Why did you choose to have a Chania Beach Wedding?
We’d looked at a few places originally. Our initial thought was Mexico, but costs were just too much on top of the wedding. Our next thought was Spain, but soon realised we couldn’t be legally married in Spain so our attention soon turned to Greece. We’d been to Crete on a dummer holiday in 2017 and fell in love with the place. The lifestyle, food, landscape was all just so beautiful, how could you not love it?!
How long in advance did you book your wedding?
We booked at the end of January 2018 and got married at the end of May 2019.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding and how many accepted and attended?
We were lucky that nearly everybody we invited was able to attend. There were 21 adults in total, and 4 children. A few friends and family couldn’t attend for personal reasons, but that just gaves us an excuse to have another party back home!
Tell us about your dress, who’s it by and how long did it take to find the perfect one?!
The dress was by Bianco Evento from Copplestones in Liverpool. I picked it in the second shop I went to, it was probably the 7th or 8th dress I tried. I just remember shouting to my girls outside the changing room “Well this is a curveball!”. It was nothing like the dresses I’d had in mind which were much more fancy with lace, jewels, tulle and mesh. I loved the simplicity of it and knew I’d just feel so classic (and most importantly, comfortable) all day and night!
And your accessories?
As soon as we decided on a beach wedding, I was adamant that I wouldn’t wear shoes during the ceremony! I really wanted to feel the sand and sea on my feet. For the party, I wore a pair of sparkly thong flip flops which my mum picked up at the local supermarket! I was all about the relaxed vibe! As for accessories, I kept that pretty simple too, in my hair I wore an orange and pearl hair peace made by La Crown. For jewellery, I wore a necklace which was a gift from my Dad which was inscribed with “Always daddy’s little girl” and a pair of Tiffany ‘Infinity’ earrings which Stu had chosen for me and had given to my bridesmaids to give to me as I was getting ready.
Tell us about Stuart’s look, we loved his casual beach vibe!
As with my ‘barefoot’ decision, Stu had always said he wanted to wear shorts for our beach wedding. He found the short suit on ASOS, a casual indigo linen, he loved it instantly. He opted for a jacket and a contrast waistcoat (A last minute decision, 2 days before we flew!). This meant that his groomsmen could be equally as casual, with matching shorts and a fitted white linen shirt.
What about the bridesmaid dresses?
The bridesmaid dresses were from ASOS and were exactly what all 4 of us had wanted! Unfortunately, when we found them, they only had size 16s left, which were way too big on my bridesmaid dots! We had them taken in by a seamstress and the overall look was perfect, just what I expected!
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Tell us about your bouquet.
I’d never really had a particular flower in my head, but I was certain I needed some sort of orange flower in there. After sending some photos back and forward with Lisa, I opted for cream & orange roses, with added foliage and open stem ties to keep it natural and rustic looking.
Did you have a wedding theme?
We didn’t really every set a ‘theme’ as such, but we did know that the wedding should be relaxed, enjoyable and ultimately our style. There was lots of wooden items to keep things rustic, there was no over the top decoration or fuss, we kept it quite simple which reflected the venue just perfectly. Everybody commented on how ‘Us’ the wedding felt.
Tell us about the smaller details you chose or your Chania Beach Wedding
To keep the relaxed vibe, we followed the ceremony with beers & sparking wine on the beach, accompanied by a saxophonist. This was a surprise for our guests and was such a lovely hour spent chatting, laughing and taking photos on the beach with our guests. We had Ouzo shots for our favours and our place names were held in wine and prosecco corks.
The menu was absolutely unbelievable, there was so much food and it was all so tasty! Lots of traditional Greek & Cretan dishes, we tried to chose things that perhaps people wouldn’t necessarily have tried before. We were all absolutely stuffed by the 3rd course so the 4th course of BBQ selection was boxed up for us, and was a great addition to the party we had the next day!
How did you find the planning experience from booking to the big day?
Exciting! It actually felt a lot more relaxed than I expected, Lisa covered all of the main points and the only things we really had to worry about were the personal touches we wanted to add to the day. Packing the suitcases, however, was a strange sensation! When else would you have to pack a bikini next to 6 buttonholes!
What’s your best memory from the day?
That’s so hard to pick! The whole day was perfect from start to finish. From getting ready with my best friends, sister in law and our mums on the day, to my Dad coming to collect me from our hotel to travel to the venue together (the hotel had arranged for us to be taken in a golf buggy, decorated with fresh flowers and white voiles- everybody was waving and cheering at us, it was amazing and so lovely to share it with just my Dad), to drinks on the beach, the food, our first dance…
But, If I had to pick just one, it’d be walking to the top of the beautiful aisle linking my Pops and hearing our chosen song “Hold my Girl” by George Ezra start to play. At that point Stu turned to look at me, gave me the most amazing smile (through some tears!) and I just knew I was the happiest girl alive!
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?
For us, it was definitely about the intimacy. We were really careful to invite only the people who meant the most to us and that honestly made the day. It meant we got to spend more quality time with people, as opposed to being pulled in every which direction, we could enjoy our day, soak up the atmosphere and make perfect memories.
What advice would you give to future brides and grooms who are getting married abroad?
Very early on in our planning, we experienced a few issues so my mum and dad sat Stuart and I down and explained that this was our day and we had to do what was best for us. I stuck to their advice for the rest of the planning- it’s hard because you want to please everybody, but ultimately it should be about you two and how you want things to be.