Gemma and Mason
We’re so grateful when couples choose to share their story, these insights are so important for future couples just starting out on their journey and rather selfishly we love to hear our couples stories too! We appreciate not everyone has the time to do this(our couples are busy), but Gemma laterally ‘knocked our socks off’ with her story!
There is so much wonderful information here, a deep understanding of the planning process and just how joyful the day was. This being one of our first weddings at this villa we’re so extremely grateful and beyond excited to share this. So grab a ‘cuppa’ (or glass of wine depending what time zone you’re in) and grab your notebook!
Why did you choose to get married in Zante?
When we were first decided to get married abroad, we really didn’t know where to start looking. After several days of searching online I kept coming across The Bridal Consultant website, and after looking through their website with a fine-tooth comb, we knew we were going to use Lisa and her team to help arrange our wedding.
Originally, we weren’t really fussed which country to get married, so long as the weather was hot, and we found the right venue. Whilst looking through all the venues and destinations The Bridal Consultant offered, we were blown away with a villa we found in Zante. We knew we wanted somewhere private, which meant a Villa setting was most appropriate for us and we found Zante offered some of the most beautiful Villas which can host weddings. Having spoken to Lisa about the Villa, she reassured us this villa was truly as beautiful in real life as it’s photos, and in a fantastic location for not only hosting a wedding, but also for our guests to enjoy their holiday nearby. So, truth be told, the venue was the deciding factor on us choosing Zante as our wedding destination, but we really did strike gold with this beautiful island.
How many guests joined you?
We were extremely lucky with our guest list, as we both have small families and tight friendship groups, so everyone we invited attended. We invited forty people and forty accepted. It was the perfect number for us because we could socialise with all our guests the days leading up to the wedding and party hard on the actual wedding day!
Your dress, what make was your dress and how long did it take to find the perfect one?!
My dress was made by an Australian designer called Made With Love (MWL), and I wore the Remi gown. I had seen MWL being featured on Instagram from a local bridal boutique near to our home in Norwich, Adella Bridal, and I was obsessed with all their dresses. They have a signature low back and neckline design, with a fitted skirt and long train. I always knew I didn’t want anything too big or ‘poofy’ because it was going to be hot and I generally prefer a more minimalist look, and MWL fitted the aesthetic of our venue perfectly. I tried five dresses on in total (including other designers) in my appointment, and Remi was dress number three. I ordered her that day and never looked back.
Please tell us about your gorgeous accessories.
It 100% took me longer to choose my shoes than my dress! Because my dress was very lacey and delicate, I didn’t want anything too clumpy or blocky, and I love a stiletto heel, which made my shoe criteria quite specific. I ended up going for an open-toed strappy stiletto sandal by Ralph Lauren in ivory which were absolutely perfect and so comfy.
My mum said to me several months before our wedding “do you trust me?”, to which I thought was rather odd as we are best friends. After telling her this was a silly question and of course I trusted her, she said to me “well I would like to get you your wedding jewellery”. I hadn’t even thought about wedding jewellery, because I am not a jewellery-wearing girl at all (the first and only piece of jewellery I owned was my engagement ring). I didn’t think much more of this, but on the morning of the wedding, she presented me with two boxes. One contained a diamond drop necklace and the other a pair of diamond studded earrings. Little did I know, she had designed them from scratch herself. She’d had the diamonds lab-grown from a jeweller in Hatton Garden and chosen a petal-shaped setting to match the lace petals on my dress. Not only did I get to wear accessories that were 100% unique to me, but I also acquired an heirloom which is so precious.
Tell us about Mason’s suit.
Mason spent quite a lot of time search and researching the perfect suits for himself and his groomsmen. He wanted everyone to feel their best, so he purchased all the suits, including his own from House of Cavani, so they could be specifically tailored to each guy. He decided on a more modern and casual approach of open collar and no tie, but Mason wore a waistcoat to differentiate himself a bit from his groomsmen. They all looked absolutely gorgeous and said they were really comfortable and great quality.
and the bridesmaids?
Once we had booked our summer wedding in Greece, I knew straight away that I wanted a natural sage green theme. I wanted a style of bridesmaid dress which every one of my girls would feel comfortable in and could dance the night away. I found the perfect sage green bridesmaid dresses from Lipsy and ordered them through Next.
What was the idea or inspiration behind your wedding theme?
The location absolutely chose the inspiration behind our wedding theme – it was such a beautiful venue that actually, it didn’t need much more. Less was definitely more with our wedding, and so I wanted to keep the whole look clean and elegant, not to take anything away from the backdrop of the venue. I didn’t have any specifications on which type of flowers were used, only that they were white with just natural green foliage added in. The chair drapes and table linen were white, which worked perfectly against the brilliant blue sky.
One piece of decoration that Mason actually chose was to have a canopy of fairy lights above the pool. At first we disagreed on this because it was a little out of our budget, but he was determined he wanted them, and actually, when we arrived at the villa, he was 100% right with this decision and every single guest commented on how beautiful it looked. By having the clean look of white from the tables to a small scattering of natural green from the foliage and bridesmaid dresses, the fairy lights were the cherry on the top to our wedding theme, and it was like dancing under thousands of twinkling stars.
Did you bring any decorative items with you?
We didn’t go crazy on decorations from home as we were so happy with what we had arranged for in Greece. We bought out our table signs which were plain acrylic with champagne coloured vinyl numbers, and name cards which were placed in small wooden place card clips. Something we did do which went down a treat with our guests was bring out forty 50ml glass cork topped bottles and filled them with local Greek brandy called Metaxa when we got to Zante, which were placed on every adult’s seat at the tables. We tied around little labels on each bottle saying ‘We tied the knot so take a shot!’, and used these as our favours and also toasting shots during the speeches. All were super easy to transport in our suitcases.
What’s your best memory from the day?
My best memory from the day was partying on the dance floor with all our guests under the thousands of fairy lights. All of our guests love a drink, so we put on a free bar for everyone to have a great time and this is exactly what they did! I remember one of the first things we said to Lisa when planning our wedding was that we wanted everyone to just have a great party, and this is precisely what we had. There were forty-two pairs of feet on the dance floor for the whole night and not a sober adult head in the whole vicinity, which to us, knowing what our friends and family are like, all meant they had a great time.
My second favourite memory was at the end of the night when our guests left, my best friend peeled me out of my wedding dress, and we all jumped in the pool! Also, Roussa, the fantastic host of the villa had ordered us a heap of gyros from a local taverna. So, there we were, very merry, soaking wet and eating kebabs. Perfect.
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?
In my opinion, the thing that mostly stands out by having your wedding abroad is the unique laid-back ethos on the wedding day. It’s hot, your guests are on holiday so are generally more chilled, and day is just a little less cliché to what we’ve generally found English weddings to be. We have found from attending English weddings that they are all quite serious and look rather similar! By going abroad, no one has been to your venue before so there are absolutely no comparisons or expectations from the day. People have made a real effort to attend your wedding, so no one leaves early or restricts themselves because they don’t have to go to work the next day. Plus, you can really extend the whole wedding – not just have one wedding day. Most of our guests came to Zante for a week, and we were able to meet up with different groups and celebrate with them all week. One thing we did do a couple of days before our wedding, we had a Hag Do in Tsilivi– A joint Hen and Stag do! This was so much fun, all couples together going out for a night of dancing and partying without the pressure of semi-behaving at a wedding. Honestly, the whole week was like a wedding festival, we had the time of our lives.
What advice would you give to future brides and grooms who are getting married abroad?
One thing I would say (and this is the elephant in the room) is not to be misconstrued that weddings abroad are always cheaper. Of course, it absolutely can be, but we found the things we wanted at our wedding made the cost similar to that of a UK wedding; however, what we really did find was that you get so much more for your money abroad. One, as aforementioned, wedding festivities can last so much longer, two, you can have a honeymoon at the same time, and three, you can have a completely unique day that no one can compare other weddings to. We would not have changed one thing about our wedding, and going abroad was the best thing we ever decided.
Also, probably the most important piece of advice – make sure to book your wedding through The Bridal Consultant! We could not fault Lisa’s service and support throughout the entire planning of our wedding and will be forever thankful as we had the best two weeks of our lives.