Why did you choose to get married in Santorini and at Dana Villas in particular?
We chose to get married in Santorini after going on holiday there 4 years ago, the year before we got engaged. We were sat having a drink and looked down at a venue where a wedding took place. The wedding looked magical and perfect and we said to each other that when we get married that we would definitely want it to be in Santorini in a magical setting. I have always known about Dana Villas when looking at weddings online in Santorini and it was perfect for us as we wanted an intimate wedding, and Dana Villas is ideal for this. It was important to us to share our special day with our closest friends and family and then to have a big party when we got back to the UK.
How long in advance did you book your wedding?
We booked our wedding in June 2018.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding and how many accepted and attended?
Originally we invited 22 adults and 4 children however 2 of these adults were unable to attend closer to the time, so on the day there were 20 adult guests and 4 children and then myself and Simon.
Tell us about your dress….
My dress was a White Rose Bridal gown and I was looking for a dress for around 6 weeks and then I found it. The dress on display was not exactly how I wanted it and when this was being made by the designer I made some requests for changes to be made to make sure my dress was perfect for me!
What about your shoes and accessories?
My shoes were Carvela- Kurt Geiger.
My necklace and earrings were a matching set from Jon Richard.
The diamond bracelet I wore was borrowed from my mother in law which was a present from Simon’s Dad who is unfortunately very unwell and couldn’t make the wedding.
My veil was from the same bridal boutique where I purchased my dress, Confetti and Lace in Leeds.
What did the groom wear?
Simon and the groomsmen’s suits were purchased from Skopes and they wore a 3 piece suit with a bow tie.
And the bridesmaids?
We bought the bridesmaids dresses from ASOS and they all wore different styles and colours, however they all wore a shade of pink. ASOS caters for different heights and sizes and this was perfect for us.
The brides bouquet, what flowers did you choose and why?
I chose roses in different shades of pinks to match the bridesmaid’s dresses, along with cream roses, gypsophila and some greenery. I had previously seen a picture of a bouquet like this and had loved it.
Did you theme your wedding?
We went for a modern and minimalistic theme. The view and backdrop of the venue is spectacular and we didn’t want to distract from this.
We’d love to hear more about the smaller details…
We chose a naked wedding cake with fresh flowers decorating this that matched my bouquet.
When thinking about our menus we didn’t go with one of the set menus offered, we decided to create our own menu and in the end we chose:
Traditional Santorinian Fava
Mixed with sauteed carrots, onions, potatoes and topped with bacon, capes and caramelized onions
Traditional Greek feta mixed with Sontorini cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, sliced onions, chopped peppers, olives, topped with olive oil served on baked bread base and topped with oregano.
Kleftiko Shank of Lomb (300gr) baked in traditional Greek cooking paper with sliced peppers, chopped onions, baby potatoes flavored with garlic, oregano, olive oil, thyme, mustard and honey topped with shredded Greek Feta Cheese
A base of homemade soft biscuit with fresh butter covered with layers of bitter milk caramel cream, bananaslices and chocolate ganoche.
Espresso, Filter Coffee or tea,
For the children we chose chicken and chips and ice cream for dessert.
For favours, we used a small bottle of ouzo for each guest (this being the local alcoholic drink) and also gave a small shot glass with a sticker on saying ‘we’ve tied the knot, so take a shot. Simon & Lianne 18.09.19)’, Simon made the stickers for these himself. We also made some tags to attach to the bottles to thank our guests for travelling to Santorini to celebrate with us. Additionally, our name settings were also favours as these were small hexagon pieces of acrylic with our guests names written on in gold vinyl (also made by Simon). For the 4 children (two being toddlers and two under one) we created gift bags with a photo of us on the front of the bags with the child, and in these included; toys, bubbles, paper, colouring, wedding activity packs etc.
Simon also made larger hexagon pieces of acrylic with our table numbers written on in gold vinyl and we displayed these on white easels. We then had three large different sized vases with water, floating candles and diamond scatters in them and some different sized table diamonds displayed around these with three tea light holders on the centre of each table. Simon also made some signs for our guest book and sparklers in acrylic saying ‘let the love sparkle’ and ‘please sign our guestbook’. We also made a sign and displayed this in a photo frame saying ‘open bar- the hangover only lasts a day, but the memories last a lifetime’. Simon also made our table plan on a large piece of acrylic and he also made our cake topper in gold acrylic saying ‘Mr & Mrs brown’.
For entertainment we kept this simple and created our own playlists for the different parts of the wedding and this was played through the sound system. We had a DJ after dinner and provided him with a playlist and guests also put in requests on the night.
Do you have a favourite memory from the day?
It is hard to choose one best memory from the day as our whole wedding was truly magical and perfect and we wouldn’t have changed a thing.
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?
The weather was amazing and we love the sunshine and hot weather, also the views in Santorini are truly spectacular and beautiful. Also, for us having our wedding abroad meant we also got to have a holiday with all of our closest family and friends which we wouldn’t have experienced if we had our wedding in the UK.
What advice would you give to future brides and grooms who are getting married abroad?
We didn’t visit our venue until 3 days before the wedding and this was a great surprise for us, as although we knew what to expect from pictures, it was nice that we hadn’t seen this before as it gave us something else to look forward to. I think it is important to do research and make sure that the venue you choose is exactly what you want, especially if you don’t visit it.
I would also advise to make sure that you use a wedding planner as it can be very stressful planning a wedding and without The Bridal Consultant’s help and support, I don’t think we would ever have been able to create such a perfect day for us and our guests. Something else that worked for us and our guests was that we booked everyone’s holiday together so that this took less pressure off our guests having to arrange this. We also all travelled together and stayed in the same hotel which was amazing as we made so many memories every day of our holiday and not only on the wedding day.
Did you stick to your original budget or go over/or even stay under?
When planning our wedding we didn’t have a budget in mind, however I would advise that people do set a budget to help keep a track of things. I would say that overall we spent more than we had originally imagined we were going to, however we also had an evening wedding party in the UK the week after we got home from Santorini and 115 guests attended this.
We hope you enjoyed reading about Lianne and Simon’s pretty pink Dana Villas wedding in Santorini, here are some of the suppliers involved in the day.
Venue Dana Villas | Brides Dress White Rose Bridal | Brides Dress and Veil Boutique Confetti and Lace | Brides Shoes Carvela – Kurt Geiger | Brides Necklace and Earrings Jon Richard | Grooms Suit Skopes | Bridesmaids Dresses Asos
Budget Key | £ – 10k and under | ££ – between 10k and 20k | £££ – over 20k.