Today’s real wedding sees us head across to North Wales for the gorgeous wedding of Alaw...
I am delighted to welcome Boho Bride Carys to the Blog today. Carys is one of the new brides who will be writing for the ‘Diary of a Boho Bride’ feature, you can read a more about her wedding plans HERE. As of next week you will be getting weekly reports from the brides as all 7 of them tell us more about their wedding planning journey.
Today though it is the turn of Carys as she tells us more about the beautiful Greek Wedding she has planned for the 6th September 2013 in Cephalonia Greece. Today is all about finding the perfect Venue, as well as a few top tips for Destination Brides!
I have to say reading though this entry makes me want to pack my things and head over to Greece NOW! The whole wedding sounds amazing! I can’t wait to follow Carys and her all her wedding planning stories.
As I sit writing this entry whilst tucking into some homemade spanakopita I realise how easy a decision it was as to where we should get married…it had to be Greece! The where exactly in Greece, the when, and how on earth will we plan it was, well, a little bit trickier!
It is safe to say that we are both very Welsh with no connections to anyone who lives or ever has lived in Greece! Our bond to the country however, and in particular her Islands, is as deeply entwined in the roots of our relationship as the Ancient Greeks are in the development of the modern world….
12 years ago I was given the novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Having been glued to the book from start to finish with every emotion experienced along the read, I decided that I’d really like to go to the island on which the novel was set; Cephalonia. When Aaron and I started dating in 2003 and excitedly planning our first holiday together, I kept pushing Cephalonia brochures under his nose. We had never been to Greece before so our knowledge was limited, but the more we looked at pictures of the turquoise coastline, the remote hilltop villages and harbourside tavernas, the more we were intoxicated. So off to Cephalonia we flew…
Our week together on the island at the end of May, when Cephalonia was starting to rouse from it’s sleepy spring and prepare for a scorching summer season, could not have been more heavenly. Over the years that followed since that first trip, our love affair with Greece has just taken over our lives. So when Aaron got down on one knee (whilst in the Peloponnese this year, of course!) we knew that, although South Wales is our home, Greece is our heart and we could only get married if we could have a Greek wedding.Beautiful Assos
Deciding on the island itself was difficult; having been to so many we have a loyalty and love for each one. We had to think practically though; yes we may love driving a car to London, getting a plane to Greece and then sitting on endless buses, ferries and hydrofoils just to reach an island that doesn’t have a McDonalds, and where we will hear only the Greek language, but would our guests? When we wrote our list of our favourite islands…Samos, Skopelos, Paxos, Cephalonia…we realised that Cephalonia was the island where our story began, and to top it off, it has a decent airport!!
So the island was chosen, perfect. Now, how do you plan the wedding of your dreams in some remote corner of another country? A quick internet search soon showed us a number of different companies and wedding planners offering services in Greece, and more importantly, on Cephalonia. We didn’t know where to start and we were worried about who we could trust as this was all so new to the both of us. Some companies were based in the UK whilst some were based on the island. We both agreed that we wanted to focus our attention on the companies based in Cephalonia as we felt that this would enable us to personalise our wedding with local support, given our knowledge already of the island.
So we sent away for lots of brochures and started to examine the different packages available. To be honest our heads started to spin. They all looked rather lovely; blue sea, white sand, smiling couples. However I couldn’t help feeling that some of them were very ‘typical’ or quite ‘generic’ destination weddings, and as a couple who will drive around the islands we visit searching out the restaurants that the locals eat in, we really wanted to have a very authentic day. Thankfully that is when we stumbled across the lady who would show us that our vision for our wedding could become a reality – Rachael from Cephalonia Concierge.Assos Harbour
Rachael, who runs the events management company Cephalonia Concierge along with her husband, sent me a lovely email in response to my brochure request saying that whilst they didn’t have a brochure for us to look at because every wedding they organise is tailor made, they did have an extensive portfolio for us to peruse. She asked us what type of wedding we were looking for…did we want it to be rustic, modern, boho, traditional, beach, harbour…? It was then that we realised that not only did we have a lot of thinking to do, this wedding planning business was going to be a whole lot of fun – kind of like planning the ultimate holiday to Greece, except for this one I’d need a really nice dress and we’d come back home as husband and wife!
After several emails back and forth Aaron and I had agreed that we wanted our wedding to be traditional in a Greek sense; so we wanted a chapel rather than a beach. Being familiar with most of the villages in the ruggedly beautiful north of the island, we really wanted our special day to be based around there which is when Rachael sent us pictures of a 15th century Venetian church in the village of Assos – a village we had spent so much time exploring and enjoying during our very first holiday, with it’s beautiful Mamma Mia style chapel on the peninsula which has stood the test of time and even managed to survive the devastating 1953 earthquake on the island. That has to be a good sign right?! We knew from that instance, that we could not get married in any other chapel anywhere else in the world.assos chapel
Following on from the ceremony the key for us was to keep it very relaxed and rustic with lots of DIY, boho touches so we didn’t want a hotel or private villa reception, we wanted something closer to the natural elements of the island. Some of our fondest memories are of us together, watching the sunset in an old taverna with an ouzo (or two!) in hand, so we told Rachael that we were really looking for a proper Greek taverna for our reception where our guests could enjoy local speciality dishes washed down by Cephalonian Robola whilst listening to Greek music and the sound of the sea lapping at the shore….when she emailed us back to say that she often used an old taverna run by a local fisherman which was situated on a private beach with pictures of wedding receptions that she has organised there…well, we were in love. I am not ashamed to say that I cried! Reception sorted and hearts well and truly stolen.
So, with the traditional chapel for our ceremony, and the remote taverna on a beautiful little beach for our sunset reception all booked for September 2013, we now move on to the next chapter….what can we all wear to our Greek wedding?!st jerusalem taverna