Can you tell us why Dana Villas was your perfect venue?
On our first ever visit to Santorini, before we were even engaged, we both fell in love with the island and thought it was the most romantic, unique holiday destination we had ever been to. The view of the caldera in the sparkling deep blue sea and the stunning white buildings built into the cliffs of the island were like nothing we had ever seen! Santorini also has the most beautiful sunsets, and the views are equally as gorgeous at night-time. The food and wine is also amazing!
In our opinion, Dana Villas offers one of the most perfect views Santorini has to offer and we just fell in love with the venue the moment we came across it, thanks to Lisa and The Bridal Consultants! It is the perfect space for an intimate wedding, and the staff are incredibly kind and amazing at their jobs. The accommodation at Dana Villas is also out of this world… the most special and unique place we have ever stayed for sure – we had our own infinity pool AND a cave pool! Not to mention, the food at Dana Villa’s restaurant is INCREDIBLE. The staff go above and beyond to make every moment you spend there feel exclusive and special. We had the time of our lives!
How many guests did you invite and how many joined you?
We had a very small and intimate wedding with only immediate family invited, so luckily for us all 10 of our guests attended and it would not have been the same without them.
Tell us about your gorgeous dress?
My dress was from Pronovias Group, White One. I found my dress at the second bridal boutique that I visited, not too far away from where I grew up, so second time lucky! Although it was a different style and designer to what I had initially set out looking for, when I tried it on, it just felt like “the one” and I knew it was the dress for me! It was a really special time.
& your shoes and accessories?
I bought my shoes from a website called Rainbow Club, which I would recommend to every bride to be. They were SO comfortable that I wore them all day and night without even noticing I was wearing heels! They have a variety of styles from fairly simple and elegant (which was the style I was after) to slightly more glamorous with a bit of sparkle. All shoes also come with a little blue gem on the sole of the shoe as your “something blue” which I think is such a lovely touch.
Michael purchased his suit from a Moss & Bros shop in London. The staff were so knowledgeable and helped him to find the colour suit he was after and tailored it to fit him perfectly. The price was incredibly reasonable and he looked so handsome on the day. Although it was obviously rather warm on the wedding day for a few hours, as soon as the sun started to go down he was absolutely fine in his suit.
We wanted to let the beauty of Santorini speak for itself, so we decided to go for very subtle pale pink and white flowers and thought this looked beautiful against the dramatic deep blue sea backdrop.
There were a few decorative items that we knew we would want to have at our wedding. One of them was a “welcome to the wedding” large sign which we had designed on Etsy, and we managed to transport this over in our suitcase safely wrapped in bubble wrap and a beach towel! We also had several photo frames with loved ones that sadly couldn’t be there on the day and a memorial sign, and our own wedding favours and stationary etc. We packed those all in a small cabin sized suitcase which we were able to pass to our wedding planner in advance of the wedding which was handy.
It’s so hard to narrow it down to one best memory because the whole day was more magical than we could ever have imagined or hoped for, it was honestly like a dream! A really special moment was just after the ceremony, when we were looking out at the stunning view holding each other in our own little bubble thinking that was exactly how and where we wanted this incredibly special day of our lives to happen! By pure chance, we also had fireworks in the evening due to an annual celebration of the volcano and that was amazing! We felt so lucky, like it was meant to be!
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out to a UK wedding?
We love to travel, so for us we always envisaged a wedding abroad with a beautiful backdrop of the sea, making Santorini in particular a magical and perfect place. The almost guaranteed weather is also a good reason to get married abroad, and in our opinion it just felt so relaxed and special.
What advice would you give future brides and grooms who are getting married abroad?
We would advise having the ceremony later in the day if you are getting married somewhere like Santorini. The sun can be unforgiving, especially if the Groom and male guests are in suits and long sleeve shirts!
I would also like to reassure future brides not to stress about taking their wedding dress abroad, as I worried about this but had no need to! My lovely dress lady helped me pack it in a dress box a few days before we were due to fly out (they will recommend one safe and suitable for your dress along with LOTS of acid free tissue paper!) along with all of the other items I needed on the day i.e my veil, jewellery and shoes. I kept the box on me at all times at the airport as hand luggage. On the morning of our wedding, the amazing staff at Dana Villas steamed my dress for me and it was flawless.
We would also recommend going to see the venue and meet your wedding planners/the venue staff in advance of the wedding if you can. . . an excuse for an extra holiday! This way you can have any hair and make up trials if you want to, and it is so nice to see the venue space so you can properly envisage your big day and know which decorative items you might like and ask as many questions as you need to etc.
We would also of course 100% recommend choosing an amazing wedding planner like Lisa and the Bridal Consultants to guide you through the process because there is quite a lot to consider getting married abroad, i.e. the legal paperwork etc and it put our minds at ease knowing that was all taken care of. They are constantly on the ball, extremely knowledgeable and professional with so many contacts (i.e. photographers, make up and hair artists, musicians), and will be able to help you create your dream wedding and ensure that your big day runs smoothly from start to finish! We cannot thank you enough Lisa and Team, and Dana Villas, for the most magical wedding we could have ever asked for.
And finally, stay true to yourselves! Remember the day is about the two of you, and you will never be able to please everyone so do things the way you want to from start to finish.