Can you tell us why Le Ciel was your perfect venue?
I (Jade) always wanted to get married in Santorini. I first visited with my parents when I was 13 and fell in love with the magical sunset and island, I remember thinking if I ever do get married, I want it to be here. After Dane proposed in 2018, we started looking for wedding planners and came across the Bridal Consultant and could see they organised weddings in Santorini. Lisa sent across a document containing all venues and we started doing some research. As soon as we looked at photos of Le Ciel we knew it was the one! The beautiful setting, the fine dining style food, the elegant simplicity of the venue and the incredible sunset views were exactly what we wanted. After browsing through many photos of the venue we started imagining our perfect day here. We wanted to visit the venue before the wedding to have a look around, but due to other commitments, the Covid pandemic and having to rearrange our wedding, it just wasn’t possible. The pre wedding meeting (4 days before our wedding) was the first time we had seen the venue in person, and it was even better than we had imagined. So, if you can’t get there to see it before, don’t worry, you won’t be disappointed!
How many guests did you invite and how many joined you?
Our guest list changed so many times as we had to postpone our wedding twice. Originally it was supposed to be in June 2020, but ended up being September 2022, which meant some people could no longer make it due to work and other commitments. We originally invited 50 people and 40 accepted. However, two people dropped out close to the day and my bridesmaid was sadly too unwell on the wedding day to attend. Our final number of guests was 37. It was the perfect number of guests. We had a reception in the UK on our return with 150 guests and although it was nice to see everyone, we were just exhausted by the end of it and the enormity of the event meant the personal touch was lost. We are so happy we kept our actual wedding day small and intimate and could share our special moment with our favourite people.
Tell us about your gorgeous dress?
I bought my dress in November 2018 when I thought we’d be getting married in 2020, which seems like forever ago! The dress was designed by Enzoani and I bought it from the lovely Rosie at Mimi Toko in Duffield (Derbyshire). I had tried on a couple of dresses at a wedding show prior to this and knew the kind of thing I wanted. I tried on 8 dresses in total, but when I tried THE dress on, I knew it was the one! It certainly wasn’t the one I thought I’d fall in love with when I saw it on the hanger (tip – be open to trying on different things!)
My dress had a beautiful double layered lace train which I thought would look perfect in our Santorini setting. The dress was very detailed and had a low back. I also had a veil that was designed by Enzoani. It was very long and was a bit of a nightmare in the wind on the day, but it looked amazing and was worth the battle!
& your shoes and accessories?
My shoes were gold heeled sandals from Jimmy Choo. Dane had bought these for me as a gift. My earrings were from Goldsmiths and were diamond pear drop studs. I had ceramic white flowers for my hair, these were from Etsy. My dad bought me a beautiful diamond infinity bracelet, which he gave to me on the morning of the wedding. I also had a small clutch bag with white pearl detail from Coast for the evening which my Mum bought for me, along with a ‘something blue’ pendant for my bouquet.
My personalised rose gold cufflinks were given to me as a gift from Jade which she bought from Etsy and my black bow tie was from T.W. Lewin. We bought my black shoes a long time ago so can’t remember where we bought them from (think it was an Australian website) but they were Versace
Jade – Dane wanted a navy tuxedo and waistcoat which was quite hard to find. We finally found the perfect one which we bought from Hawes and Curtis. We bought the groomsmen a three piece navy suit from Moss Bros, made by French Connection.
For our original wedding date in 2020, I bought my bridesmaids a multiway nude/pink coloured dress from Revie London. However, after postponing the wedding twice I decided I wanted to change the colour theme. I found some beautiful navy one shoulder dresses from TFNC and decided to buy them instead. The girls were so much happier with the new choice as they were more comfortable and the dresses were lighter – definitely a better option for the heat! They all looked stunning on the day.
We wanted the theme to be elegant and classy. I (Jade) had a vision, so Dane trusted me with the planning! We felt the venue looked beautiful enough without adding too many flowers and wanted the venue to be filled with lots of candles and greenery. We had considered paper flowers and although they look incredible, we decided to go with a more simple look. We decided to have white flowers with greenery and our table decorations were silver/mirrored, including silver plate chargers, mirrored acrylic place names and drinks menus. We also wanted to tie in with the bridal party outfits, so added navy ribbons to our favour boxes.
I had saved lots of pictures on Pinterest of the types of things I liked and sent them over to Lisa who contacted the florist. I looked through pictures of the venue and previous weddings to get some ideas for the ceremony table and pergola. The florist did the most amazing job and everything looked perfect on the day.
We also used Illuminography for our welcome and table plan signs. We had two beautiful mirrors with our own designs printed on them. Eirini at Illuminography was so kind and helpful – we were really happy with how they looked on the day.
Did you bring any decorative items from home?
We took quite a lot of things with us which was a bit of a challenge to pack, but it all arrived in one piece. We took mirrored acrylic drinks menus for each table, silver acrylic place names, individually printed menus, a photo guestbook, mirrored acrylic guestbook signs, Instax camera for guestbook, a cake topper, ceremony cards, reserved ceremony seat tags, and favour boxes (which we made up the evening before our pre wedding meeting… it took hours!). For our favour boxes, we took mini Jo Malone perfumes for the women and mini Acqua di Parma aftershaves for the men. We also added small bags of five Jordan almonds (Koufeta) with tags explaining the tradition in each favour box.
Jade – It’s really difficult to pick just one memory because the whole day was just incredible from start to finish. One of my favourite memories has to be walking down the aisle and seeing Dane waiting for me, I will treasure that moment forever, I just felt so happy. Another favourite memory was our first dance when Dane picked me up and the floor sparklers were lit. In that moment, I felt like we were the only people in the world, it was such a magical feeling and something I will never forget. Finally, getting ready in the morning with my Mum, my bridesmaids and Dane’s Mum. We had the best morning, it was so relaxed and fun, we played music, laughed a lot, cried a lot and drank a fair amount of prosecco! I will always remember those moments with my closest family and friends.
Dane – The whole day was just perfect and hard to pick one moment, but I think my obvious best memory has to be seeing Jade walk down the aisle. I had imagined that moment so many times in my head and she just looked unreal. I will never forget feeling like the luckiest guy in the world.
My other best memory was when we walked in after our photoshoot to the song ‘September’. We did a little dance in and enjoyed ourselves, we just felt so happy and it was really special seeing all our friends and family there waiting for us.
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out to a UK wedding?
We think being abroad you just feel so much more relaxed as you are in the sunshine, away from home and the distractions of work. We had such a nice build up to our wedding the week before and got chance to spend time with friends and family, something that we probably wouldn’t have been able to do in the UK.
An obvious one is the weather which is pretty much guaranteed. We don’t think our day would have been as we imagined if the sun wasn’t shining. Also, we couldn’t have found anywhere in the UK with the same incredible view and sunset!
Finally, we think having a wedding later in the day is one of the biggest advantages to getting married abroad. We didn’t get married until 4.30pm which meant we had all morning to get ready. Not having to rush and being able to relax made the day even more special. It took all the stress out of the getting ready part, which turned out to be such a memorable part of the day and something that I think all girls look forward to.
What advice would you give future brides and grooms who are getting married abroad?
Our biggest bit of advice would be to not get stressed over things you can’t control and just make the most of your special day. Lisa’s planning was seamless and the wedding planners in Santorini were just amazing (especially Kostas). Trust that everyone involved will make sure your day is perfect. I think because we had to postpone our wedding twice, we got to a point where we stopped worrying about the silly things and just started getting excited about the day. The worst thing that could have happened already had (twice!) so letting go of that anxiety really made the build up to our wedding all the more enjoyable.
My bridesmaid was sadly unwell on the day of our wedding and could not come, some people dropped out a couple of days before the wedding and various other uncontrollable things happened, but it didn’t spoil our wedding day at all and we’re so glad we just enjoyed every moment. So, we would say, don’t stress about things that are out of your control.
Another tip is to be a little selfish and plan the day you want, not a day for everyone else. Invite the people who are special to you, have the decorations, the bridal party and songs you want, and don’t stress about other people’s opinions. You spend a lot of money and time planning the day, so our advice would be to make sure you have no regrets and think about yourselves!
Final piece of advice, enjoy every single part of the day from the minute you wake up to the time when you finally get into bed and reflect on the day. It goes by so quickly and truly is the best day of your life.