot sandals, my mum found them online from elegant steps. I didn’t wear any jewellery apart from some pearl earrings and bracelet which I have had for years and used as my something ‘old’. My good friend from work made my hair slide as a wedding gift and she put in some aquamarine as a ‘blue ‘ element, it is also my birth stone. It was lovely to wear something that someone had made for me and I would have probably worn it even if I didn’t like it like for the sentiment, but luckily the slide was beautiful!

We noticed James is wearing very casual attire, what made him choose this?

James is a surfer guy so one of the main perks for him going away was not to wear a suit. He wore the smartest shirt and shorts we could find from Ted Baker and so did all of the best men, ushers and the dads. They all looked great and it was cooler for them in the heat! James loved it because he felt comfortable in his attire and he did look great!

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Your bridesmaids looked lovely in their nude coloured dresses! Where did you purchase these?

I had some luck shopping and we struck gold with Coast on the first day. We had nude maxi dresses which had Grecian style beading, the girls looked beautiful and said they loved the dresses so hopefully they really did! They weren’t typical bridesmaid’s dresses and obviously the girls wore flip flops too! I think they will wear again although I am not sure of the state of the dresses as it got a little bit raucous towards the end of the night!

We love your rose bouquet! Why did you choose orange roses in particular?

I chose a simple bouquet of orange roses as James had orange in his shirt and we also had rosemary to remember an immediate family member who has passed away.

What was your wedding theme? And why did you choose this?

Sun! Sun was the main thing to be honest because everything looks better in the sunshine, because the wedding was outside and the hotel was white, we wanted to keep the colours neutral with elements of nude, blue and orange. It worked really well against the beautiful Santorini sun and also the sunset!

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Tell us about the smaller details of the day, the menu, the favours and the decor? Were you happy with your choices?

My mum made luggage tags which were used as table names. I had a friend who is a graphic designer make the table plan, invites etc and she based the theme on a photo that we love and that happened to have an orange theme too! We didn’t give favours, it was too much to travel out to Santorini but we did donate to charities that are close to ours and the guests hearts and put a message on the back of the name cards.

Our menu was traditional Greek food: salads, lamb, dips, falafel, beef, vine leaves…the works really. Everyone thought it was delicious! The hotel were great as a few guests had dietary needs and this was catered for on the day which was a relief!

We did go all out and have a band which were great and we even had some fireworks which were an amazing addition!

How did you find the planning experience from booking to the big day?

Really great, Lisa worked so hard and we were able to just pick what we wanted. Once we had the venue sorted all of the other things were easy to decide on. Lisa was so helpful, we were total novices, so it was great to have someone who knew what they were doing! She even arranged a BBQ the next day on the beach for our guests which we would of struggled to do without her!

What is your best memory from the day?

James’ speech…Everyone was in tears including me and all the best men! He was awesome.

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How much did you spend overall on your big day? Was it on budget or over budget?

Eek! All in for the holiday, clothes for bride, groom, ushers, best men and flower girls/boys, spending money and the whole wedding and next day I would  say about £20,0000. To be honest the standard of the wedding venue, the decor, the band and fireworks, open bar, cocktail hour, the food and next day BBQ I doubt it could be done at home to the same budget! A lot of money but we had an amazing holiday and hopefully managed to spoil our guests a bit after coming all that way!

What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?

The value for money, I know that we could have had a wedding on a much smaller budget and still be just as gorgeous! The setting was stunning, although I love Wales and am super patriotic, it does love to rain! We would have been disappointed if it had rained on the day. We could plan to have a wedding completely outside which we loved, can you imagine the stress of that at home! We could not have done all of the things we wanted at home, the prices seem to be ridiculous!
Also only our close friends and family came, we both have large families and I think 73 was plenty, both of us get a bit over whelmed by being the centre of attention so a wedding at home would have been carnage and we probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as we did! We also got to spend the week with loved ones as the wedding was on the Saturday and most people arrived Tuesday, we had great quality time with people who we don’t get to see that often. Luckily everyone got on really well… Phew! It was an amazing experience and I would recommend a wedding abroad to anyone!

just dropping an email to say thanks to everyone at The Bridal Consultant for the BEST DAY EVER! We had an absolutely magical day … Everything was perfect. We loved the ‘surprise’ element to having a wedding away and we definitely well placed our trust with you guys. No dramas, no fuss or problems on the day. Special thanks to the staff at The Rocabella and a huge thanks to the planner in Santorini, he was awesome and so easy going!

If you love Elinor and James’ wedding in Santorini as much as we do then don’t forget to share and leave your comments in the box below!

Wedding Venue – The Rocabella Hotel |  Wedding Planner – The Bridal Consultant | Photographer – Creative Shotz | Brides dress – Mikaella | Bridal Shop – Laura May Bridal  | Brides shoes – Pink Paradox Shoes | Grooms attire – Ted Baker | Bridesmaid dresses – Coast |  

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