Today’s lovely couple first met on the Greek Island of Zakynthos when they were younger so where better to get married?!
I’m catching up with bride Rachel to find out all about the planning, the outfits and the lovely wedding day itself, enjoy…
Why did you choose to get married in Zante, Cameo Island and The Balcony in particular?
Gavin and I met in Zante when we were younger. Gavin was on a lad’s holiday and I was on a girl’s holiday. We ended up being in the hotel room next to one another and fell in love! We thought it would be wonderfully romantic to get married where we met. We started looking into venues and found Cameo Island. It was stunning and so we decided on it there and then. After advice from a travel agent on the best resort to stay in we decided on Tsillivi and looked into venues for the evening reception closer to the resort. When we saw the balcony and its stunning views we were immediately sold.
How long in advance did you book your wedding?
We booked our wedding exactly one year before the day on 29th August 2013. We arranged to speak with Lisa from The Bridal Consultant to enquire about getting married abroad and she had just had a cancellation that day. We decided it was fait and booked the spot straight away!
How many guests did you invite to your wedding and how many accepted and attended?
We only invited our family and closest friends. We invited around 40 people and 28 attended. There were 24 adults and 4 children. We initially didn’t think hat many people would come with it being abroad but were flattered by the amount of people who said they would love to attend.
What make was your beautiful dress and how long did it take to find the perfect one?!
My dress was by Maggie Sottero and the style is known as ‘Courtney.’ Strangely it was the first dress I ever tried on however I went onto other places and tried on about 10 different ones before I went back to the first one and bought it! I purchased my dress from Deborah Moore Bridal in Hessle near Hull. I explained I was getting married abroad and they helped me to pick out suitable styles. I picked a dress style that I would not be too hot in but still looked like a wedding dress. The bridal shop even helped me to pack my dress in a hand luggage sized suitcase so I could keep it with me at all times.
Can you tell us about your shoes and accessories, where were they from?
My shoes were gold and sparkly from Kurt Geiger. They were beautiful with just a little heal. Gavin is 6 foot five so I knew I could not wear flat shoes but due to the hot weather I did not want to wear stilettos. They were just right. I had a handbag that matched which was from Dune. It was just the right size to fit in bits of make up so I could top up throughout the day. I wore a pearl bracelet and a diamante tiara from glitzy secrets. I also had a necklace and earing set which were from H Samuel and were a steal in the Christmas sale! My hair is not long enough for the style I wanted and so I bought a hair piece from hair extensions UK. Everybody commented that it looked like my real hair. Finally I wore a personalised leg garter which I got from a seller on ebay. It had ‘Mrs Evans’ on the ribbon.
We love Gavin’s suit, did he purchase or hire this? Why did you choose this look?
Gavin and his grooms men wore the same suit which we purchased from Next. We decided on a smart causal look so that they wouldn’t get too hot on the day and so they wore light grey trousers and matching waistcoat, a white shirt and a dark grey tie. They then had beach shoes from Vans. They also bought some fake Ray Bans for a photo opportunity on the day of the wedding.
Your bridesmaids looked beautiful in their grey gowns, where did you find these?
The bridesmaid dresses were in dark grey to match the groomsmen. I bought them from a seller on ebay. They were a steal and came in at 35 pounds each. I had some of them altered but they were still a really affordable option and looked amazing. Lots of people have commented and asked me where they were from. It just shows you do not always need to spend a lot of money in order for your bridesmaids to look and feel beautiful.
Your bouquet… why did you choose roses and were you happy with your choice?
I was advised that due to the heat some flowers wither very quickly especially if they have to be dyed. I therefore chose all roses in baby pink and white. The whole wedding was made up of very neutral colours. I fell in love with a picture of a bouquet in a bridal magazine and the wedding planners in Zante helped me to match it. I loved it!!!
Did you theme your wedding?
We did not really have a theme as such but we wanted to try and stick to a traditional look but incorporate Greek elements into it. My dress looked quite Grecian in style and we stuck with nice neutral colours to complement our surroundings.
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?
Our wedding cake was a traditional Zykinthian cake. It was delicious. We took our own personalised wedding topper which the Greek waiters and photographer thought was fantastic! Our menu choice was delicious… We had a selection of starters to begin with which had Greek salad, onion rings, tzastiki and houmous with pitta breads. This was followed by a Caesar salad which was amazing! We then had a Greek burger with chips and then for anybody that had any room for pudding they served our cake!
Our favours were wooden hearts which we wrote love quotes on and the day and date of our wedding. It has also been said that we resemble a couple from the Disney film Up! And so this was incorporated into our cake topper and our favours. We gave grape soda pin badges with ‘you and me, we’re in a club now’ which is a quote from the film. The Balcony also put little pouches with sugared almonds on the tables.
We decided to have Greek Dancers. They were absolutely fantastic and got everybody up and dancing. We then had a Dj until about 1am.
How did you find the planning experience from booking to the big day?
The planning could not have been easier. It was flawless from start to finish. Nothing was difficult or stressful. All my friends commented that I was the calmest bride they had ever met! Lisa and her team in England and the wedding planners in Greece are very professional. Any questions we had were dealt with in a timely manner and the legal paperwork which has potential to be baffling was made very easy.
What’s your best memory from the day?
There are so many beautiful memories, however Gavin and I both loved the horse and cart ride through Tsillivi. It was very romantic and everybody was shouting ‘Yammas’ at us! It also gave us chance to be together just us and absorb what had happened and enjoy a moment together on our own.
How much did you spend overall on your big day? Was it on budget or over budget?
Including suits, wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses and all other aspects of the day as well as the actual wedding we spent £8000. This was actually under our original budget. The cost of things was very reasonable. It allowed us to have a luxury wedding without spending a fortune.
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?
As well as the guaranteed weather, I think enjoying a holiday together with your family and friends and everyone being away from home gives a different vibe. The wedding day itself was fantastic as everybody had already got to know each other before the big day so it took a lot of stress and social awkwardness out of the situation as everybody mixed together. It was very relaxed and everybody commented that the wedding day was just a fantastic, relaxed day full of love. The scenery and surroundings are so beautiful that you do not need to worry about table plans and other decorations. You can just enjoy it for what it is. Also the wedding pictures are stunning and nobody we know will have similar pictures.
Steal Her Look
We absolutely love how Rachel and Gavin incorporated details and quotes from the film ‘Up’ to add a personal touch to their wedding.. How would you add a personal touch to your wedding? Let us know in the comment box below…
Ceremony venue – Cameo Island | Reception venue – The Balcony | Wedding Planner – The Bridal Consultant | Brides dress – Maggie Sottero | Brides Shoes – Kurt Geiger | Brides Tiara – Glitzy Secrets | Grooms suit – Next | Bridesmaid dresses – eBay |