Who doesn’t love a Santorini wedding!?
Today we’re catching up with our lovely Santorini bride Nicol who married at The Rocabella Hotel on the 25th July 2014. Here Nicol tells us all about her special day from the small details to her best memories from the day! We also have a selection of stunning sneek peek photos from Nicol and Andrews big day, photographed by the incredible Vangelis! Enjoy x
Why did you choose to get married in Santorini, The Rocabella Hotel in particular?
We had originally looked at a Chablis in France and had come across a few stumbling blocks at the very beginning and after looking at a few wedding magazines I came across Rocabella. The wedding looked so classy and expensive and ultimately out of our league but we decided to enquire anyway. The venue was modern, clean, crisp and suited us to a T. We had never visited Santorini so we were unsure on the island but after reading up about it we knew it would be perfect for our guests.
How long in advance did you book your wedding?
We booked our wedding roughly 20 months in advance and sent out our invites and created our website almost straight away. This gave our guests time to look at holiday leave and work out finances, I would definitely recommend telling your guests way in advance.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding and how many accepted and attended?
We had originally invited 70 of our closest friends and family. We knew it would be tough for everyone to make it, for all kinds of reasons. In the end we had 37 guests altogether which worked perfectly, many of our friends often mentioning it was just like one big family.
We are in love with your mermaid style dress! What was the make of your dress and how long did it take to find the perfect one?!
My dress was a beautiful Tara Keely creation, I had visited a few wedding shops around the country until I came along one on my doorstep in Prestwich, Manchester ‘Bride to Be by Hannah Lois’. They were absolutely wonderful and made me feel so special! They originally ordered me a dress that I had seen online but as soon as I walked in I saw this beautiful dress hanging on its own in the corner and I just loved it. After trying on the dress I had ordered I asked if I had could try on ‘that dress’ in the corner… I fell in love instantly! I know it’s not the traditional thing to do but I showed Andrew a picture on the internet as soon as I got home and he loved it. I make all my decisions with Andrew, how could I make the most important one without his help… no chance I needed his opinion!
Your shoes are stunning! Can you tell us about them and your accessories, where were they from?
The shoes! Well I was a little spoilt on that front, Andrew had bought me a silver pair of Jimmy Choos which I loved and I knew I would wear them again after the wedding but after wearing them a little round the house it become apparent that they would soon hurt after an hour or two. So I approached him with “You know I love my wedding shoes that you got me… Well I think they may hurt after a little while” he knew exactly what I was after… I had seen a pair of luminous orange Jimmy Choos which I knew would add a little edge to my wedding dress in the evening so in the end I had two pairs! Very Lucky!
I had two belts one Tara Keely which came with my dress and I changed into a Sparkly Jenny Packham one for the evening. Andrew and I had sneakily purchased each other presents too, on the morning of our wedding I received a gorgeous Cartier Love Bracelet which I wore down the aisle and my fabulous bridesmaids bought me a silver bangle which matched perfectly. My necklace was given to me a couple of weeks before by my lovely Uncle and Aunty. I had originally bought flowers for my hair, and after getting it done professionally although it was lovely I decided to take it out moments before and go for a more natural look with a small plait and a Veil.
Andrew looked handsome in his formal attire, Where did he purchase this?
Andrew went for a smart bespoke blue suit from Ermenegildo Zegna, with an open neck white Vivienne Westwood shirt and blue Ermenegildo Zegna shoes. He wore a pendant off his father and sisters as a reminder of his mum and a Panerai watch from me as a wedding gift. After the ceremony and pictures Andrew and I popped back to the room and Andrew changed into a Ted Baker Tuxedo with a Turnbull & Asser Dickie bow. It was a hit! Everyone loved the idea and are still commenting on it now.
Your bridesmaids looked gorgeous in their TwoBirds dresses! What made you choose them?
My girls looked stunning! Their dresses were from Two Birds in Blush. I chose them because they both have different styles and they could wear them whichever way they chose, in the end they both chose the same way which was great!
Tell us about your bouquet! What flowers did you choose and why?
I loved my bouquet, it was so much better than I had planned, I loved it! I chose white and pale pink roses and my bridesmaids had small bunches of hydrangea, I chose both arrangements based on ideas from Pinterest!
What was your wedding theme? And why did you choose this?
Our wedding theme was white and classic. Our invites, guest book, table names and settings were all done in Acrylic from a fabulous company called ‘Clear Gear’. They were amazing in every way and nothing was too much. They even helped design our luggage tags that we sent to all of our guests.
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?
Where do I start, we had set the wheels in motion earlier on in the year when we had sent our guests small boxes containing items for the wedding, luggage tags, toothbrush holders, travel pillows, ear plugs and lots and a lots of other random items. Andrew and I had put together a small brochure containing everything you needed to know about the island and what would happen on the day. The boxes also contained a small wooden peg doll for each of our guests, we asked each guest to create a miniature version of themselves and all would be revealed on the day, a strict no doll, no entry policy was enforced. This was by far one of the better ideas, all our guests got so involved on the run up to the wedding.
We received photos of their creations in the run up to the day while they still had no idea what they were for. We didn’t have many ideas for a cake and were not keen on a standard three tier with flowers. We had planned on making our own cake toppers and then came the idea of why not ask everyone to join us in creating their own ‘mini-me’ for the cake – ‘Without you, we wouldn’t be here today’ was iced on the cake and that’s where our strange but effective idea came from! Regarding the menu we decided to keep to the standard one offered which worked out perfectly as the food at Rocabella is out of this world! Our package included fireworks which came straight after the first dance, we had kept these a secret which was a great surprise for our guests. With family and friends like ours we knew we wouldn’t be short of entertainment but we did decide on some competitions and presented various trophies throughout the night!
Each table had two songs on the bottom of the individual table number / plans, when the song came on, the whole table had to get up and dance. We would then pick a best and worst dancer from each table. After all songs had played out, the best and worst on every table entered a dance off. It was one of the most entertaining parts of the day and we’re certain everyone loved every minute, we’ve got some amazing videos. We then handed out trophies for the winners and losers…
Instead of favours and clogging up our guests suitcases we decided to hire a catamaran for an afternoon / evening, this was a huge hit and a bigger success that we could ever have hoped for. The catamaran was out of this world, the trip included unlimited drinks, BBQ and our party tunes. The trip lasted 6 hours taking us to the Hot Springs, various secret beaches and sailing around the island for splashing in the sea before heading back to anchor and watch the uninterrupted sunset. Our guests loved it and so did we! It was a day we will never forget.
How did you find the planning experience from booking to the big day?
The planning experience couldn’t have gone better, We trusted ‘The Bridal Consultant’ from the very beginning and when we met with our wedding planner in Santorini for the first time last year we knew we were in safe hands.
What are your best memories from the day?
I have so many, I can’t even start to narrow it down. It wasn’t just the day it was the whole week and the run up. I would go and do it all over again and not change a single thing. I could ramble on for days, weeks, months and years on how perfect the week was but to pin point a few special moments just isn’t possible. Having my mum, Maid of honour Aimee and bridesmaid Eve by my side all morning was an absolute honour! They did everything and more for me on the day and for that reason it will forever be a special memory for me. My mum was out of this world throughout, making me a little wedding bag from her wedding dress containing flip flops and necessities for the day, which I see every morning and will continually bring a tear to my eye. Another one was putting on my shoes to find Andrew had wrote me a message on the sole, it completely blew me away. Andrew had also hidden a message with a charm in my room which set the tears in full flow!
Another special moment was when I asked for my bridesmaids to send my dad into the room… Words can’t describe that moment, but I will remember that for the rest of my life. The most obvious one was seeing Andrew at the bottom of the aisle, although a hazy memory I knew if I focused on him and not my shaking legs I would be fine. He looked gorgeous. To top the day off, the speeches were utterly sensational, my fathers, Andrews, the best men and my fabulous Maid of Honour Aimee who wrote a poem just for me. These are all things that we will never forget!
How much did you spend overall on your big day? Was it on budget or over budget?
Overall we were pleased on how much we spent as it was exactly how we wanted it, it helps that we had gone for a minimal look, minimal flowers, place names and nothing too out there. We had concentrated on what we think are the main aspects, Food- As mentioned there was more than enough and the quality at Rocabella was amazing. Drinks- Alcohol was free for our guests all evening which I think they enjoyed and the day before on the boat as well. Entertainment – the trophies, dance offs and fireworks all worked perfectly.In total I would think the wedding would have come in around £20,000 – £25,000 but this was a case of no expense spared. It’s something we don’t worry about now given how much we enjoyed it all!
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?
When you have all your friends and family in one place, not for a day or 2 day but for a week. I made sure I took every second in, it wasn’t all about the sun, the dress, the flowers or ‘the day’ for us, in the end it was about how lucky we were to have most important people in our lives with us every day for the week. Every day we look back to that week in July and we simply can’t believe how lucky we are to have the such a great family and such a top gang of friends. We would recommend in a heartbeat to get married abroad and it’s as expensive or inexpensive as you make it. Our friends are already talking about a ‘Santo’ reunion! Santorini 2015 here we come!
I just want to say thank you to you and your team in Santorini for making our wedding so special! It was like a dream, everything was perfect and I would not have changed a thing! I can honestly say I had the best week of my life! Our friends and family are already talking about heading back for our 1 year anniversary!!
The staff at Rocabella were absolutely amazing and the food was out of this world. We truly had the perfect day!
We love Nicol and Andrew’s beautiful Santorini wedding. Are you dreaming of a wedding in Santorini? Leave your comments in the box below and don’t forget to share!
Wedding venue – The Rocabella Hotel | Wedding Planner – The Bridal Consultant | Photographer – Vangelis | Brides dress – Bride to Be by Hannah Lois | Brides Shoes – Jimmy Choo | Brides belt – Jenny Packham | Bridesmaids dresses – TwoBirds | Grooms suits – Ermenegildo Zegna | Grooms shirt – Vivienne Westwood |