Why did you choose to get married in Santorini at Dana Villas in particular?
A friend of mine had got married at Dana Villas a few years ago and I loved all of her pictures and it looked so beautiful. Adam and I had spoken about when we did eventually get married where would it be, and we spoke about weddings in the UK and weddings abroad. I mentioned to Adam that I had been to Santorini with my mum and fell in love with the island. Adam was open to getting married abroad but he was worried that not all of our family members would travel. Once we were engaged, I mentioned to Adam that I wanted to get married abroad and he agreed that this was the route for us and we started to look at places. I spoke to my friend whose wedding I had fallen in love with and she recommended The Bridal Consultant which is why I got in contact with Lisa. As soon as I contacted Lisa, I knew that this is who I wanted to help plan my wedding and we paid the deposit to get our dream wedding underway. Dana Villas stood out as it was an intimate location and it had beautiful views; it was the perfect choice for us.
How long in advance did you book your wedding?
We got engaged in September 2017 and within 3 weeks I had paid the deposit for Dana Villas. My mum kindly gifted us the deposit so that we could have our dream wedding.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding and how many accepted and attended?
We invited 30 people and had 22 guests attend, the guests who didn’t attend we knew that they wouldn’t as they have never been out of the UK. We wanted them to feel included and know that we wanted them there, but we were not shocked when they declined our invitation. We always planned to have a home party, so we got to celebrate with them at home a month after our Santorini wedding.
Tell us about your search for the dream dress…
My dress is the Dracme by Pronovias and I found it on my first trip to try dresses on. I had always known that I would have a Pronovias dress for my wedding as I loved their use of lace and how beautiful they looked. I looked on the Pronovias website before going to look at dresses and noticed the Dracme dress and showed it to my mum who too loved it. I looked for stores that sold the dress in my local area and noticed that Brides of Liverpool did, I made an appointment on my birthday to go and try it on.
I tried on several dresses that day but none of them did anything for me until I tried on the Dracme. The funny thing is that the bridal shop gave me tags to put on the dresses I wanted to try on. I split these between me, my mum and sister and we all walked around the shop adding to the dresses. I instantly found the Dracme dress in the ivory colour and my mum found it in blush. We didn’t know we had both picked the same dress, the shop assistant said it was a sign that it was my dress. I knew as soon as I put on the dress that it was mine and that I didn’t want to try anything else on. My mum couldn’t believe that I had picked so quickly, and she thought it would take me weeks to decide.
My mum kindly bought me my dress and all of my other accessories apart from my shoes which my sister bought for me. I love my dress and the delicate lace that is all over it, I felt like a million dollars on my wedding day.
What about your shoes and accessories?
My sister ever so kindly bought me my wedding shoes, and these were beautiful Jimmy Choo’s. I will have these forever and have been lucky to wear them since the wedding.
I had a veil made by Lisa Carrington Couture Veils and this matched my dress perfectly, Lisa was so good at knowing what would work and what would highlight the back of my dress. I had a diamante belt added to make it sparkle even more in the Santorini sunshine. I also had a head piece made by Rocks for Frocks based in Liverpool which had the same style diamonds in as my engagement ring. I also had a beautiful bracelet that I received from my mum for Christmas and this too matched the diamonds in my engagement ring.
What did the groom wear?
Adam hired his suit from Groom based in Warrington as he said he wouldn’t wear his wedding suit again so there was no point in buying it, plus he picked the most expensive suit in the shop to buy! We also got the groomsman’s suits from Groom too and they all matched apart from Adam wore a checked jacket and they wore plain black. The suits and bridesmaid dresses all tied in together and they gave the classic look that I wanted. I always knew that I wanted the men to wear 3-piece suits for the wedding but didn’t factor in the weather, they were all sweating but they have all said since it wasn’t as bad as they expected.
And the bridesmaids?
I went with black bridesmaid dresses as this was the vision that I always had in my mind. I looked at the traditional bridesmaid dresses and thought that they were boring and not the vision I had in mind. I then remembered that I had seen Kirsty Doyle and that she did a tea length dress that I loved and made an appointment right away to discuss with Kirsty my vision. Kirsty totally got what I wanted, and she made me 5 custom made bridesmaid dresses and they were perfect. All the girls loved them, and they said that they felt lovely on the day and they love that they can wear them again after the big day. I want one for myself! I bought the girls all their accessories apart from their shoes as I wanted them to feel comfortable in them all day. All the girls looked so fabulous and the black dresses were the perfect choice!
What flowers did you choose and why?
I went with Paper flowers Cyprus after seeing some of her past weddings and falling in love with the pictures. I was lucky enough to meet up with Eleni in 2018 and we were able to discuss what flowers we wanted at our wedding and the look that we had in mind. Eleni understood my vision straight away and we kept in constant contact throughout the wedding planning and I kept changing my mind and the flowers that I wanted but Eleni was calm and approachable throughout the planning. In the end I just told Eleni the colours and style I wanted, and I let her decide on what flowers she put into the decorations. Eleni did everything I wanted and more and she gave me my dream bouquet and the bridesmaid bouquets matched mine so perfectly.
I wanted artificial flowers so that I could bring them home and keep them forever, I now have my bouquet in my house and love to look at it every day. Flowers to me were a big thing and I didn’t want to scrimp on these. I am so glad that I went with Eleni and Paper Flowers as my flowers were so beautiful, we had so many comments on the day that our flowers did not look artificial. Eleni also did my beautiful on the day decoration and she sourced chair sashes and table decorations and they were just perfection. Dana Villas is beautiful without the flowers, but I feel that they added the extra something and our pictures look out of this world.
Did you theme your wedding?
We didn’t really have a theme, we just went with classic colours of pink, white and silver for the flowers and accessories including stationery and chair sashes. I bought all my wedding stationery at The Paper Doll in Liverpool and took it all out to Santorini. The on the day wedding coordinator placed all of these out for me and everything was so beautiful, just as I have imagined. I had an image in my head of how I wanted it all to look and it looked even better than my dreams. With the stationery, flowers and venue everything just looked like a dream and I was blown away on the day and again when I saw the wedding pictures/video.
We’d love to hear more about the smaller details of the day….
We did not have a wedding cake due to having a 4-course meal, we didn’t think that anybody would want to eat cake. We decided to pay for a full open bar for our wedding guests as we thought it would be a nice touch as they had all travelled so far to be with us. Within our package there was 4 hours of alcohol included but we extended this to 6 hours so that whilst we were off having pictures, we knew our guests would be happy having drinks and taking in the views.
Originally, I had wanted to pick and mix with the menus and make a custom menu but because of Brexit I was unable to do this so we decided on the menu which had the Chicken main as we knew that everybody would like this. The food was amazing and even the fussy eaters in the party said it was very tasty.
One of the most important things I wanted for our wedding was to honour my dad. My dad died when I was 15 so I always knew that I wanted to involve him throughout the day. I did this by having charity pins from the British heart foundation and these were pinned on cards made by The Paper Doll and these included a picture of my dad. I also honoured my dad by having an LFC pin inside my dress as he loved Liverpool FC and I knew he would love this, plus he would have loved that Adam supports Man United and he had said no LFC to be included in the wedding. So, I had to get that in there just for my Dad.
We didn’t have any entertainment as we wanted to spend our budget elsewhere, so I made Spotify playlists for the ceremony, cocktail hour, meal and party, we found that this worked out perfectly and we didn’t need any entertainment. We did have floor sparklers for our first dance, and these were a surprise to a lot of our guests, and they look fabulous in our pictures and video.
How did you find the planning experience from booking to the big day?
I found it all straightforward and easy to do, I think that is because I like having things to plan and love looking at things on the internet. I did find it stressful at the beginning as I wanted to get it all booked and sorted asap and in Greece, they are very relaxed.
Once we got into the planning and it was our time to sort things, I found it easy to pick the suppliers as I had already decided on who I wanted and what I wanted to pay. Lisa explains everything in detail and explains the processes, so it was easy to understand and plan. I think that without the help of Lisa and the team, I would have been much more stressed. Lisa and the team took charge of organising the meetings for us on the island and we only spent one day before the wedding going to the venue and meeting all the suppliers. This was a very special day and we instantly fell in love with venue as we had never been to Dana Villas before.
We knew that it was going to be the best day ever when it came to our big day. The planners who we met on the island had everything under control and they talked us through everything and made sure that we knew what was going to happen and we both felt calm and excited. Our wedding planner was a god send on the wedding day as she helped to make sure it all ran smoothly and was just the nicest person, she also collected us after our wedding and took us to the Town Hall to collect our marriage certificate, this was needed as we would have struggled with the language barrier and knowing what we needed to do.
What’s your best memory from the day?
I can’t pick one memory, so I have listed a couple below:
I had so many special memories and these started from the moment I woke up on my wedding day, my mum had booked a suite for me at our hotel El Greco in Thira and we spent the morning getting ready and relaxing. All my bridesmaids came, and we got ready together before our photographers came – Ben and Vesna Wyatt. I loved that Ben and Vesna both took pictures and I loved their style of work. The pictures are now one of my most treasured memories and I find myself looking at them nearly every day. I loved spending time with my mum and sister once the girls had gone to the venue and we were waiting for the wedding car to come for us. I found that this was such a special time and I will always treasure these memories.
Of course, the walk down the aisle was nerve wrecking but I knew that I would get to Adam and we would be getting married. Ben and Vesna captured this perfectly and our emotions were clear to see, we were so happy to be back together and getting married. Once we had tied the knot, I loved that we left our guests and went on a location photo shoot with Ben and Vesna, we knew we wanted a picture with a blue dome. Ben and Vesna had told us that we would have to walk to get these, but we didn’t care, off we trekked to get the pictures but oh my, they are out of this world! They are now all over our home and my Instagram.
We also had a dance with our mums as we are both so close to them and we wanted to show them how much they meant to us and how much they had helped us with the wedding.
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?
The weather is the major factor as you are guaranteed the sunshine, and, on the 24th August 2019, we had glorious weather all day. I think that another thing which makes it stand out is that we had a wedding week and not just one day and we had the best time with all our friends and family. We did so much and had the best holiday, if we had got married in the UK it would have only lasted a day. I feel that you spend so much time planning everything, why only have 1 day when you can have a full week.
What advice would you give to future brides and grooms who are getting married abroad?
Don’t stress about the small things, everything will be perfect on the day and this is all down to Lisa and the team. If there is something that you want in your wedding, you will find a way to get it. Don’t get so hung up on making others happy, it’s your wedding and you decide what happens.
We hope you enjoyed reading about about Rebecca and Adam’s Silver and Blush Pink Dana Villas wedding in Santorini, here are some of the suppliers involved in the day.
Venue Dana Villas | Photographer Ben Wyatt | Brides Dress Dracme by Pronovias | Brides Dress Shop Brides of Liverpool | Brides Shoes Jimmy Choo | Brides Veil Lisa Carrington Couture | Brides Head Piece Rocks for Frocks | Grooms Suit Groom | Bridesmaids Dresses Kirsty Doyle | Flowers Paper Flowers | Stationery The Paper Doll
Budget Key | £ – 10k and under | ££ – between 10k and 20k | £££ – over 20k.