White washed buildings, panoramic views and beautiful seascapes… Yes you’ve guessed correctly, this beautifully breathtaking wedding took place on the Greek Island of Santorini. On the 26th of May, Lisa and Stuart and 37 of their closest friends and family jetted off to say their vows under the beautiful white arch at Santo Winery followed by a reception dinner at the intimate and luxurious Santorini Princess. Today I’m catching up with the lovely bride herself to talk all about the outfits, the planning and the beautiful wedding day itself. I also have a selection of gorgeous sneak peek photos to share!
Why did you choose to get married in Santorini, Santo Winery and The Santorini Princess in particular?
The Greek islands have always been close to my heart. We used to visit them on family holidays when I was younger and in later years I used to go with my friends and my now husband. I’ve always heard many wonderful things about Santorini and how it was such an idyllic island to get married on because of the caldera views. Once we were engaged I researched Santorini in more detail and we decided this would be the perfect Greek island for us to get married on. The weather was also a key factor in our decision as we wanted the sun shining on our wedding day and no rain clouds which are usually present in the UK! We chose the Santo Winery for our wedding ceremony predominantly because of the amazing views which we knew would be perfect for the ceremony and as a backdrop for the wedding photos. We also liked the fact that guests were able to sample some of the wine from the Santo Winery after the service – a lovely personal touch. The Santorini Princess was also in a perfect location in the north of the island with stunning caldera views which are just breathtaking. We felt the hotel had the wow factor and our guests would be amazed at how beautiful the reception location is. We’d also heard positive reviews about their food and service being excellent.
How long in advance did you book your wedding?
We booked our wedding 1 year in advance. We did want to get married sooner but we were advised not to go in the earlier months due to the temperamental weather and also the fact the island is shut down especially for weddings.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding and how many accepted and attended?
We invited approximately 50 guests and 37 attended in total. We weren’t expecting that many guests to attend due to the wedding being abroad, so we were delighted to have so many family and friends in attendance to share our special day with us. For those that couldn’t attend, we made sure we had a videographer to film the ceremony so people back in England could watch it once we were home.
We love your sleek and elegant dress, who was it by and how long did it take to find the perfect one?!
My dress was designed by Grace Harrington and was bought from the Bridelicious Boutique in Wallingford.. I placed the order for my dress in September 2013 and it took a couple of months to find it. As I was getting married abroad I knew I wanted a lighter dress due to the heat. I did try on a few dresses but as soon as I tried on this dress I knew it was perfect.
Can you tell us about your shoes and accessories, where were they from?
I chose open toe sandals for my wedding shoes as again I knew it would be hot and my feet would swell! They were quite high with an ivory satin finish which matched my dress perfectly. The sandals were made by Rainbow Club which I purchased from John Lewis. My veil and belt were also from the Bridelicious Boutique and my hair accessory was bought from Perfection Bridal shop in Reading. My hair accessory was made up of pearls and crystals which went perfectly with the pearl jewellery my mother gave to me.
We love the grooms formal attire, did he hire or purchase his suit and why did he choose this look?
Stuart hired his suit from The Groom’s Room wedding shop in Reading. Although we were getting married abroad and there was some concern about it being too hot, Stuart still wanted to wear a traditional suit. As it happened it was a windy day which helped with the heat! The rest of the grooms men & page boys also wore hired suits.
Tell us about the bridesmaid dresses, why did you choose the colour green and where did you find them?
I also bought the bridesmaid dresses from the Bridelicious Boutique in Wallingford. The actual colour of the dresses was called seamist which is very similar to an aquamarine green. The colour was perfect for a wedding abroad and suited the skin tone of both bridesmaids. The dresses were long, floaty and made of chiffon, they were just so beautiful.
Your soft pastel bouquet is stunning, what flowers did you choose and who made it?
One of my bridesmaids Janine Kent is a florist so she made the bridal bouquets, buttonholes and corsages for mother of the bride & groom. She owns ‘The Garden Room Flower Co’ so it was great to have the personal touch of a close friend make my bridal bouquet. My bouquet was made up of beautiful peach and white avalanche roses, pink peony’s and white lisianthus. I wanted colourful bouquets for myself and the bridesmaids but still the element of a traditional feel in the design.
Did you theme your wedding? If so why did you choose this theme?
We didn’t have a wedding theme as such. Our colour scheme was green/aquamarine which we thought was perfect for a wedding abroad so we tried to incorporate this colour wherever possible. We managed to match the chair sashes to our chosen colour, guest favours and other items. As the colour was quite a unique shade, I got the cravats and handkerchiefs for the groomsmen made using the same fabric as the bridesmaid dresses. The bridesmaids and groomsmen were all matching and looked very well-co-ordinated on the day and for the photos.
Tell us about the small details, the menu, the cake the favours, decor and entertainment… How did you choose these and were you happy with your choices?
We chose a 4 course menu which was delicious and very filling. As we were in Greece we wanted to ensure there was some traditional Greek food on the menu. We started with a beef salad with grilled cheese. This was followed by grilled feta and pita bread. For the main course we decided to go with chicken in an orange champagne sauce. There wasn’t much room for desert but most of us managed to eat most of the Baklava. The food was exquisite and we had many compliments from our guests. Our wedding cake was a vanilla sponge which was delicious! Although by the time we actually cut the cake, ourselves and all the guests were so full from the wonderful reception meal we couldn’t eat much! We chose love heart bottle stoppers for our wedding favours which were given to each guest. We personalised them with our names and date of our wedding. We gave the children Disney activity packs and a few other bits and pieces to entertain them through the reception meal which they loved! Again, the table layout was fairly traditional. We had the tables laid out as a U shape with aquamarine crystals scattered over them. We also had candles which was just beautiful once the sun had set and gave the room a real romantic feel. The top table also had a Mr & Mrs Hyden name plaque on it which added a personal touch for us. We hired a DJ for the evening entertainment so most of our guests were up on their feet dancing the night away and enjoying the celebrations.
How did you find the planning experience from booking to the big day?
The planning itself was fairly straight forward as we had Lisa, our wedding planner taking care of everything. We mainly had to make decisions on what we wanted and Lisa did what she could to accommodate all our requests, which was great. There were still a lot of other things that I had to organise and order which at times were inevitably stressful, but overall the planning itself was made a lot easier by having a wedding planner.
What’s your best memory from the day?
My best memory from the day was walking down the aisle at the Santo Winery and seeing all our friends and family smiling and looking back at me. However, most importantly seeing Stuart waiting for me under the floral arch looking super handsome is a memory I will always treasure. Our wedding day really was fantastic and we both enjoyed every minute of it!
How did you find the overall cost of your big day? Was it on budget or over budget?
We knew that getting married abroad would be cheaper than getting married in the UK which was another reason why we chose Santorini. However, we probably did spend more than we anticipated as all the extras that we decided to have obviously pushed the budget higher. We were still happy about the amount we spent and what we got for our money. We wouldn’t have changed a thing!
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?
The weather! Getting married abroad or especially in Santorini normally guarantees fantastic weather. I also think the scenery is so different and definitely has the wow factor compared to the UK. Also, having a wedding abroad determines who really wants to attend. People who aren’t really that bothered won’t make the effort, but friends or family who truly want to share your special day will make the extra effort to be there. I personally would recommend getting married abroad to anyone… It makes the whole experience extra special and memorable and all your guests get a holiday out of it too!
Steal the brides look:
Don’t forget to share this beautiful Santorini wedding and let us know what you think in the comments box below.
Ceremony Venue – Santo Winery | Reception Venue – Santorini Princess | Wedding Planner – The Bridal Consultant | Photographer – Creative Shotz | Brides dress – Grace Harrington | Bridal Shop – Bridelicious Boutique | Brides shoes – Rainbow Club | Grooms suit – The Groom’s Room | Bridesmaid dresses – Bridelicious Boutique |