There is something oh so beautiful about a wedding on the Greek Island of Santorini! On the 20th of September 2014 our Santorini couple Rachel and Fraser said their I do’s at the stunning Rocabella Hotel.
This morning we’re catching up with the bride herself who tells us all about her special day, enjoy x
Why did you choose to get married in Santorini, The Rocabella Hotel in particular?
I spent several family holiday on various Greek islands – so have always had a certain infinity and love for the country. Living in Dubai, Santorini was a perfect “half way” between the UK and the UAE and I have always wanted to get married in the sunshine with great friends, food and wine. We were fortunate enough to stumble across the Rocabella, and having already been to the island many years ago, I knew it would be a beautiful romantic day with the famous Santorini sunset.
How long in advance did you book your wedding?
Approximately a year.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding and how many accepted and attended?
We invited around 90, we had 72 guests accept and 71 attend. Unfortunately one pulled out the week before as he had emergency surgery. We were originally expecting around 40 so were amazed and very grateful that so many close friends and family manage to make the trip – especially those who flew all the way from Australia, Dubai and Chile!
Your dress is beautiful! What make was your dress and how long did it take you to find the perfect one?!
My dress was designed by Amanda Wakeley. I was actually incredibly fortunate as it fitted perfectly when I tried it on and I just knew it was the one! Having said that, I could have happily got married in any one of the wedding dresses from the Amanda Wakeley collection as the dresses are all so beautiful and perfect for beachside weddings.
Can you tell us about your shoes and accessories, where were they from?
My shoes were from Jimmy Choo. I also wore a diamond tennis bracelet that Fraser gave to me as a pre-wedding gift and oval diamond earrings to match my engagement ring. My hair and make-up was done by Helen Savva who was absolutely fantastic!
Fraser looks lovely in his stylish yet casual attire! What made him choose this look?
Fraser chose a traditional black tuxedo with a crisp white shirt. He opted for a more casual open collar approach however.
The best man and ushers were all in grey suits with white shirts. Fraser and his groomsmen all had starfish boutonnieres rather than traditional flowers to match our wedding theme.
Your bridesmaids look gorgeous in their dresses! Where were they purchased and why did you pick this type of dress?
My four bridesmaids wore royal blue and my maid of honour wore yellowy gold. The full length dresses were multi-way “two birds” dresses so all the girls were able to style them as they wished which was lovely and very unique, they were accessorised with gold and silver simple jewellery.
Your bouquet fits in perfectly with your colour scheme and looks stunning against your elegant dress! What flowers did you choose and why?
I had a mixture of sunflowers, delphiniums and freesias to match the colour scheme and my bridesmaids dresses. The bridesmaids had a bouquet of a few long-stemmed sunflowers tied with straw which was very simple yet elegant.
Did you choose to theme your wedding? If so why did you choose this theme?
We opted for a blue and yellow theme with sunflowers and starfish. We knew the Santorini sunsets were spectacular and would complement our colour scheme. We also wanted colourful, bright, fun photos and knew that these would be particularly striking against the white-washed walls and the blue rooftops of Santorini and the back-drop of the Aegean sea.
Tell us about the smaller details of the day! What was your menu choice and did you have any entertainment?
We were fortunate enough to visit the Rocabella in May to finalise all of our details directly and meet our photographer, videographer, hair & make-ups artists, the florist, the local wedding planner and of course, the wonderful Rocabella team. We had a food and wine tasting evening which we loved and opted for a traditional mix of Greek mezze starters and freshly prepared salads with local Santorini tomatoes and of course Greek feta cheese! We had a choice of two main courses – roasted chicken with beetroot coulis and rosemary tenderloin beef which we dishes we had both eaten whilst staying at the Rocabella and highly recommend.
Just before the ceremony, two of our friends sang a couple of songs whilst I was walking from the room to the ceremony terrace. They also sang as I was walking down the aisle to meet Fraser and as we left and were showered with confetti. It was a lovely personal touch. During the cocktail / canapés reception we hired local musicians who played for about an hour.
We booked a local band – Crosnix – who exceeded our expectations in every way. They learnt our first dance (Stevie Wonder – for once in my life) and performed a beautiful ballad version of this – which we loved. They also provided us with their playlist in advance, from which we could select certain songs and they also went the extra mile for us by learning two of our favourite songs – which ensured that everyone was on the dance-floor.
How did you find the planning experience from booking to the big day?
It was all very simple! Having a wedding planner definitely helped. It was a lot easier to envisage our special day having visited our venue beforehand and plan how we wanted things to look. Also, having met all of our suppliers and service providers, we felt a lot more at ease and knew that we were in very safe hands.
Our wedding day itself ran like clockwork – thanks to the wedding planner in Santorini and the staff at the Rocabella who were helpfully still on hand until 3am to ensure that all our guests who needed transport got back safely. From the registrar to the local wedding singers, the food and the fireworks – everything was simply spectacular and exceeded our expectations in every way.
What is your best memory from the day?
All of it!!! I think the photos speak for themselves.
How much did you spend overall on your big day? Was it on budget or over budget?
Definitely over budget…. But it was worth every penny and I would do it all again in a heartbeat! We appreciated that all of our guests had taken time off work and flown to Santorini for our special day so we wanted to ensure that they each had a fantastic day too, filled with memories of sunsets of Santorini. We also hosted a beachside barbeque for all our guests the day before the wedding at Seaside by Notos in Perivolos which was a great ice-breaking event before the big day and a wonderful chance to catch up with guests so we weren’t pressured on the wedding day itself which was great.
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?
We were incredibly fortunate with our venue – as the scenery was simply breath-taking. I don’t think there is a UK venue that even comes close to Santorini (but I am obviously bias!) A wedding abroad does tend to be less formal – all the guests are in holiday mode and very relaxed and there are no dramas with the on-going dilemma of, will it rain now, in an hour or in two hours!! Equally, living abroad, away from our friends and family, it was a great opportunity to catch up with our guests over an extended period of time which meant a lot to us. It was a memorable day for all involved – and Santorini was on the bucket list for a lot of guests – so it was wonderful that they could combine the two.
Do you love Rachel and Fraser’s elegant Santorini wedding as much as we do? leave your comments in the box below and don’t forget to share!