We are sharing with you this morning an intimate wedding at the Mamma Mia taverna on the Greek Island of Zante!
On the 16th of August Sarah and Richard jetted off to Zante along with their friends and family to exchange their vows next to the stunning blue sea. Today Sarah tells us all about her big day. We also have a gorgeous selection of sneak peek photos for you to!
Why did you choose to get married in Zante, the Mamma Mia Taverna in particular?
Ritchie and I have always lived and worked for our holidays and we love the beach! We knew we wanted to get married abroad as we love the sun and wanted some form of clear blue sea and white sand, but marrying somewhere further afield would mean less guests… I had never been to Zante but Ritchie had a few years ago on a lads holiday and said it was stunning! We didn’t want a traditional English wedding – we wanted our wedding to signify us and our relationship – the Mamma Mia Taverna had the most spectacular views over the sea and we loved the idea of having the ceremony and reception in the same place – it just seemed so romantic, relaxed and pretty!
And it was! It exceeded our expectations it was just beautiful!
How long in advance did you book your wedding?
8 months! I know – not long at all! Ritchie and I had always agreed that we would 1.buy a house 2. Get married 3. Have children. In December 2013 we had some good news which meant buying a house was more than probable and I knew if we did we would want to decorate / buy things for it etc…so it got me thinking – where would a wedding fit into all of this?! So after a long chat with Ritchie we made the decision to get married first – so that was it! I got researching and by January 2014 we booked the wedding!!
How many guests did you invite to your wedding and how many accepted and attended?
We had originally invited around 40 guests but we knew with the short notice and commitments friends and family have we would expect a few less…so we sent out an email to everyone explaining our plans and didn’t forget to mention it was high season and the middle of the school holidays! (we had one date to work with due to Ritchie’s sister working in Thailand and my brother being in America!) we had 32 guests confirm and 32 attend!
We love your princess style dress! Can you tell us what make it was and how long it took you to find the perfect dress?!
My dress was a Maggie Sotero called Aleah. I started with online searching to see what kind of dresses I might like and within a few days came across this dress on an American website, I loved it instantly but felt disappointed as I thought it was an American dress so put it to the back of my mind.
I had arranged to go wedding dress shopping for the very first time with my mum and 2 sisters. I have two sisters Vicci and Sammi but only Vicci was home for the weekend so I went into the city with her and mum (with no intention of wedding dress shopping as Sammi wasn’t there) for a coffee. As we walked past a wedding dress shop I saw the bottom of a dress through the window and I honestly cannot explain it but something made me ‘need’ to see it, so I quickly nipped in to have a look!
I didn’t have an appointment but the girls were lovely and agreed to let me see it and it was the one! The dress I had seen on the internet – obviously not from America at all!
I fell in love with the dress and bought it there and then all within the space of 20 minutes. I never tried a single other dress! Luckily, the girls in the shop arranged a proper dress fitting with champagne etc for my sister who missed it initially!
Can you tell us about your shoes and accessories, where were they from?
I wore a head piece that matched the detail on the middle of my dress from pure Bridal shop in Norwich. I wore a Swarovski vintage style bracelet and Swarovski crystal drop earrings too match. I decided not to wear a necklace as I didn’t want to draw attention away from the dress too much! My veil was lined with Swarovski crystals too.
I didn’t want to be taller than Ritchie on the wedding day so I wore white satin kitten heals from BHS and found some lovely sparkly shoe clips in a wedding shop so put those on the front. I also had the little ‘I do’ stickers underneath them – good photo opportunity!
Richard looked handsome in his smart but casual attire! Where did he purchase this?
Ritchie took his grooms men out for the day and they brought some lovely light grey trousers, waist coats and some nice white shirts to wear. No ties or bow ties – it’s just not him! Leyton our nephew is 4 and wore the exact same outfit…even the same mini black pointed shoes and beaded necklace to match Ritchie!
The bridesmaids looked stunning in their pastel pink dresses! Where were these from?
I knew I wanted a pastel pink colour and a little Grecian style to match the taverna/style of the wedding but with a bit of sparkle. I didn’t want to use a bridal shop and I found the perfect style in a high street retailer, they each wore sparkly flat sandals and a Grecian style head band around their crowns – they each had a single large white rose with a long stem, they looked beautiful. We had our niece as our flower girl, she looked like a mini version of me but with a band of roses in her hair
Can you tell us about your bouquet? Why did you choose roses in particular?
I upgraded in the package to a rose only bouquet and wanted slightly open style roses – dusty creams/whites with a hint of coral/pinks…Lisa was brilliant! I sent some pictures from Pinterest and she arranged with the supplier for me to have a slightly bigger bouquet and it was only an extra 40 euros! It was exactly what I wanted!
What was your wedding theme? And why did you choose this?
We wanted a relaxed romantic feel to the wedding. We went for a rustic/vintage decoration in creams and whites with a splash of coral/orange/pinks. I was feeling apprehensive beforehand as I had no idea how it was going to turn out and it was gorgeous! We had the vintage bike and the vintage signs…I also brought some hanging candle hearts and small porcelain vintage hearts hanging from twine/little bucket candle holders which added to the other decor beautifully! Mixed in with Grecian bridesmaids it was the perfect touch!
Can you tell us about the smaller details of the day? What was your wedding cake like? Your menu choice? Your favours and table decorations and did you have any entertainment? Were you happy with with your choices?
Our wedding cake was lovely, it was a very simple three tier white cake with some sweet little ‘Greek’ designs – the top tier was vanilla and cream – the second tier was chocolate and cream and the third was a mix of both – we had it as a dessert.
Our meals were fabulous! We had a traditional Greek menu and did not have one complaint from our guests as they all enjoyed their meals! We had things like garlic bread cheese, Greek salad, village sausage with bacon and feta cheese, olives, stuffed peppers and courgettes for starters… and lamb, chicken, steak with vegetables, chips, new potatoes etc for mains, it was lovely! The service was so friendly and well organised and the planners were amazing! I didn’t worry at any point throughout the day and enjoyed every moment. We made 32 little jar favours with pink and white bon bons inside – each with a rustic ‘Ritchie and Sarah’s wedding 16.8.14’ sticker on and little material lids tied with twine .. They matched the table decor perfectly and added that personal touch – we had all the vintage decoration – bird cages, hearts, candles, fairy lights, sprinkles and so much more! It was just perfect! While we ate we had a traditional Greek band playing and after dinner some Greek dancers which really added to the mood, we were dancing all over the place shouting ‘whopah’ and ‘yamas’ which was very fun!! Also learning some Greek moves along the way! – we had a DJ for the rest of the evening who was lovely – we did have a CD ready just incase but he was fab!! We also had a firework display as a surprise for our guests – we each leant over the taverna overlooking the sea and I can’t even begin to describe what an amazing display it was! Our guests were so happy and the whole thing was ‘movie style romantic’ it was simply perfect.
How did you find the planning experience from booking to the big day?
All I can say is how easy it all was! Lisa has been amazing and she emailed me probably 2-3 times a day if not more – answering my endless questions/worries – everything! The legal side was made very easy too – step by step instructions and constant email help again! – I would recommend it to anyone! It allowed me to focus all my efforts on dresses, favours, invitations, suits, rings etc all the fun stuff! Knowing that every other detail was being taken care of was lovely – when we met the planner at our pre wedding meeting in Zante the last thing she said to me was don’t worry about a single thing. It was so reassuring – I think I was the most relaxed bride ever after that! I was in the swimming pool half an hour before getting ready!
What’s your best memory from the day?
It sounds cheesy, but getting married – being pronounced man and wife and seeing all our friends and family getting on so easily and enjoying themselves!
Our families also surprised us at the wedding and had booked us into the grande suite at the Le Sante Hotel – so we spent the night like royalty and lay on the balcony watching the stars – a pretty perfect ending!
How much did you spend overall on your big day? Was it on budget or over budget?
The wedding package including all the extras we ordered cost us around £5-6000 … overall (not including the dress/suits etc) we spent around 10,000 which included a 10 day stay in a 5* hotel.
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?
The entire atmosphere – the sun/the culture! Everyone was so relaxed and one of the best things for us was the length of the wedding – everyone is different but personally we get fed up at an all day wedding – ours started at 5pm and finished at 12am which for us is what we wanted – small and intimate – without any opportunities to get bored! From start to finish it flowed like a dream – from our vows to our speeches to dancing and so much more – we had a photo shoot on the beach and we were whisked off in a horse and cart as man and wife and our guests didn’t even realise until after the wedding! That was a beautiful moment – all the locals come out and clap and congratulate you and it was a chance for us to be alone for 10 minutes – I felt like a princess! Also – the week beforehand – gives a perfect opportunity for friends and family to meet properly and bond – something that doesn’t tend to happen at home.
Thank you so so much for every single email you replied to with my endless questions about everything!! You and your team have given us the wedding day of our dreams – everything was so effortless and dreamy! We wouldn’t have changed a thing it was simply perfect for us! .. I’ve never seen so many people cry!
We would highly recommend you to anyone we know – thank you so much again
Do you love Sarah and Richard’s romantic wedding in Zante as much as we do? Leave your comments in the box below and don’t forget to share!