On the 10th of June Charlene and Warwick jetted off to Zante to tie the knot against a beautiful beach backdrop with all their loved ones. Today our blog is being graced by the lovely bride herself to talk all about the planning, small details (which we love) and the gorgeous day itself…
Why did you choose to get married in Zante, Vardioli Beach in particular?
Me and my husband are the definition of “opposites attract”. I wanted the church, May Day country style wedding and he wanted to go abroad. (Vegas if he had his way). We started by pricing up weddings in the UK and then we looked at prices of a wedding abroad, the difference was huge and in the end he sold it to me.
Once we’d agreed on having our wedding abroad we looked at destinations and narrowed it down to Italy and Greece. We opted for Greece because it was generally cheaper and it was somewhere most of our families could come to. In the end it was between Crete and Zante and again, Zante seemed like the cheaper option. I viewed all the options on The Bridal Consultants website and I found it really hard to choose between The Balcony and Vardioli but the thought of being right on the beach and also in a garden setting really appealed to us and the location was definitely our sort of thing. I wanted a Greek feel to our Greek wedding and you definitely get that at this venue. We are so happy with our choice and we were even more so when we turned up and saw it first hand. I would definitely recommend Vardioli Beach to anyone getting married abroad!
How long in advance did you book your wedding?
We booked our wedding 15 months in advance then waited until the holiday brochures were released in April to book the holiday.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding and how many accepted and attended?
I have a large family and so to save a bit of money (and paper) I went around the family and asked them if they could 100% commit to coming. The family members that said yes got an invitation with all the details on and in total we had 39 guests.
The bride’s dress, what make was your dress and how long did it take to find the perfect one?!
My dress was made by ‘Sincerity’ and I found it in a bridal shop in Somerset whilst visiting my family. It was the first time that me and my mum had planned to go shopping together. I had an idea of the kind of dress I wanted but I tried on 10 completely different styled dresses before I decided that this dress was the one, I knew because I cried.
Can you tell us about your shoes and accessories, where were they from?
I wanted everything to be quite simple so my shoes were from eBay and my jewellery was from a high street store.
The Grooms suit, did the groom purchase or hire a suit? Or did he go down the casual route?
We hired the mens suits from a local shop. We liked the look of waistcoats, long shirts and cravats and we chose them in a cream and sand colour.
What about the bridesmaid dresses? What colour were they and where did you find them?
I tried looking in high street shops for my bridesmaid dresses but I wanted the colour orange and that was quite hard to find. In the end I found a little local bridal shop called Church Belles. The girls tried on a few different dresses and we found one we really liked and we even managed to get them in orange which matched perfectly with the suits.
The bouquet, what flowers did you choose and why?
Again I wasn’t too bothered about the flowers but I opted for roses in cream and orange with matching ribbon wrapped round. I was really pleased with the bouquet when I seen it, it was beautiful. I had flower wands hand made for the little flower girls and artificial bouquets made for the bridesmaids before we went out.
What was your wedding theme? And why did you choose this?
We stuck with a beach theme as our wedding was on the beach, we live near the beach and we met when I was working near the sea front.
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?
Most of the small details were already included in our wedding package and as I was so pleased with all the choices I didn’t really want to change anything. Our cake was a 3 tier cake with a lovely chocolate and vanilla filling and I provided my own little bride and groom ducks to put on the top. During the planning process I decided to trade my hair and make up package in so we could upgrade on the food, we love our food and we wanted a BBQ menu with lots of meat choices, it was delicious! The only details I added to the tables were I-spy cards and disposable cameras for the guests and children’s activity packs to keep them entertained. We had Greek dancers who were absolutely great, serenader’s and a DJ, I also had my brother sing our first dance song and then his wife joined him as a surprise to sing one of mine and my husbands favourite songs by Johnny Cash and June Carter.
How did you find the planning experience from booking to the big day?
The whole planning experience was really stress free right up until the last month, the only worry we had was trying to make sure we could get everything out to our venue. I still cant believe how easy the legal side of things were.
What’s your best memory from the day?
Coming around the screens with my dad and seeing my husband to be and all our guests was amazing, it put a huge smile on my face as everyone looked so lovely. Also me and my husband took a couple of moments out after the ceremony and walked to the top of the hill where the restaurant was and looked down on everyone enjoying themselves, it was truly magical. During the evening me and my dad took a stroll along the beach for a little chat. All in all the whole day was the best memory.
How much did you spend overall on your big day? Was it on budget or over budget?
Luckily as we planned the wedding so far in advance and we didn’t want to stress ourselves out by a budget we were able to spread the cost, overall we just aimed to keep it under the price of a wedding back home.
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?
Everyone is so happy and relaxed when they are on holiday so the overall feel and atmosphere of a wedding abroad stands out much more than a wedding back at home. The sunshine also played a big part in the day because you can’t always guarantee it in the UK and also the value for money, you get so much more for your money doing it abroad and the photo’s are stunning!
We love all the small personal touches Charlene and Warwick added to their special day, especially having a family member sing the first dance song, how romantic!
Will you be getting your family involved during your ceremony or reception? Leave us a comment in the box below and let us know.
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