Why did you choose to get married in Rhodes at Kalithea Spa?
We chose Rhodes as the island itself is suited to everyone, us and our guests. People were not just going out there to celebrate our wedding, most were using it as their opportunity to have a summer holiday and for a few, this was their first time abroad. This is where Rhodes was ideal as there is plenty to do if you’re interested in history or have children or want to go out at night or just relax.
When we were shown Kallithea Springs as a potential venue we knew we had hit the jackpot! We knew we didn’t really want a beach wedding but didn’t actively try and find somewhere like Kallithea either. The more we looked at photos, looked online, went on social media the more excited we got about wanting to be there and see it in person. When we arrived in Rhodes (not having been there at all) and told people that this is where we are getting married, locals and other holiday makers were genuinely impressed and said how beautiful the place was. Again, it just confirmed with us that we had made the right choice.
How many people did you invite to your wedding and how many accepted?
Overall, we would say that probably 45 people were asked if they wanted to attend so we could get an idea of numbers before we sent out invites. There were a couple of people that we sent invites too knowing they wouldn’t be able to make it, it was more of a gesture. For example, my elderly godmothers and also one of my good friends who was getting married the weekend before. 32 people came out to celebrate with us altogether, and knowing it had taken a lot of effort and money to get there, we are so grateful for their attendance!
Tell us about your dress?
My dress was part of a Disney collection by Allure and was a version of Cinderella. There were very places I could get dresses from this collection, Ava May Bridal in Sollihul being the one (by far!) closest to me. I only tried on a 4-5 before going back to this one. It was the only dress where my mom and sister stopped flicking through the rails and went ‘WOW’ when I came out of the dressing room. That’s when I knew it was ‘the one’ and for 12 months, I couldn’t wait to wear it for real!
Knowing my dress was already a big statement, I chose just some very simple sparkly sandals from Accesorise, and some very simple silver jewellery pieces from bits I had already. My mom bought some delicate silver drop earrings, a tiara and my veil to really tie everything together.
I have never felt so beautiful!
and the groom?
Sometimes when people think of getting married abroad, they think of beachy and casual. However, we still wanted to maintain an element of formality as it is a big day and we wanted the groom and groomsmen to reflect that. Hiring wasn’t an option due to how much it would cost for the entire duration of our holiday. Ultimately we decided upon linen blend suits that wouldn’t crease in a suitcase and were a good compromise between formality and practicality. And also good for the heat!
I started by really over complicating something that should have been incredibly simple. I thought I wanted to be completely different and go for a really bright colour because we’re in the sunshine and it be lovely! Was I wrong?!
We ended up with some very elegant and classy blush bridesmaids dresses for the adults that suited all of their skin tone without washing them out! I searched through every website imaginable and didn’t want to pay ridiculous amounts of money. I eventually found them on the Debenhams website but were from Boohoo so the price was incredible.
My sister as my matron of honour (by chance) chose a very similar dress in style with the little flowery sleeves in a blush colour but with sparkle detail, which looked amazing in the sunshine!
For our two little bridesmaids, me and mom were just in our local town and came across a fairly new (and very niche) child’s formal wear shop. We spotted them almost instantly and were a slightly brighter pink. They were £25.00 on the label and knew it was worth taking the risk so early on in the planning process. Not only did they compliment the older bridesmaids but also had similar features to my dress with the sparkles. And even better? They were £15.00 each when we get to the till!
How did you choose your wedding colours?
I didn’t particularly want anything too fixed in terms of a colour theme but I did end up continuing the pinks in the flowers from the bridesmaid dresses, however I did ask for a touch of orange/peach. I am so glad I did as it really brought my bouquet to life as well as the flowers that were used as decoration. We knew we didn’t want to over complicate any sort of theme as the venue did the talking for us.
Did you bring any decoration from home? and if yes, was it easy to transport?
The venue was beautiful enough that it did not need loads of decoration. One of the only thing we brought with us for the venue were favours for the guests and these were hand held fans which had our names and wedding date on. We knew we’d done the right thing when as soon as guests sat down they started using them! They were easy to take with us as well as they were flat, another reason for choosing them! The only other things we took were table plan and name cards so people knew where they were sitting. We just put everything for the venue in a zip lock folder and was flat in the case. Easy!
Charlotte – Paul grabbing his guitar and singing a song he had written for me. It was a real ‘ pinch me’ moment.
Paul- it has to be when I first saw Charlotte walk down the aisle in her dress. It was hard to hide how emotional it made me feel!
Another highlight from the end of the evening that we both said was when everyone got up sang Summer Nights from Grease on karaoke. The boys and girls split and we were all passing the microphones to each other. Some of these groups of people had never met before so watching everyone all join in was so lovely!
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?
The guaranteed weather was certainly a key factor. But also the build up and anticipation and then experiencing both sides of the family and friends all being on holiday together. Because we had so much time before the wedding day, we had the time to meet up with parents and friends, meaning we were more relaxed about the whole thing.
You also get more flexibility in a choice of venue compared to the UK. In many parts of the UK, it’s still not possible to get married outdoors but this restriction isn’t a problem when getting married abroad from our experience.